Wednesday, 19 June 2013
A Trip to my Favourite Local Nature Reserve
I felt the need to "escape" for a while today so decided to visit Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve.
Brandon Marsh is a Site of Special Scientific Interest located to the east of Coventry and is the headquarters of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve covers around 200 acres and is a mosaic of pools, wetlands, grasslands, scrubland, reedbeds and woodland.
After walking through Hope Wood I spent some time near the Wind Pump overlooking Grebe Pool searching for Dingy Skipper as I knew one had been seen at the weekend. No Skippers but I did spot my first Small Copper butterfly of the year.
I walked round Grebe Pool (it felt very hot!!!) and paused by Goose Pool to take a quick photo of a Mute Swan.
I spent some time in the Jon Baldwin hide overlooking East Marsh Pool. There was an Oystercatcher on a nearby small island
and close by one of her young. - Sorry record shot only - sadly the 70-300mm telephoto lens with no IS has limitations!
In this photo you can see the artificial Sand Martin nest banks which were being used.
Common Terns were on the nesting rafts and I could see a Redshank on another of the islands. The former a new species for the year list.
Yellow irises are coming into flower on Central Marsh.
I walked along the path to Carlton Hide
View from Carlton Hide which overlooks a pool and Newlands Reed Bed. Saw a Common Whitethroat from this hide - another news species for 2013.
The dead tree in the distance often has Hobby (and sometimes Cuckoo) perched in it - sadly neither were showing today whilst I was in the hide. I didn't even hear a cuckoo today which was one of my main reasons for visiting!
Damselflies were flying round nettles as I left the hide. I am still trying to work out if they were Azure or Common Blue damselflies - I do wish I'd had an id guide with me at the time!
Edit: Many thanks to David Turner for confirming this as Azure.
Walking back along the path
I spotted a Cardinal Beetle crawling along.
Also this day-flying carpet - again not sure of species. Possibly either Silver-ground or Common Carpet??
Edit: Many thanks again to David for identifying this moth as Common Carpet
The reserve was fairly quiet bird-wise today although I did get sidetracked with butterflies and damselflies! I also saw several Brimstone and Red Admirals and various Whites.
A year or so ago Water Voles were re-introduced onto the Reserve and I did hear they had been quite heavily predated by Grey Heron :( However, it was good to see a note in the Sightings Book at the Reserve Visitor Centre that one had been spotted today.