11th of February 2012
WWT – Brandon Marsh
Species seen 57.
The weather was fabulous for the time of year, clear blue skies all afternoon. Upon arrival the car park area threw up the usual common birds, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Greenfinch, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a not so common sighting these days , Tree Sparrows. Above the sound of a Buzzard was heard which then flew from beyond the elms to make an appearance.
My route around the reserve began with a slow walk through Horsetail Glade while trying to keep noise down, I found it almost impossible, due to the snow and ice. A drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard high in the trees along with a Green Woodpecker letting the whole glade know it was leaving. Many of trees are showing evidence of woodpeckers tapping, with bark missing and peck marks etc. Also seen were Goldcrest, Tree creeper, Redwing, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Wren and Robin.
Moving on to the pools, each one being frozen with the exception of a small area of East Marsh pool which was packed with the usual wildfowl and geese, I finally ended up in the Carlton hide. Two Water Rail produced high entertainment with them trying to walk briskly across the ice, every now and then they would slip and once restarted on their trek, and then they would slip again. Extremely amusing in a childish way!
Raptors seen over Newlands reed beds were 3 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.