Sunday, 6 March 2011

Brandon Marsh :: 05 March 2011

Our original plan was to make our first trip to Draycote Water, inspired through reports from a blog we have been following by Richard Mays; "One man and his pond". Music school, dropping off the wife for a tennis match and a poor forecast prevented us from following this plan though. A full circuit with impending drizzle didn't inspire the kids.

Instead, off we went to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust's Brandon Marshes in Coventry. As usual we had to make a pitstop on arrival, this time for hot chocolate with marshmallows - you've got to start somewhere! It did give us a view of the feeder fom the windows of the tearoom, and the opportunity to listen to some of the photographers discussing a pile of photos they were purusing - nice lenses in evidence!

Out we went before the weather drew in, into what turned out to be quite a nice walk. Taking our normal route, we quickly ended up in a hide with the aforementioned photographers who were stationed hoping for the pair of great-crested grebes to start dancing; while we were there they were disappointed, but it didn't deter them from knocking off a few shots.

On we went, missing out most of the hides but making sure we dropped into the East Marsh Pool hide where we spotted the bittern from on our last visit. Not this time though!

We again kept a list of our spots, which this time totalled 37, including: magpie, great tit, blue tit, reed bunting, woodpigeon, chaffinch, Nuthatchdunnock, feral pigeon, blackbird, nuthatch, goldfinch, long-tailed tit, tufted duck, mallard, robin, coot, black-headed gull, canada goose, great-crested grebe, mute swan, cormorant, pochard, shoveler, greylag goose, grey heron, lapwing, moorhen, common gull, wigeon, gadwall, snipe, shellduck, pheasant, teal, carrion crow, green woodpecker and wren.

The top birds of the day have to be the small group of snipe we found at the East Marsh Pool hide, but our favourite photo of the day was the cheeky nuthatch which we photographed through the visitor centre's tearoom window.

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