Saturday, 23 April 2011

Brandon Marsh :: 21 April 2011

Back to Brandon Marshes for what promised to be a stunning day. Forecasts for the Easter weekend looked more like mid-summer than mid-spring; I expect we will pay for it later.

With the family and parents we arrived in time for a spot of early lunch and then onto the trails. It was evident that there were significantly fewer ducks on the site than in any of our previous visits this year. However, the arrival of the common terns was a welcome sight, as was the common sandpiper. The numbers of ringed and little ringed plover had increased significantly and gave a fluid movement of birds from area to area (ably supported by the swallows feeding over the water).

Warbler numbers seem to be growing as we came across first sedge and then cetti's warbler. This was soon followed by a large number of whitethroat, spread right across the reserve and showing well.

Highlights for the kids though were the squirrel, rabbits out in the open and three friendly mice who seemed quite unconcerned even when granny took a call on her mobile!

Our sightings for the day totalled 41, reduced from our last visit due to the absence of ducks, snipe and buzzards. They included: great tit, mallard, great-spotted woodpecker, blue tit , chaffinch, bullfinch, swallow, reed bunting, robin, magpie, pied wagtail, greylag goose, carrion crow, canada goose, coot, mute swan, cormorant, great crested grebe, lapwing, common tern, teal, gadwall, wigeon, ringed plover, Whitethroattufted duck, black headed gull, common gull, oystercatcher, common sandpiper, little ringed plover, sedge warbler, cetti's warbler, blackbird, feral pigeon, greenfinch, goldfinch, whitethroat, moorhen.

Our birds of the day had to be the whitethroats who darted around and never stopped chattering.