Sunday, April 08, 2018

πŸ“– #22 ~ Spring Update

Since returning from Denmark and Sweden on Monday evening I've spent a very frustrating 3 days bedridden with probably the worst bought of flu I've ever had!

Blackcaps ~ Usual high numbers beginning to arrive at Brandon Marsh
Still not 100% I finally managed to drag myself out on Friday morning with a visit to Brandon Marsh. With spring migrants finally beginning to trickle through I had a little catching up to do. In fact, I'd only been on the reserve for several minutes when my first Blackcap of the year burst into song near the nature centre. By the time I'd settled into East Marsh hide, I'd also encountered a second year first, this one a Willow Warbler along the path at Goosetail, three more Blackcap, including a female, also recorded!

Little-ringed Plover ~ Regular breeders at Brandon Marsh
East Marsh pool, once again flooded out produced a very early Common Tern and waders included (2) Little-ringed Plover, (5) Oystercatcher and (2) Redshank. A few Hirundines during the morning, mostly Sand Martin but a couple of Swallows low over the water. Plenty of Buzzards enjoying the thermals and distant views of a single Red Kite, which never quite made it over the reserve. My first butterflies of the year too when things finally warmed up, (2) Comma and a single♀Brimstone, which flew through the car park as I was leaving!

Feeling pretty drained I was in two minds whether or not to venture across to Draycote Water for a reported group of Little Gulls. They were apparently showing near 'B' buoy, over near the inlet, a decent walk but I suppose it was too good to miss! I'm glad I did, my first House Martin of the year as I passed the Sailing Club and even better a lift back to the car park by Theo Clermont after enjoying views of the group of ten from Hensborough Bank. A bonus adult Meditteranean Gull too, found by Theo!

Two of a trio of Avocets ~ Brandon Marsh
1st Common Sandpiper of the year ~ Brandon Marsh
A few hours Saturday morning at Brandon yielded my first Brandon House Martins of the year but nothing new to be found in relation to arriving migrants. However, three Redwing and a group of five Lesser Redpoll shows our winter visitors are still holding on. Of course, having decided to have an extra hour in bed this morning (Sunday) you knew what was coming next. Three Avocets and the first Common Sandpiper on site but thankfully my late arrival didn't cost me.

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