Tuesday, October 08, 2019

πŸ“– Productive Brandon

⛅️πŸ’¨14C Tuesday 8th October 2019 ~ A few visits to Brandon Marsh since arriving back from Hungary, recording some good flocks of arriving Redwing but this morning was by far the most productive.

Black-necked Grebe ~ 1st site record since 2006
I arrived shortly after 7am and decided to head straight down to East Marsh Pool, where a Black-necked Grebe had been reported yesterday evening. After relocating to the Wright Hide after a short visit to the John Walton hide, where there was no sign, I eventually got eyes on this rare Brandon visitor, last recorded here in 2006, tucked away behind Tern Island.  I spent a short while with Alan Boddington watching the bird before once more relocated back to the John Walton hide.

Record shot of Bittern in flight
A good number of Wigeon (22) were spending most of their time asleep and while in the hide a Bittern was seen in flight over on Newlands reedbed heading towards the Carlton Hide, so I decided to head on down for a look.

Still a small number of Chiffchaffs to be found
At Carlton hide a couple of Grey Wagtails, Little Grebe and a couple of Chiffchaffs but sadly no sign of the Bittern.

One of my favourite birds this Jay has found his stash of acorns!
Back at the John Walton hide I met up with Jim Timms and had coffee while watching the Black-necked Grebe, which had ventured a little further out onto the pool. A Pintail had also appeared and a Jay was performing well in front of us, searching for and finding his stash of acorns! A small bow wave and lots of air bubbles alerted us to an Otter, which swam the entire time underwater from right to left in front of the hide, offering the briefest of views as it passed the 'Bittern' channel before disappearing out of view.

A cameo appearance of two Great White Egrets.
We left the hide for a walk around the reserve, pausing for a little while for better views of the Black-necked Grebe from the Wright Hide. While here a couple of Great White Egrets paid the briefest of visits before heading over the treetops and perhaps settling onto the central marsh.

The back end of Hobby over New Hare Covert
Just prior to entering New Hare Covert from the golf course side a Hobby appeared over the trees and made a couple of passes before heading off. There were, in fact, a good number of Dragonflies on the wing for the bird to be feeding on with many Common Darters and a least three Migrant Hawkers seen today.

Marsh Tit at Horsetail Glade bench from a previous visit

Record shot of today's Pintail
Another image of today's Black-necked Grebe