NAPTON ON THE HILL WEATHER

Friday, April 15, 2016

Diary Update #33

I absolutely love Brandon Marsh in the rain! Not a soul to be found, only the ardent regulars. The morning actually started off pretty quiet and a circular walk around Farm Field and Top Reedbed produced little of note, save for the now established Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap. A singing Mistle Thrush, which has actually been doing his level best to attract a mate for over two weeks now was unfortunately still on territory.

One of two Cuckoo's at Brandon Marsh today!
The strangest of occurrences as I walked through New Hare Covert, when I clearly heard a Tawny Owl call, not once but twice, no sign after a little investigation. As I emerged past the golf course my first Cuckoo of the year could be heard and indeed seen at distance atop the owl box tree on Alban's Reedbed. A brace of Sedge Warblers in the reeds and the dozen or so Lesser Redpoll, which have been feeding in the large alders by 'Olive Bench', were still there.

When I reached East Marsh Hide it wasn't long before I registered Common Sandpiper (year 1st), which Alan Boddington had forewarned me about via text message, Yellow Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin. Also of note while here: (5) Redshank and (4) Oystercatcher.

Black-tailed Godwit still feeding well on Teal Pool
While taking a better look at the Cuckoo from the Ted Jury Hide, which was still perched up, a second bird suddenly appeared and immediately took offence! With both singing what ensued was a real battle for territory, with both birds going at it hammer and tongue and feathers flying! A sight I've never witnessed before but a real treat. A single Snipe fly-by while this was going on, plus an addition of Little Egret on Teal pool while heading back to the centre ended a very enjoyable mornings birding.