Monday, March 06, 2017

Diary Update #11

Despite the lack of updates last month, mainly due to other projects I have in fact managed to venture out on several occasions over the past three weeks, mostly to Brandon Marsh. I've worked with the conservation team each Thursday on the chainsaw, trying desperately to complete my project of willow bashing on the top reedbeds before the nesting season begins in earnest, two more sessions will see it through.

🌀☔  Thursday February 23rd 2017 ~ Storm 'Doris' caused a number of issues at Brandon Marsh today with several trees coming down in the gales. One in particular that succumbed was the wonderful ancient Field Maple located at Carlton Hide. Reputedly one of the oldest in Warwickshire I had the task, along with others members of the team of clearing the path on Thursday afternoon, when half of the tree split and collapsed. Horsetail Glade was also badly hit, with several trees downed!

This wonderful Field Maple a casualty of storm Doris!
Friday February 24th 2017 ~ Sadly the remaining half of the Field Maple at Carlton Hide came down overnight and I spent an hour mid morning clearing more debris off the path, along with Alan Boddington.

Monday February 27th 2017 ~ A visit to Brandon Marsh today for a few hours was mainly spent in Carlton Hide. Having considered recent Bittern sightings it appeared that the Brandon bird was a creature of habit, with most sightings between midday and 1pm. This proved to be amazingly accurate, with the bird rising from the reeds at 12.40pm for a short repositioning flight and again a half hour later. It was my first Brandon sighting of the year and so too Willow Tit! With three birds during my visit, two at Carlton Ditch and a third near the River Pool path a short while later.

A brace of Purple Sandpiper at Marine Lake, New Brighton
☀☔  Wednesday March 1st 2017 ~ My fortnightly visit to Liverpool for lunch with my dear old mum, 97 years young and still going strong! A few years back and just across the water I'd visited New Brighton Marine Lake to see a long staying Laughing Gull and had remembered it was also a great place to see Purple Sandpiper. Leaving a little earlier than normal I arrived at Marine Lake prior to meeting mum around mid morning. I wasn't disappointed, with at least seven Purple Sandpipers in among the roosting Turnstone and Redshank. Mainly asleep, there were brief moments of activity allowing for the odd photograph.



Saturday March 4th 2017 ~ A morning visit to Brandon Marsh where I bumped into Paul Cashmore. The highlight had to be three Otters, which Paul spotted initially to the rear of the pool at Carlton Hide. Knowing their usual route we managed to track them past the East Marsh Hide (above video), eventually ending up at the Baldwin Hide, where we managed terrific views of the family (probably mother and two kits) feeding directly below the boardwalk.

Monday March 6th 2017 ~ A glorious spring-like morning with Skylarks singing when I left the marina around 7.45am. Brandon Marsh had the usual selection of waterfowl: (2) Goldeneye, (4) Pochard, single Shelduck, Great Crested Grebe and the long staying male Goosander, which is believed to be slightly injured. Another Bittern sighting over Newlands reedbed at 09:40 and other highlights included: (8) Soaring Buzzards, (5) Snipe, (5) Oystercatcher, Siskin/Redpoll flock and Grey Wagtail on Goose Pool.

Nuthatch busy once again for the coming season!
The above Nuthatch was also busy preparing his nesting site. This will be his 5th consecutive year at this particular site according to my records!