"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, 12 October 2018

Brandon Marsh NR

It was such a lovely autumnal day on Wednesday that B and I decided to visit Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve. Unfortunately we left later than intended (B made the mistake of ringing an ex-work colleague he hadn't seen for years and was on the phone for 2 hours!) and then, due to roadworks the M6 South was very congested resulting in the journey taking us half an hour longer than usual! So we didn't spend as long on the reserve as planned and it also meant that when we got back from our walk the tearoom was closed so no cake! We did, however, spend a relaxing and peaceful 2 hours wandering round this lovely reserve which is my favourite.

Brandon Marsh is the headquarters of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the reserve covers 228 acres with 10 main pools and over 230 bird species seen. The range of habitats includes open water, reedbeds, wetland, grassland and woodland.

Mosaics in the Sensory Garden

We walked onto the reserve through Hope Wood and then took the path by the pump that leads around Grebe Pool


In New Hare Covert we watched a Nuthatch for about 10 minutes - sorry no pictures - it was too fast for me zipping from tree to tree and up and down tree trunks.

My toadstool id skills are woeful although it looks like one of the bracket fungi but really have no idea which one!

By the path that skirts Swallow Pool with a golf course on the other side where we spotted a Small Copper butterfly.

Newlands Reedbed

Swallow Pool with Mute Swans. Whenever I walk past this pool I remember the occasion when I watched a Kingfisher going in and out of its nesting cavity on a sandy bank some years ago.

East Marsh Pool from Wright Hide - into the sun so it was difficult to check bird species

More fungi

We just had time to visit one more hide so took the path

that leads to the Jon Baldwin hide so we could view East Marsh Pool without the sun being in our eyes.

Greater Reedmace

East Marsh pool where we stayed awhile watching Mallard, Grey Heron, Teal, Shoveler, Cormorants, Lapwings and Coots.

Artificial Sand Martin nesting banks

We saw several flowers while walking round - Dandelion, Herb Robert, Ragwort, Yarrow and

White Dead-Nettle

and Red Campion

Bramble flowers and Blackberries (most have now "gone over")

Hips are forming

Goose Pool

This year's Alder cones forming

Finally, back at the Visitor Centre

Pied Wagtail

Although we didn't spend as long there as we had hoped we had a lovely walk and there is always plenty of wildlife to see on the Reserve which is usually surprisingly quiet people-wise :)

All photos taken by me with the Pansonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera


Midmarsh John said...

Love the mosaics and the carved fox. There is certainly plenty of variety to find there.

Ragged Robin said...

Midmarsh John - Thanks so much. The reserve is really rather good.

Dean Stables said...

Great photos again Caroline, from what looks a beautiful place.

Rosie said...

Wedesday was such a wonderful day wasn't it? It is really windy and rainy here today. The Wildlife reserve looks wonderful and I'm glad you enjoyed yout time there even though it was less than you hoped for and with missed cake too! There looks to be a wonderful variety of wildlife to see. I love the carved fox:)

Ragged Robin said...

Dean Stables - Thanks so much. It is very beautiful and tranquil there. I just wish I lived a bit closer!

Rosie - Thanks so much. Yes, Wednesday lovely and, as you say, weather not good since! The carved fox is part of a memorial tree where they hang "memory leaves" people can buy to celebrate the life of a loved one.

The Wessex Reiver said...

For the life of me I can't recall why I think I know Brandon Marsh NNR. Your images are not jogging my memory, but the name seems familiar. That said Wednesday was a cracker of a day, despite your M6 and two hour phone calls..

Ragged Robin said...

The Wessex Reiver - Thanks so much Andrew. Brandon Marsh is the flagship reserve of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust if that is any help. I used to do quite a lot of posts on visits there. Thanks again :)

CherryPie said...

It was a wonderfully sunny day on Wednesday and it looks like you made the most of it. Brandon Marsh looks so interesting, it is a shame your visit was shorter than you had intended.

I visited Attingham Park on that sunny day. Going out on such a sunny day in October was an opportunity not to be missed :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Cherrypie - Thank you. It was weatherwise beautiful and as you say too good an opportunity to miss :)

amanda peters said...

Two hours well spent as it's such a lovely place, from the photos it could be June. With the weather been so nice and warm the trees I think are taking a little longer to turn.

The third fungi looks like honey fungus, which I think you mentioned the other day.(The one I found at Harewood ) The trouble ; other than looking the same, fungi can change so much as it grows. Did start a fungi list but gave up. Might try again this year.

Lovely set of photos, especially the swan and the path through the trees.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much. It was so warm - t shirt weather :)

Thanks for the tip re: honey fungus :) Yes you are right about them changing as they grow plus there is so much to check re: id other than general appearance e.g. the smell, the underside etc. etc. The only 3 I really can id are Fly Agaric, Shaggy Inkcap and Puff ball!!! One thing is certain I would never be risking any picking and eating!!

Pam said...

Looks like a gorgeous day, lovely photos, it almost looks like summer! (2 hours on the phone though, I thought I was bad lol!!)

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks so much! 2 hours was a bit excessive - I was really fed up at one point as I was expecting a phone call on the landline but it turned out he was using his mobile!

Caroline Gill said...

What a lovely outing, RR, even without cake! And what a beautiful day. Autumn and winter are my least favourite seasons (I know I'm out of step with many here...), but I do love the colours ... the leaves, the hips and haws etc.

I seem to have been busy with poetry assignments (and the running of a local poetry competition), but must post something again soon! Incidentally, I've seen more Peacock butterflies in the last few days (three) than I think I saw at any one time over the whole of the hot summer. And we've also had a few ladybirds about - mostly but not exclusively Harlequin. I've just started 'Common Ground', which I think I'm going to enjoy: I expect you have read it already.

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much. I do like the Autumn as long as it isn't wet and dreary! Winter probably my least favourite season!

You have been busy but I hope you can write a post when things go quieter as I miss them. That is so interesting about Peacock butterflies as it has been a poor year here for them along with Small Tortoiseshells and Red Admirals. Usually see the latter quite a bit at this time of year in the garden but not this year. Did see a Speckled Wood last week. Quite a few Harlequins here too especially coming into the house to hibernate!

I hope you enjoy Common Ground - I found it refreshingly different and it does encourage you to look at your local area in a different light.

Caroline Gill said...

Yes, RR, 'Common Ground' is certainly making me view our landscape in a different way: I love the different perspectives that keep popping up in the book - and if my favourite murmuration description is by Mark Cocker in 'Crow Country', my favourite Swift descriptions have to be in 'CG'.

Ragged Robin said...

Caroline Gill - So glad you are enjoying CG - "Crow Country" is one of my favourite books :) I am currently reading a book called "Waiting for the Albino Dunnock" by Rosamund Richardson which is full of the most beautiful nature writing and by coincidence she has just been describing swifts :)