15 November 2015

Getting away from dip, dip, dip, dip

After a week-and-a-bit of repeatedly dipping Napton's bearded tits (still not seen them after four, possibly five, visits) it was nice just to amble around Brandon Marsh with no particular agenda.

It was a decent session in the end, but blimey was it hard work to start with. The high wind didn't help, although thankfully we missed out on the forecast heavy rain. But the main challenge was finding any birds to get the pulse racing.

Out on East Marsh the winter wildfowl dominated - a handful of mallards and five tufties were overwhelmed by autumn incomers, with 40+ shoveler, 70+ teal and perhaps as many as 120 wigeon. Most welcome they were too, since when there's not much else on I can easily while away the hours watching, and listening to, a big flock of wigeon.

There were just three lapwing on the marsh, although later in the day 100+ did wheel in low overhead.

A long stint in the Ted Jury Hide produced absolutely nothing beyond a close-in moorhen which became my object of interest for 20 minutes or so as it picked its way through the water-weeds looking for morsels to eat. 

Fortunately things livened up on the walk back.

First a marsh tit 'sneezed' and then showed well as I left the hide. Then a little diversion down to the Riverpool Hide turned up a lesser redpoll, a good size tit flock and a kestrel. From the hide I caught a tantalising glimpse of a drake duck which was just a little too plain  in the face and a little too grey to be a mallard - almost certainly a female pintail.

Just before I reached the visitor centre a little gang of five siskin stopped beside me, and at the feeders there were reed bunting, coal tits and a nuthatch (sadly the brambling, with I definitely wasn't looking for *crosses fingers* didn't turn up).

Bird of the day: Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) - we are all of us I'm sure guilty of being blinded to the majesty of this waterbird by its sheer ubiquity. But from it's blue-black head and bellow to its buff-brown back, from its pristine white tail to its glorious red-and-yellow bill, it's a stunner that birders can rely on from park pond to windswept nature reserve.

1 comment:

George Burton said...

Love moorhens too Hornet. I always take time admire them when fishing even though they are there every time.

Marsh tit's always a nice tick too