Wednesday, 31 August 2011
A Quiet Brandon Marsh
"Brock" in the Sensory Garden
I popped to Brandon Marsh NR for a couple of hours this afternoon.
The Reserve was very quiet both people and birdwise. I only saw about 6 other people as I rambled round and every hide I visited was empty. Solitude at last :D!
There were a few magpies near the visitor centre and feral pigeons and blue and great tits on the feeders.
I walked through Horsetail Glade to Steetley Hide overlooking West Marsh Pool. It was a waste of time taking the camera but I did take a few very poor record shots. There were several coots and moorhen with juveniles on the pool and a grey heron lurking in the reeds.
The only bit of action was when a second heron flew over and decided to land invoking the wrath of the lurking heron who soon took flight to chase the interloper away.
Sometimes you can be really lucky and see a kingfisher on a perch near the hide but not today. I carried on walking through West and Central Marsh - the only bird in sight was a blackbird but there were loads of ladybirds on the flower heads.
Teal Pool was quiet with more mallard, coot and moorhen - water levels were much higher than last visit and there were no muddy margins - this pool is usually good at this time of year for common and green sandpipers.
I ate my lunch in Carlton Hide which overlooks the Newlands Reedbed - again there was little about just a wood pigeon and moorhen. I was hoping for a hobby to add to my year list as they often hunt in front of this hide and perch in one of the nearby dead trees.
The Newlands area is currently undergoing Phase III development with the aim to create a bigger network of open water and reedbeds to benefit marshland species. I also gather that there are plans afoot to possibly reintroduce water voles to the reserve which would be brilliant.
View from Carlton Hide
Stopped of at East Marsh Hide and John Baldwin Hide briefly to view East Marsh Pool and there were a few more birds about - black-headed gulls, flock of starlings, swallows, tufted duck, greylag geese, canada geese, shoveler, cormorant,lapwing plus more mallard, coots, moorhen and grey heron.
I walked between Swallow and Grebe Pool returning to the visitor centre via the path that goes round the back of Grebe Pool and past the windpump. I added robin, wren and sand martin to the list of birds I had seen and there were a few grey squirrels and rabbits about.
"Now you see me"
"Now you don't"
There were lots of signs of autumn - acorns and good berry crops of elderberry, hawthorn, rosehips, blackberries, rowan etc. Highlight of the visit was a flock containing blue tits with willow warblers, chiffchaffs and a male and female blackcap. Blackcap is a new addition to the year list.
There were just a few butterflies around - red admiral, speckled wood and several "whites" - too far away to identify plus a few dragonflies at too great a distance for me to be sure of species.
I may not have seen a lot but as always it was a chance to recharge the batteries and spend a couple of hours just living in the present and enjoying the wildlife around at one particular moment in time.