Saturday, 6 August 2011
A Visit to my Favourite Nature Reserve
Brian, Emily and I paid a visit to Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve yesterday. We checked out a small pond first of all for dragonflies or young newts but none were about. In fact, I only spotted one dragonfly during the whole visit (a large brown one) that whizzed past a hide far too fast for me to attempt an identification. We walked through Horsetail Glade - not a lot of birds around and then took the path that runs between Goose Pool and Central Marsh Pool. There was a mixed flock of young tits passing through - blue, great and long-tailed - and lots of young chiffchaffs.
There were a lot of freshwater mollusc shells along the path and we also spotted some later by Grebe Pool. I asked about these at the visitor centre when we left and there is a possibility that they had been left by an otter. Otters are now found on the reserve.
A visit to the John Baldwin Hide revealed a lot of canada and greylag geese on the water and islands and there was a juvenile common tern on one of the tern rafts. It was great to see a kingfisher whizzing past the hide.
Canada and Greylag Geese
A wood sandpiper had been reported on East Marsh Pool over the last few days and I was really chuffed to see this bird from East Marsh Hide. A year tick and rather special as they don't visit Brandon Marsh that often. I did take a photo although the bird was far too far away for the 70-300mm lens and it appeared as a very small blob in the photo which becomes ever more blurred when I attempted to crop the picture. Its that embarrassing a pic that I have no intention of publishing it here!
There was not a lot to see from Carlton Hide except for a few moorhen and a canada goose shown in the photo below. No sign of the hobby that often perches in one of the dead trees viewable from this hide. Water levels on the reserve were quite low.
The sun had come out by now and there were several speckled wood about
We retraced our steps finding more discarded mollusc shells by Grebe Pool.
We walked back to the Visitor Centre taking the path that goes round Grebe Pool and passes the windpump.
There were numerous gatekeepers on the wing.
And the inevitable rabbit
Emily rescued this poor moth (an oak eggar and a tick for me) that she found in the middle of the footpath and was in danger of being trodden on. Very sad as it only had one wing and was unable to fly.
A group of flowering buddleias near the visitor centre had several nectaring red admirals and peacocks
The pristine red admiral in the photo above refused to open its wings so here's a photo of a tatty individual that did oblige.
Had a cup of tea and a slice of cake (for me the lemon drizzle loaf cake which was rather delicious) in the cafe.
And here's a few photos of a greylag goose
that when it came out of the water onto an island seemed to be doing a bird version of the "hokey cokey"!
You put your right leg in....
And shake it all about....
You put your left leg in...
and you put your head right in...
Arms stretch, Ra! Ra! Ra