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Work Party Dates:

11th November 2017 – 2 pm

9th December 2017 – 2 pm

6th January 2017 – 2 pm

10th February 2017 – 2 pm

10th March 2017 – 2 pm

Ringing Recovery

The second excellent ringing recovery in as many days concerned a female Cetti’s Warbler that was ringed at Marsh Lane on 4 November 2015 and recovered, almost exactly two years later on 29 October 2017 at Stortons Gravelpits, Northampton 55km East South East from Marsh Lane and 725 days later.

22nd November 2017

Mild, temperatures up to 15 degrees, blustery south-westerly wind.

Thrushes were on the move all morning with, for example, 65 Redwings and 25 Fieldfares through between 9.30 and 10.15. At least 45 Starlings were feeding on the Railway Pool islands and in amongst a ten strong Long-tailed Tit flock in the back gate copse there was at least one Treecreeper. Amongst the Black-headed Gull flock on Car Park Pool there were three Herring Gulls, two Lesser Black-backs and a Common Gull. A male Sparrowhawk that was about on and off for part of the morning was making the Lapwing and Starling flock very twitchy.

Finally, a flock of at least 25 Goldfinches could be seen feeding in the Alders at the north end of Siden Hill Wood.

21st November 2017

Overcast, south-westerly wind.

The only birds in the log today were a Grey Wagtail and five Snipe in the Marsh.

20th November 2017

Cloudy, westerly wind.

A drake Mandarin was a surprise find on Railway Pool this morning and other bits and pieces included a Little Egret on Dragonfly Pool and three Common Gulls and four Herring Gulls amongst the Black-heads and Lapwings on Car Park Pool, where there were also two Snipe.

The car park feeder remains a focal point for birds and there were 42 birds of 14 species counted this morning, as a maximum.

19th November 2017

Sunny and mild.

An adult Greater Black-backed Gull appeared with three Common Gulls, three Herring Gulls and at least 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on Car Park Pool before departing for the south at 12.30. A Kingfisher showed well on the Dragonfly Pool, there were at least two Goldcrests along the concrete road, Treecreepers by the Owl box on the central stream and earlier on the causeway and 20 Redwings and six Fieldfares along the Old Road.

Starling – Old Road near the Willow Tree – Photograph by Dave Shakespeare – 19th November 2017


Cormorant – 19th November 2017 – flying over Railway Pool – Photograph by Dave Sheakespeare


18th November 2017

Drizzly and cool all day.

There was an increase in Wigeon and Coot and a fall in Teal with numbers today as follows: 17 Mute Swans, 162 Greylags, one Canada, 254 Wigeon, 145 Teal, 29 Gadwall, 24 Mallard, 53 Shoveler, 11 Pochard, eight Tufted, 42 Cormorant, two Herons, 22 Moorhens, 88 Coot, 273 Lapwing, a single Snipe, 116 Black-headed Gulls, one Common Gull, 17 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, six Herring Gulls and the Cetti’s Warbler which spent the morning working its way along the path to River Hide on the Railway Pool side.

Four male and two female Bullfinches were feeding on the Guelder Rose berries by Railway Hide and there were four Yellowhammers in the crop field.

17th November 2017

Sunny, all day, remaining mild.

The only particularly noteworthy bird was a drake Goosander which was feeding and roosting on Car Park Pool with ten Pochard.

There were only three Snipe in front of Oak Hide, a Green Woodpecker and a Fox by Railway Hide and four Buzzards in total.

16 November 2017

Sunny and mild.

35 Fieldfares and 45 Redwings went over today, mostly in large flocks but with the odd straggler about. At least ten Skylarks also flew over to the south-west and there was a Grey Wagtail on Railway Pool briefly. A Sparrowhawk circled Car Park Pool around 9.45 am and returned a few minutes later, as a result of which the Lapwings and the Gulls were very skittish. These included at least six Lesser Black-backs and two Herring Gulls.


15 November 2017

Cloudy, mild (10 degrees), still.

There were 280 Lapwings on the car park pool islands this morning in amongst the Wigeon, Teal and Gadwall. There was a Bullfinch by the cottages, at least two Goldcrests by the car park log book box and five Redwings nearby.

A mixed flock of 50 winter Thrushes perched briefly in the trees around the car park at 9.15 but quickly moved off. The Tawny Owl showed briefly near the box on the central streamline and a Grey Wagtail and five Snipe showed well in the Marsh. The Cetti’s Warbler sang from the reeds in front of the north causeway hide.

14th November 2017

Cloudy with rain overnight into the 15th.

No records.

13th November 2017

Mostly fine.

Not a great deal to report today. On Car Park Pool there were three Common Gulls, two Herring Gulls and four Lesser Black-backs with eight Snipe on the margins. Both Green Woodpecker and Kestrel were seen from Oak Hide and at the car park feeder there were even Goldfinches, three Greenfinches, two Stock Doves and a Yellowhammer amongst other birds.

12th November 2017

Sunny all day but with cold north westerly

A first-winter drake Pintail was a new arrival this morning, seen on the flood plain on the marshy pool level with the bale store and feeding amongst Mallard.

A Kingfisher was again seen today and amongst the tally of large gulls were seven Common Gulls and seven Herring Gulls. A darker bird amongst the Herring Gulls, was initially thought to be a Yellow Legged but had pale pink feet and legs as opposed to yellow ones.

A Raven went over Railway Pool, there were a pair of Mistle Thrushes at Patrick Farm and 37 Cormorants roosted on Railway Pool.

At least 40 Starlings were present in the afternoon and were the early arrivals for the roost.

Lastly, eight Skylarks went over at 10.15am.

11th November 2017

Overnight rain, slow to clear, mostly cloudy throughout the day with a light westerly

The crop field was again lively for Finches with at least 40 Greenfinches, 50 Linnets and a Yellowhammer.

A few Thrushes and Larks were on the move with 25 Fieldfares, four Redwing, eight Skylarks and singles of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin over.

The main wildfowl counts today were 13 Mute Swans (eight adults and five juveniles), 195 Greylags, the Greylag Canada and the Barnacle Greylag crosses, two Canadas, 182 Wigeon, 199 Teal, 22 Gadwall, 33 Mallard, 120 Shoveler, 17 Pochard, eight Tufted, 33 Cormorants, two Herons, three Little Grebes, 17 Moorhen, 65 Coot, 291 Lapwing, nine Snipe, 230 Black-headed Gulls, three Common Gulls and three Lesser Black-back Gulls. The total number of ducks today amounted to 581.

A Kingfisher was present on the Dragonfly Pool and in the evening, 250-300 Starlings roosted in the Reed Bed whilst the Cetti’s Warbler was on Railway Pool by the end of the causeway.

Seven attended the work party. Tern Island was strimmed, Willows and other trees were removed from the Marsh and four Tern rafts were rehabilitated. Thanks to those that attended.

10th November 2017

Overnight rain clearing, mostly sunny, blustery west north westerly .

Although there did not appear to be as many Finches around today, there was still a flock of 20 Goldfinches at the south end of the Reed Bed, in the Alders, and at least 25 Greenfinches in the crop field with eight Linnets, five Chaffinches and two Yellowhammers. Of three Redpolls that went over, one appeared to be distinctly bigger with a much deeper call and seemed a good candidate for Mealy.

A Raven went over to the north west as did eight Stock Doves and there were four Common Gulls amongst 80 Black-headed Gulls on Car Park Pool.


Please see below details of a Black-headed Gull that was ringed as a nestling in 2016 and has subsequently been seen at both Brandon Marsh and within the last few days in North Spain, just west of Bilbao.

9th November 2017

Initially high cloud, slowly clearing, south-westerly wind.

This morning’s highlight was a Woodcock which was accidentally flushed from the back gate copse and appeared to drop into one of the compounds.

Otherwise the Reserve both in the bushes and overhead was lively with 25 Redwing dropping into the back gate area at 8.12 am before flying off at 8.30 and another 57 went over, mostly to the north. Six were feeding on the railway embankment with a further five along the causeway and there were at least three Song Thurshes amongst them.

Finches were also in good numbers with a flock of at least 70 Goldfinches by the back gate, 50 Greenfinches around the car park before moving to the causeway to feed on rose hips and hawberries, five Yellowhammers in the crop field, at least 30 Chaffinches over with a further 20 unidentified Finches moving south and Bullfinches on the causeway, by the back gate and on the railway embankment.

Pochard numbers have jumped to 27 this morning. A Grey Wagtail dropped into Railway Pool and a Green Woodpecker showed well on the railway embankment with a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the car park feeders. Lastly, there were seven Common Gulls on Car Park Pool.


8th November 2017

Sunny, frosty with some mist over the pools.

Approximately 15 Redwings were on the Old Road between the cottages and the car park and at least one Yellowhammer and two Greenfinches were on the car park feeder.

A Kingfisher, three Snipe, a Kestrel and a Heron were all noted from Oak Hide later in the day and two Muntjac were seen along the river.

7th November 2017

Mostly wet, cold.

The only records in the log book were of ten Pochards and four Snipe.

6th November 2017

Sunny, cool, light north-westerly wind.

The crop field was lively this morning with one, possibly two Bramblings, 20 Greenfinches, ten Chaffinches, 70 Linnets and three Yellowhammers, whilst the gathering of Gulls on the pools consisted of 12 Common Gulls, 46 Lesser Black-backs and seven Herring Gulls. A late Common Darter was feeding around the margins of the Dragonfly Pool and there was a Little Egret on Car Park Pool. In the evening, approximately 200 Starlings roosted in the Reedbed and there was a Grey Wagtail in front of Oak Hide and about 20 Redwings also.

5th November 2017

Mostly sunny, occasional showers, cool, north-westerly wind.

Another gathering of larger Gulls on Car Park Pool this morning comprised two adult Yellow-legged Gulls, ten Common Gulls (the best count of the autumn), five Herring Gulls and 32 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, whilst at least eight Herring Gulls and ten Lesser Black-backs moved west.

The other highlight was a female Brambling in the Old Road hedge near the car park feeder in the afternoon.

The Greylag / Barnacle hybrid was again amongst the Geese and the Linnet flock in the crop field has increased to 40 birds, with a single Yellowhammer.

A visible migration watch by the mobile phone mast between 7.30 am and 10.30 am yielded an impressive 3,150 Wood Pigeons along with six Stock Doves; 131 Fieldfares; 56 Redwings; 202 Starlings; three Pied Wagtails; five Skylarks; five Chaffinches; four Meadow Pipits and one Collared Dove. All of the above were going south-west with the exception of the Starlings which were all due-west and the Collared Dove which went due-east.

Also in the area there were ten Goldfinches, a pair of Red-legged Partridges opposite Patrick Farm, a single Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, plus at least three Buzzards; and in the west field by the mobile phone mast there were three Common Snipe and two Jack Snipe.

A Reed Warbler controlled at Marsh Lane on the 25th August 2017 had previously been ringed in the nest at Rostherne Mere, Knutsford, Cheshire on 8th July 2017.

Female Brambling in the trees behind the old feeder by the small pool near the car park – 5th November 2017 – photograph by Dave Shakespeare.

4th November 2017

Overnight rain, slowly clearing, westerly wind.

Two weeks after the first two Hawfinches were seen, another nine flew over north-west in exactly the same place, by the mobile phone mast. The birds came low from the Siden Hill Wood direction and appeared to drop down towards Hampton, but were not seen again. The continued and unprecedented national movement of this species continues. 89 Fieldfare and 51 Redwing moved south along with four Siskins.

The Tawny Owl showed well along the central streamline where it was mobbed by two Jay. 335 Black-headed Gulls was the best count so far this autumn and Duck numbers show an increase in a number of species as set out below. The full counts today were: 12 Mute Swans, 313 Greylags, one Greylag / Canada cross, one Barnacle / Greylag cross, one Farmyard Goose, one Canada, 180 Wigeon, 45 Gadwall, 177 Teal, 24 Mallard, 121 Shoveler, a drake Pochard, seven Tufteds, 29 Cormorants, two Herons, one Little Egret, four Little Grebes, eight Moorhen, 65 Coots, 269 Lapwing, one Snipe, two Sparrowhawk, one Cetti’s Warbler, 20 Linnets around the crop field, 335 Black-headed Gulls, three Common Gulls, two Herring Gulls and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls.


3rd November 2017

High cloud and misty

Thrushes were on the move this morning with 45 Fieldfare and 75 Redwings through by 8am along with 20 Stock Doves, seven Linnets, five Greenfinches and five Chaffinches. There was also a Little Egret on site and the ringers had caught, amongst other things, this male Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

A further 100 Redwings went south later in the morning and there was a flock of 25 Linnets feeding in the crop field.


2nd November 2017

Sunny intervals, remaining mild.

Slightly more varied range of birds this morning included a pair of Goosanders and a Shelduck, the first returning bird of the Winter and in addition, there was a single Raven, two Common Gulls and a Water Rail.

1st November 2017

Mostly sunny.

Little to report ! There were a pair of Bullfinches on the railway embankment, two Snipe in front of Oak Hide and a few winter Thrushes scattered across the Reserve.