Wednesday, June 12, 2019

📖 Gloomy Brandon Marsh!

☁️13C Wednesday 12th June 2019 ~ After recent prolonged heavy rains, strong winds and cool temperatures I feared the worst when visiting Brandon Marsh this morning. Strangely enough, the River Avon had not flooded to the extent I'd expected but this can sometimes take a few days before the reserve can flood, so time will tell. Sadly though my worries were bourne out when I discover that all the Common Tern chicks, at least twelve to my knowledge, had been wiped out! Whether by predation or weather-related its a devasting blow.

Just one surviving Oystercatcher in this family of three ~ Photo by Alan Boddington
Even more of a surprise was that one Oystercatcher family which had three healthy and quite large youngsters only yesterday was also down to just one individual. A second family with two smaller youngsters could well have survived but the adults remained undercover during my visit so I was unable to confirm this.

A busy Willow Warbler parent
Thankfully it wasn't all doom and gloom with the woods alive with activity and noted today were a fledged family of (8+) Long-tailed Tits and various groups of Blue Tits and Great Tits were feeding frantically. Other youngsters included (3) Willow Warblers, (4) Bullfinch, (2) Blackcaps, (3) Green Woodpeckers and (2) Little Grebes seen from the Carlton Hide with parents.

Lesser Whitethroat
A new addition on East Marsh Pool was a Summer plumage Dunlin and from the Olive bench a showy and reeling Grasshopper Warbler, well I say showy buy not enough for a decent photo. From the Carlton hide a Lesser Whitethroat was more obliging.

Also Today...

Auricularia auricula-judae, known as the Jew's ear, wood ear, jelly ear or by a number of other common names, is a species of edible Auriculariales fungus found worldwide. This one found on Elder to the rear of Carlton Hide.