Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Brandon Marsh

I do not normally go to Brandon on a Thursday due to the work that is carried out by the conservation team, but as today was my day off, and the sun was shining, and I am still in search of spring migrants, this was my destination.

Arriving at 0800 and staying until 1200, the pleasant sunshine allowed me to amass 54 bird species and quite a few year ticks. As I left, the rain began.

Grebe Pool seemed to hold most of the hirundines with 30+ Sand Martin's and 7 Swallow's. At least 6 Cettis Warblers were seen and heard around the reserve, and 30+ Lesser Redpoll were along the path near the Wright Hide. It was also pleasing to see and hear at least 5 Willow Warbler's and at least 8 Chiffchaff's. East Marsh Pool held at least 27 Common Snipe, 2 Redshank, 2 Oystercatcher's, 2 Little Ringed Plover's, and 2 Yellow Legged Gull's. The woodland held 3 Treecreeper's , 2 Nuthatch, and Blackcap. Raptors included Sparrowhawk and 4 Buzzards.

Emperor x Lesser White Front Goose

Emperor x Lesser White Front Goose




Canada Goose

Cettis Warbler

Cettis Warbler

Common Snipe

(More images on my website - see link opposite)

Todays Sightings:

Grey Lag Goose; Wood Pigeon; Robin; Pied Wagtail; Blue Tit; Song Thrush; Coal Tit; Great Tit; Chaffinch; Mallard; Carrion Crow; Magpie; Green Woodpecker; Dunnock; Chiffchaff; Blackbird; Jay; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Canada Goose; Tufted Duck; Sand Martin; Swallow; Cettis Warbler; Willow Warbler; Jackdaw; Wren; Stock Dove; Treecreeper; Coot; Long Tailed Tit; Mute Swan; Cormorant; Shoveler; Great Crested Grebe; Common Snipe; Lapwing; Blackcap; Moorhen; Redshank; Little Ringed Plover; Lesser Redpoll; Goldfinch; Teal; Grey Heron; Buzzard; Dabchick; Oystercatcher; Yellow Legged Gull; Pheasant; Nuthatch; Sparrowhawk; Water Rail.


Keith said...

Ahoy Kevin! Reference the Goose! The general consensus is that it's a cross Emperor x Lesser White-fronted Goose. It's been around since the first half of 2008, hope this helps.
Interested in your Yellow Legged Gull? Jim and I noticed these birds today too, they've been around now for about a week but we believe they are Lesser Blacked Backed (but I'm not a expert when it comes to Gulls!!!) what brought you to the conclusion of YLG? I'd be interested to know.


Keith Yates

Max Silverman said...

Well done with the Cetti's shots.They really are a swine to get.

Kevin Groocock said...

Keith, many thanks.
I have to say that I am no expert on Gulls and stand to be corrected on any ID issues - adds to the learning curve!
The Gulls wer on East Marsh and were viewed from both East Marsh and Wright Hides. At some point they both disappeared, returning later but were not seen by me in flight.
At first, I was considering Herring Gull, but these birds were looking much "cleaner" with white heads. The bill was heavy with a pronounced red spot. The birds had slightly differing "white mirrors" on the primaries - one seeemed to have slightly smaller mirrors. When the birds started to bathe, the legs were yellowy green. The backs were much paler (grey) than Lesser Black Backed and they had a slender appearance.
I appreciate that light conditions will have an effect on the birds colour impressions.
Discussion took place with those present in the hide and consensus favoured Yellow Legged.
I hope this helps (if succinct!) but notes and photographs were not taken at the time.

Kevin Groocock said...

Max - many thanks. I agree, Crttis are very difficult. These are my first images in two years!

Keith said...

Ahoy Kevin, thanks for the in-depth feedback on YLG, I really should bone up on them, I only get excited when I see one with no black on it!! I'll pass your comments on to JR. Happy Birding :)