"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

Friday, 6 April 2018

An Afternoon Walk on my Favourite Nature Reserve

It was such a lovely Spring day yesterday - warm and sunny - that B and I decided to make a long overdue trip to Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve. A view of a Brimstone butterfly (my first of the year) as we turned into the drive to the reserve was a good start to the visit.

Brandon Marsh is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and has been the headquarters of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust since 1992. It has a good variety of habitats - pools, marsh, reedbed, grassland and woodland.

This is the garden at the rear of the Visitor Centre

We decided to take the path that skirts round the back of Grebe Pool as it is usually quieter than the main paths.

There weren't many birds around this area but we did see another 3 Brimstones and a Peacock butterfly (another first for the year).

Then onto into New Hare Covert where Dog's Mercury is beginning to flower.

We watched a pair of Nuthatches for some minutes who were prospecting a hole in a tree for a possible nest site. Hopefully, we will be going to the reserve more often so next time I will check to see if they are using it.

Dandelions - so good for pollinators- are starting to flower.

There were Greylag and Canada Geese on the golf club which at this point borders the reserve.

Swallow Pool - here we saw Coots, Mute Swans and a Gadwall.

Part of Newlands Reedbed.

East Marsh Pool where we popped into Wright Hide for a while but

we were looking into the sun so not the best of conditions for looking for birds. We did, however, see Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Black-headed Gulls and a lone Oystercatcher.

Ryton-on-Dunsmore is in the far distance (the camera was on full zoom) - one day I really must visit the church there.

A rubbish photo but it was good to see a Cowslip in flower.

After leaving the hide we walked past Grebe Pool and arrived at

Goose Pool where there were several Canada Geese plus a tame Robin which decided to disappear the minute I decided to take a photo!

Normally at this stage of our visit we take a path that leads to several hides overlooking East Marsh and Teal pools and the Newlands Reedbed but I had seen reports that part of the reserve were flooded so instead at this stage we took a path at the side of Goose Pool and then walked through Horsetail Glade where we watched a Treecreeper carrying nesting material.

A Song Thrush foraged amongst leaf litter just yards from us.

Finally, back to the Visitor Centre - next time I will get some photos of the Geology Wall mentioned in this Information Board.

Sir David Attenborough opened the new Visitor Centre some years ago - such a charming man who was so kind to D and E when they queued for his autograph.

Even the tiles in the loo have a wildlife theme! :)

A quick visit to the tearoom before we left for tea and cake.

List of Birds seen including several new species for the 2018 year list

Blue Tit
Greylag Goose
Canada Goose
Long-tailed Tit
Mute Swan
Tufted Duck
Black-headed Gull
Carrion Crow
Grey Heron
Song Thrush
Feral Pigeon
Wood Pigeon
Great Tit
Reed Bunting

I was hoping to see some newly arrived Chiffchaffs and Sand Martins but it was not to be. Perhaps next time..............


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

That's a much nicer day than we had! Awful wind too

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thank you Simon. It was a really lovely day yesterday - today was much windier!!

Dean Stables said...

Hi Ragged Robin, good to see you're still blogging.

Rosie said...

It was a lovely day yesterday and you saw so many different birds and butterflies on your walk, it looks a lovely place to visit. I like the nature themed tiles:)

Ragged Robin said...

Dean Stables - Thanks so much and it really is so good to hear from you again. I have so missed your comments and blog - if you start a new one please let me know.

Rosie - Thanks - if you are ever in the area Brandon Marsh really is worth a visit :)

Dean Stables said...

Thank you for your kind words RR. I had a few tough years with depression & anxiety..but i'm in a happy place now and have been for the last 12 month. Now i have a new life (in Glasgow) & a new blog to go with it

Ragged Robin said...

Dean Stables - I am so pleased that you feel so much better and happier. Good to see you having a new life and thanks so much for the blog link - I had tried the one's on your profile which seemed to have been closed - I look forward to reading your posts. Thanks again so much for getting in touch - really glad to hear from you. With very best wishes Caroline

Dean Stables said...

Thank you so much for your kind words Caroline.

Ragged Robin said...

Dean Stables - Thank you Dean and take care. Caroline

CherryPie said...

This seems like a perfect day for a spring walk. Your photos are delightful :-)

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you - yes it was a lovely day.

Pam said...

It's so nice to see the sun isn't it! It's looks like a great place for a walk, lovely photos, especially of the Song Thrush, the way they tilt their heads make me think they always look inquisitive!

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks so much. I could kick myself now but I was so close to the thrush and should have got much better photos. I still struggle using the camera and trying to find the object I am trying to photograph on screen!!!!

amanda peters said...

Looks like you had a lovely day out, so nice to see the sun shining. I do think plants and flowers are a few weeks behind compared to some years though.

The Song Thrush is beautiful.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much Amanda. Yes, I also think that plants and flowers are behind this year.

David Gascoigne said...

Looks like a great place to ramble, and how could I not appreciate the presence of Canada Geese!

Ragged Robin said...

David Gascoigne - Thank you so much - glad you liked the geese :)

Toffeeapple said...

My word, what a long list you have!

Love the tiles, very original and charming.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Thank you - ha ha re: the list :) Great reserve for birds so always easy to see many. :)

Caroline Gill said...

I've been away ... largely on the Isle of Wight (with many of your tips to hand! Thank you so much for your posts about your special places. We had a cold but lovely time). So I am way behind with reading and responding to posts. But what a marvellous nature reserve and a very good bird list. I'm glad to see Timothy in his scarf and I kept thinking of Osborne and Tennyson while we were on the island. The choc. shortbread looks excellent!

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much. So pleased to hear that you have been to the Isle of Wight and enjoyed and also that some of my tips may have been useful. Feel a tad jealous as I love the place so much (we have talked of moving there although a bit difficult as my son and daughter still live at home and I worry about them finding jobs). We are going though a bit later in the year. I will take OSbourne and Tennyson with me although not sure whether Timothy will approve - will have to take him too!!!! if room!

Brandon Marsh is lovely - my favourite nature reserve and one thing I would miss if we moved away.

Thanks again and I do hope you do some posts on your holiday :)

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, RR, for the comment you left on my W&W blog. I have never seen Swallowtails in Cambridgeshire, though they used to be at Wicken Fen. This is helpful:


and I would particularly add the Norfolk Wildlife Trust site at Hickling Broad where we have seen the Swallowtail caterpillars...

WWT Welney near Ely is good in the summer (avocet chicks!) but particularly good for swan migration in winter.

Caroline Gill said...

RR, I have just sent an email to the Gmail a/c linked to your blog...

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Thank you. That rings a bell that Swallowtails used to be there. Thanks for the link will check out. I think Hickling Broad is the place where I have read about sightings. That is the place i.e. WWT WelneyI had a CRAFT moment! We nearly went to Ely for the day on my 60th birthday - I rather optimistically thought we could fit in the cathedral and Welney but it is December time and from memory the reserve was flooded! so we never went.

I will check my emails :)