Monday, 6 May 2019

WkWT Brandon Marsh :: 06 May 2019

A bank holiday today so I thought I'd have an early breakfast and head out to WkWT Brandon Marsh. Reed warblerEver hopeful I looked for the whinchat reported on Friday but it hasn't been seen since Saturday morning - wasn't around as far as I could see. I had considered going down to Farmoor Reservoir, and just to wind me up, they reported a whinchat on Shrike Meadow.

I made straight for the East Marsh Hide and on the way came across a single muntjac deer in the trees. It casually moved on each time I caught up with it but eventually out of view. As I got to the first junction a chiffchaff called from the trees to my right - the only one I heard today.

Reed warblerWhen I arrived at the hide I took the seat in the left corner. I'd heard a Cetti's warbler calling in this area as I approached the hide and opened the shutter to the front, but also the one to the side.

There were few birds around the scrape or even on the water. Those in the air easily outnumbered them - sand martins and swallows, plus common tern. As time went on a number of house martins joined in the hunt.

Every now and then a very confident robin would land on the window edge, not a foot from my face. It made me jump a couple of times. Of note on the islands and scrape were a little ringed plover and a Cetti's warblercommon sandpiper. Cuckoos called but showed very poorly. A muntjac deer fed in the reeds to the right of the hide. I also enjoyed a fly-through kingfisher, the blue flashing in what sun there was.

A sedge warbler flitted between the reeds and a nearby hawthorn, singing its heart out. Occasional burst from a whitethroat also added to the melody. Soon I was able to see a Cetti's in a nearby bush, and later again in distant reeds - unusual for me to get a sighting. Watching for the Cetti's also drew my attention to reed warblers dashing around. Several whitethroat on the way back to the Visitor Centre - had Cetti's warblerto get back as I was having lunch with her indoors and shopping in the afternoon.

Sightings (34) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, canada goose, carrion crow, cetti's warbler, chiffchaff, common sandpiper, common tern, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, grey heron, greylag goose, house martin, kingfisher, lapwing, lesser black-backed gull, little ringed plover, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, oystercatcher, reed warbler, robin, sand martin, sedge warbler, swallow, tufted duck, whitethroat, woodpigeon and wren.

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