Saturday, 26 June 2010

Brandon Marsh - a relaxing day

I'd dropped Gemma off in the middle of Coventry and now had five hours to spare..... Not a rarity in sight (hardly a surprise) and nothing within range either, what could I do? Good old 'Where to watch birds' came to the rescue - a glance through likely reserves nearby turned up Brandon Marsh. I'd never been there before but it was sure gonna beat the centre of Coventry!

Managed by Warwickshire WT, I paid my dues (£2.50) and fair play, there was a car park which felt safe, a much better than most visitor centre (if you like that sort of thng) and plenty of cold drinks and ice cream available (boy, was it hot!).....

The staff were knowledgable too, advising where to go for what and an old chestnut soon emerged - why is it always a fact that the most productive hide is always the one furthest away!

Never mind, only 15 minutes walk, I eventually reached Carlton Hide and chilled for the next two hours......

Plenty of warblers singing: Garden, Willow, Blackcap, Chiff, Sedge and Reed and a briefly obliging Cettis' Warbler.

A room with a view.....






Notice the long 'roach poles' attached to fence posts? Clearly there to attract one species and for a 20 mins or so period it didn't disappoint - got my first half decent Kingfisher images of the year on the nearer pole (Do I need any more??!)






The Kingfisher stayed tantalizingly on the distant pole however but occasionally favoured a more natural launch post....






Plenty of Common Terns busy fishing in the area but only one frame filling close encounter.....






For most of the time I was in this hide, a Hobby perched in a dead tree kept me on my toes, I never once got him close enough in flight as he left and returned - I decided to see where he was hunting.....

The move to East Marsh hide, was a winner and I spent the next 90 minutes or so, in between 'rest breaks', watching the Hobby hawking dragonflies over the water!

Here he comes.....






Prey firmly gripped and eaten on the wing.....








In flight action.......








The other hides gave different views of the main complex of water/scrapes or were fairly unproductive. I have to say, overall I enjoyed the visit though - nice to do some relaxed birding for a change, no long drive / chase and a chance to rekindle a former interest in dragonflies? Hmm, might have a local session on these......

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