Another nice day on the cards so off I went arriving at Marston for 8am, I was greeted by the normal Chaffinch, Great and Blue Tits walking down to the hide. 4 Greylags were in the turf field on the left as were a pair of Oystercatchers. A Grey Heron flew past coming from the direction of Marston village.
I got settled in the hide and was greeted by the sight of a Green Sandpiper & male Pheasant directly in front of the hide, the Sandpiper soon flew off to the opposite side of the scrape, I heard a Cettis Warbler that was very close to the left hand side of the hide no more than 20 feet away judging by the volume of the song it was knocking out!
Not a lot to be seen really a pair of Gadwall, a dozen Greylags, a lone Lapwing several Wood Pigeons and Magpies flying around and that was it until the afore mentioned Oystercatchers dropped onto the scape, mated and then flew off towards the large field on the right of Viking way.
A wander down the track gave up only bird sounds in the main, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker heard calling and drumming respectively, 3 more Cettis were heard in different sections of the reed bed and a couple of Reed Warblers were heard but not seen.
When walking back to my car I heard a very, very active Willow Warbler singing near the track leading to the hide.
As it was so quiet I decided to go back towards Barkston and walk down the river and see what Kingfishers were about, this again was quiet apart from 2 flypasts and 1 brief landing at some distance. Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers were easily visible on this riverside walk albeit for me no good to take photos of them as they were positioned with the sun behind them hence in shadow. Only shot of the Kingfisher below.
I then decided to go to Brandon and take a look around for Little Owl. As soon as I got close to the spot I know where these birds are sometimes visible I saw a bird from my car, I stopped grabbed a couple of images and then went to the regular area where I have seen the Owls before. I soon got onto a second bird, this one was darker in appearance compared to the other and it was also more nervous keeping its distance from me. I did manage a shot or two after hiding in hedgerow (getting funny looks from passers by in their cars!) then it was off home for me.
I arrived home with some time spare before sunday dinner was ready to do a garden stakeout on the Lesser Redpolls that are calling in still, we are now up to to 10 birds this year. I make no apologies for repeatedly taking photos of these delightful birds when I can; I love the little beauties, don’t you? We are still getting up to 6 Siskins but they do not come into the garden to feed as often as the Redpolls sadly.
I have the old Redpoll question to ask my esteemed birding colleagues is the bird on the left below a Common Redpoll? I am expecting the answer no but you never know do you?