Tuesday, April 26, 2022

πŸ“– Warwickshire Revisited (Part 1) 26/04/2022

So phase one of our five-week trip began with the 7 1/2 hour drive down to Warwickshire on Monday, which was to be fair pretty painless.

Garden Warbler ~ My 1st year tick of the day.

Tuesday 26th was spent at my old stomping ground Brandon Marsh where I met up with a few of the conservation team for a walk around the reserve and a good catch up. I have to say that the place is looking in good shape with plenty of habitat improvements since I left a couple of years ago. My first tick of the day was a singing Garden Warbler and by the time I reached the Wright Hide I was already up to 10 year ticks, with most of the Warblers yet to appear back home they all seem to have arrived at Brandon. Even a Canada Goose, was a welcome tick!

Cetti's Warbler ~ A species which well established here is yet to colonise as far north as Aberdeenshire

I'd also forgotten how good the place is for certain species such as Water Rails and Cetti's Warblers the latter of which I was easily into double-figures by the end of the day. 

Sedge Warbler

The pools held nesting Oystercatcher, Redshank, Snipe, and at least four Little-ringed Plover and the reedbeds were alive with singing Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler (another Aberdeenshire rarity) and reeling Grasshopper Warbler. A Cuckoo was also constantly on the go appearing occasionally at the top of one of the few remaining high dead trees on Newlands reedbed! A Kingfisher was also a welcome sight darting back and forth across the main pool. 

The woodland areas have always been a delight at Brandon and an enjoyable walk produced Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler but unfortunately and indeed unusually not the hoped-for Nuthatch, another Aberdeenshire scarcity.

Green Hairstreak on the 'Tip' area

A memorable day and other highlights included a Muntjac Deer, Weasel and with the afternoon warmth came Orange-Tip butterflies and a single Green Hairstreak

Hobby over Brandon Marsh 

The best was left until last when just prior to leaving in mid-afternoon a report of 2 Hobby over the reserve enticed a few of us back from the cafe for a look. After what seemed an age we finally made contact, my first in a couple of years and despite the height of the bird and bright sunlight I actually managed a half-decent photo!