Monday, April 03, 2006

Brandon Marsh (Coventry)

Saturday was spent at Brandon Marsh, a nature reserve run (very well) by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (and at £30 for an annual adult membership for 2, with 55 sites to visit - we joined!). Check out this link: Weather was changeable with some strong showers followed by gusty winds, but the dry spells brought some excellent sightings!

Additions to our list of UK birds were:

In the first (and only) hide we went in to, to shelter from a heavy shower, we watched a pair of Common Buzzards drifting over a marsh area and behind some trees. We have seen one before, but not two in such proximity.
Cetti's Warbler - a local expert pointed out the area they reside in and said 'of course you wont see them' we got there and briefly saw a pair. They darted around and out of sight before after a 5 minute or so wait one re-appeared, I tracked him for about a minute before he disappeared out of sight. The occasional burst of song was another giveaway!
Sand Martin - true I've seen lots of these before but they didn't count (nothing counted before we started counting, if that makes any sense!). Lots of Sand Martins about 'cricking' their way through the air, performing some remarkable acrobatics in the wind.
We were discussing the differences between Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows - when a Barn Swallow appeared overhead to illustrate the point very clearly :)
Finally, heading out of the reserve to a well deserved cup of tea and in fading light, we found a small group of Lesser Redpoll's.

Managed to get some good snaps of some of the locals, including a Dunnock:

Sand Martin:

Great Tit:

Lesser Redpoll:

Long-tailed Tit:


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