18th of February 2012

WWT – Brandon Marsh

Species seen 55.

With rain forecast, I went out well equipped for all weathers. My thermals and waterproofs were indeed needed, as five minutes in to my walk the heavens opened with torrential rain which lasted a good hour.

My first stop was Horsetail Glade which was rather noisy due to the Carrion Crows at the top of the canopy. Those and few Great Tits were all to be seen. Rather than carry on being drenched, I made my way to the Steetley hide where it was couples day, two Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Coot, Moorhen, Gadwall and Canada Geese. Hanging around for half an hour produced funnily enough, two Jays.

Taking in the other hides all the usual regular birds were seen, however East Marsh Pool had two Pintail, which are a first for me at Brandon.

Other notables, Shelduck, Goldeneye and twenty three Snipe.

At three o’clock the rain stopped and within ten minutes the reserve was bright and sunny, this lasted for the rest of the afternoon. It also brought out the raptors, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Buzzard all seen. One Buzzard landed in a tree overlooking Teal Pool, spreading its wings like a Cormorant to dry out, it was immediately set about by two Carrion Crows which chased it off, and the same luckless bird was seen over East Marsh Pool being chased again.

When I arrived at the Carlton hide I came across the first people I’d seen all day, chatting to one of the photographers he’d seen a Bittern half an hour earlier, just my luck as I’ve not seen one since the 17th of December 2011. Then, right on cue a Bittern flew in from East Marsh and dropped in to the reeds directly opposite the hide, then up again briefly and down for a second time. It appears there were two Bittern and thankfully I got to see at least one.

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