Sunday, 27 March 2011

Brandon Marsh :: 27 March 2011

Ailsa on the keyboard again!

To start today we got up early and left the house without even having breakfast. The clocks had changed and so it was even earlier than the clocks suggested. It was not as sunny as we would have expected for this time of year when the daffodils are starting to blossom. We had planned another visit to Brandon Marshes but first we went to Rugby to search for waxwings. We have been reading a man's blog (onemanandhispond) where he spoke of waxwings around Lawford Lane - I would love to see them but unfortunately they couldn't be found during the hour we wandered around. We did come across a bear - no it's not what you are thinking, it's just a pub on Bilton Lane!

As I said, we didn't get to see any waxwings, but we did see these birds which weren't repeated at Brandon Marshes: song thrush, green woodpecker, kestrel, yellowhammer, rook, starling and house sparrow.

After spending an unsuccessful hour in the cold morning air we arrived at the warm cosy Brandon Marsh visitor centre. By then it was half past ten and we were all starving. We snuggled up in the "Badgers Tea Room" and had three full cooked breakfasts and a ham and cheese panini, which we all enjoyed. The teas, hot chocolate and coffee weren't too bad either.

After the nice hot beverages, we went back out into the cold again and started our trek round the reserve. We visited every single hide on the way and found a new species of bird for our list in every hide.

We spotted our record number of birds in a single day at Brandon Marshes. Our highlight bird was a new bird we had never seen before, a Cetti's warbler which we only just got a picture of, through the reeds. You can only see it if you look really carefully. Even the sun came out before we packed up to leave - not before another drink and a slice of cake! To sum it up, a record breaking day.

We spotted 43 species on the reserve this time, including: greenfinch, reed bunting, feral pigeon, chaffinch, coal tit, great tit, blue tit, bullfinch, woodpigeon, dunnock, Cetti's Warblerrobin, great-spotted woodpecker, greylag goose, nuthatch, goldfinch, carrion crow, willow tit, canada goose, jay, buzzard, coot, tufted duck, sand martin, mallard, lapwing, mute swan, shoveler, teal, oystercatcher, snipe, ringed plover, moorhen, great-crested grebe, wigeon, black-headed gull, long tailed tit, wren, cetti's warbler, gadwall, goosander, shelduck, pheasant and blackbird.

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