Wednesday, 25 November 2015


I very bravely went to Marsh Lane on Monday morning when the weather was bitterly cold and despite layering up well I soon got very cold.The temperature was zero when I arrived and there was quite a lot of ice on the pools.

Didn't see much till I got to the Oak hide where my good friend Jeff Rankin pointed out an unusual duck on the railway pool.Here are a couple of very cropped shots of it.

This duck has shown a few times at Marsh Lane during the last couple of weeks but it was the first time I'd caught up with it.It is known as a Brewers Duck and has quite a history.

John James Audubon a well known 19th century American birder announced that he had found a new species of duck when a single male was shot on lake Barataria in Louisiana in February 1822.He named it after his good friend and birder Thomas M Brewer.

However by 1843 John James Audubon was having second thoughts that the duck was a new species but it wasn't until 1943 that it was established that the Brewers Duck was in fact a cross between a Mallard and a Gadwall. Interesting stuff.Thank you internet.

I popped down to Marsh Lane again early on Tuesday because the ringer was going to be on site.Got there at 8.30 AM and was pleased to find it not too cold but not pleased to find it very gloomy and damp.

Stayed for a couple of hours and watched the ringer in action.Again he caught loads of birds mainly the more common Tits but also a few Redwings , a Goldcrest and best of all for me a couple of Redpolls which were the first for me this Winter.It's pretty sad that nearly all of my recent shots of decent birds have been caught by the ringer and are taken in his hands. 

You can see how gloomy it was by the fact that these two shots had to be taken at ISO 6400 when you would hope to go no higher than ISO 800 if you want a decent shots.

Also on the reserve on Tuesday were a flock of 30+ Siskins in the back gate coppice area and 100+     Redwings that were in the Oak trees near where the beehives used to be.

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