"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Brandon Marsh NR

I visited Brandon Marsh NR, Warwickshire, yesterday afternoon for a couple of hours. It was cold but pleasant walking in the Spring sunshine and I managed to start catching up with some of the summer visitors. I put the 70-300mm telephoto zoom on the camera before leaving home but the birds were too far away really for attempts at photography so the photos below are a few poor "record" shots!.

As I drove along the entrance road I spotted a couple of Pheasants and tried to get some more photos of this species for Chris at Las Aventuras. My field skills aren't up to much and this is the view of the male Pheasant "legging" it away as I got out of the car.

Mrs Pheasant wasn't keen on my presence either!

There weren't many birds around as I started my walk through Horsetail Glade but plenty of bracket fungi growing on trees.

As I walked across Central Marsh I spotted my first Peacock butterfly of the year and the Marsh Marigolds are coming into flower.

On the path by Teal Pool there were more bracket fungi

and one of the species of Speedwell is flowering. No sign of the mining bees I saw digging burrows in the sandy soil under one of the Oak trees around this time last year.

There were plenty of Teal be seen on the appropriately named Teal Pool and I saw my first Redshank of the year. I spent a while in East Marsh Hide overlooking East Marsh Pool watching Oystercatchers, Lapwing, Shelduck, Shovelers, etc., and had my first sighting of Little Ringed Plovers.

I carried onto Carlton Hide overlooking a small pool and Newlands Reedbed and saw my first Swallow and Chiffchaff of the year. I managed to get a few shots of Coots - you might be able to make out the nest hidden amongst the reeds with the female in situ and the male is carrying some twigs to add to the nest.

There is a new short footpath to a viewing screen over Newlands where you can see the Osprey Platform that has been erected in the hope of attracting this species. It would be wonderful if it was successful. I did try to get a photo but I'm not very tall and couldn't see properly out of the viewing holes in the screen let alone get my camera to focus!

I retraced my steps stopping off at the John Baldwin Hide where I usually manage to get some photos but today the only bird remotely close enough was this Canada Goose.

There were more butterflies along the path - 2 more Peacocks and a male Orange Tip but no sign of the tame Robins on the corner by Goose and Grebe Pool.

I didn't have time to walk the full Onyx Nature Trail which goes by the golf course and through New Hare Covert but I walked around Grebe Pool seeing Great Spotted Woodpecker and a female Blackcap. The Wren in the photo below was singing its heart out seconds before.

A view of Goose Pool from by the Wind Pump

Ths windpump is used to transfer water to the top reed bed.

More Marsh Marigolds around the Dipping Pool near the Education Centre

and an Insect House

A couple of sculptures located by the entrance to the Visitor Centre

Map of Reserve

I managed to see 31 species during my walk which I was pleased with in the short time I was there.
I'm still hoping for a Water Vole sighting after their re-introduction to the Reserve last year - but it was a shame to hear from one of the ladies on reception that herons have been seen disposing of some of the voles.


ShySongbird said...

Lots of lovely photos and obviously a very nice visit, I enjoyed my walk with you. It really does look a nice place, I just wish it wasn't around an hour away from me :-(

I haven't seen any Marsh Marigolds yet this year, I do like them!

Nice to see the busy Coots, let's hope they are successful :-)

Rohrerbot said...

Thank you so much for posting birds and statues from your walk! Just capturing the pheasants along the walk is a real treat to see on camera. I'm trying to recapture a moment I had in my childhood and figure out something I had seen from my childhood. In my homestate of Wisconsin, I remember Pheasants running around my Grandparents backyard. I was 6 or 7. The adults were drinking Old Fashions and the kids were left to run in the back fields. So I followed these birds to the secret woods where they hung out on branches. I remember the red and I remember that they weren't wild turkeys. I have yet to see these birds in the wild back home and when I bring it up to people, they don't remember them. But I know they existed. During the summer, I am going to find out what happened to them and walk the walk I did as a kid. A suburb and road cuts through the prairie now and the woods have probably been all cut down....but I have to know what has happened to these birds. Thank you for posting them....and the statues are really unique....the owl one especially:)

kirstallcreatures said...

Thirty one species is a good number of sightings, nice to read of your first Peacock of the year & the orange tip sighting. Fingers crossed that the Ospreymake an appearance. We enjoyed Osprey sightings at Rutland water a couple of years ago, wonderful birds. Linda

Graham High said...

Great pictures Caroline, I'll have to pay the site a visit.

Ragged Robin said...

Shy Songbird - Many thanks. I do hope you manage to visit Brandon one day. It takes me about 35 minutes and I so wish I lived closer as I think I would be there several times a week :)

Marsh marigolds are lovely I have to agree! We have a couple of plants around our garden pond but they always flower much later - last year I thought I had lost them they were that late.

Chris - glad you liked the pheasants :). I do hope you find out what happened to your pheasants from your childhood - it sounds a great project when you next return and I do hope you'll do a post on it.

Its upsetting to see how places have changed since childhood. I remember so many places close to where I grew up that were countryside and have now become "urban sprawl" and disappeared under housing estates and shopping parks.

Glad you like the statues too!

Linda - Many thanks. I saw an osprey once on passage at Brandon Marsh and it would be great news if they did at some stage nest there. I haven't seen them at Rutland Water but we did visit Bassenthwaite in the Lake District and saw them many years ago at Loch Garten. Beautiful birds.

Graham - Many thanks - Although I am totally biased as Brandon Marsh is one of my very favourite places (!) it is well worth a visit. Hope you get chance to go.

Toffeeapple said...

That is a lovely place to walk, 31 species is very good. I've been in Scotland where I saw a Golden Eagle and a Black Grouse, I felt blessed!

Central Birder said...

Great report for Brandon Marsh, it really is a very special place indeed.

Lot's more migrants turning up every day too. I'm looking forward to going over again very soon.

Kind regards


Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Sounds like you had a great time in Scotland - I'd be over the moon with the eagle and black grouse sighting too!

Steve - Many thanks - as you say it is very special there.

Look forward to hearing about your next visit.

All the best


Rohrerbot said...

Sometimes posting comments make me lazy in the spelling and word department. Many apologies. I can write better than that:) Urban sprawl makes me angry....I'll post those pics in June sometime....it seems so far away. The trip is over 2000 miles away in the North....and it's quite different from where I live now. I'm a bit afraid to go back because I might be a little sad. The only thing saving part of it will be the swamp area. It's the only thing protected:)

Ragged Robin said...

Chris - I didn't notice any spelling mistakes in your last comment although I often find them in mine! Its a long trip to make and sometimes its hard to go back when places may have changed (and not for the better). Glad to hear at least the swamp is protected :). Hope you do have a good trip though.

I thought of you yesterday when I went out with a friend and as we were driving along the entrance drive to Packwood a woman was shooing a beautiful and strangely marked pheasant out of the road. It ran in the field alongside my car like a roadrunner! I was ever so annoyed as I couldn't stop to take a photo as the road is single track and I had a delivery lorry behind me!