Local Walk to WkWT Brandon Marsh

Thirteen Group members welcomed in the New Year at Brandon Marsh which is always our annual event.

A beautiful sunny morning and a leisurely stroll took us past the Windpump ‘The Brandon Eye’ and a view across Grebe Pool spotting two male and three female goosander and hearing nuthatch calling.

Passing through a very quiet New Hare Covert we arrived at Alban’s Reedbed to the sight of 130+ lapwing drifting back and forth over East Marsh Pool. A buzzard flew low over ‘Swallow Tail’ the east end of Swallow Pool and a Cetti’s warbler was heard.

We then made our way to the Brian and Janet Wright hide. Brian Wright was the original RSPB Coventry Group Leader and lived in the village of Brandon. He was also an RSPB council member.
Pochard, gadwall, mallard, teal, shoveler, tufted duck, moorhen, coot, snipe, black-headed, lesser black-backed, herring, and common gull were soon added to our list. On the distant Lapwing Island a buzzard was feeding on a goose carcass.

Moving on we bypassed Baldwin hide and entered John Walton hide where several members of the group took a coffee break. The buzzard was now perched in a bush behind Wigeon Bank. A couple of snipe and a pied wagtail were on Lapwing Island while ten wigeon loafed on the water nearby.
Our final destination was the newly refurbished Ted Jury hide. Ted was a journalist with the Coventry Evening Telegraph and started birding with the RSPB Coventry Local Group. He used to write up our field trips in a Wildlife column for the newspaper in the early 1980’s, later becoming a stalwart for the Brandon Marsh conservation Team and their Annual Report Editor. Stock dove and flyover cormorant were seen from here.
On our way back to the Visitor’s Centre passing Fisherman’s Pool, two adult mute swans were trying to expel a juvenile and a pair of little grebe were catching small fry at the far end of the pool.
A total of 33+ bird species were recorded on the day.