Tuesday, March 26, 2019

πŸ“– #10/2019 ~ Spring Migration

It’s an exciting time of year as the days gradually begin to get longer and our summer visitors start to arrive home. I find myself spending endless hours visually searching every bush and tree at Brandon Marsh and in particular listening for the first signs of new arrivals. Thus far this year I’ve managed a very early singing Blackcap in February, my first ever February Sand Martin on the last day of the month, followed by my first Swallow of the year on the morning of March 19th.

Redshank ~ Up to four on East Marsh over the past few weeks
Chiffchaffs now well established
Chiffchaffs began singing a few weeks ago and are now well established with counts into double figures currently at Brandon. Both Oystercatcher and Redshank are now resident and on the morning of March 20th, I inadvertently flushed a Green Sandpiper from the River Pool Hide.

Blackcaps beginning to trickle through
A very early Greenshank was on site for just one day on Saturday, March 23rd, unfortunately, it was the only morning over the past fortnight I didn't visit! After a lone Little-ringed Plover arrived on March 9th numbers have built up and there was four on-site yesterday. Over the weekend a small arrival of Blackcaps with at least two singing during my visit.

Redwings soon heading north
On reverse migration, yesterdays visit produced an amazing three Jack Snipe on Teal Pool and the long staying Whooper Swans were still here Sunday morning but departed very early. Flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing in various denominations have been moving through and there are still a few Lesser Redpolls and Siskins to be found.

Green Sandpiper finally decided to show on Teal Pool
After a frosty start this morning and clear skies overnight things looked pretty good for more arrivals and I was very hopeful that I'd record my first Willow Warbler of the year but sadly not! In fact, it was the quietest the woods had been in recent weeks. Having walked New Hare Covert with Jim Rushforth, best here three Redwings and two Blackcap we arrived in Wright Hide to find just a single Whooper Swan on East Marsh Pool. I had the distinct impression the bird was somewhat agitated, constantly calling and then heading off pretty smartish. Was this a single visitor or one of the pair that has resided with us for the best part of the winter? The mystery was solved a little later in the East Marsh Hide when Martin Durkin informed us that both birds had been in and out very early on and seemed to have got separated.

The best of the rest for today included: Willow Tit, (4) Sand Martin, Swallow, (4) Little-ringed Plover, (2) Redshank, (2) Oystercatcher, (3) Shelduck, (14) Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper but no sign of any of yesterdays Jack Snipe.