Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Mrs. Brambling

Went out with the hope of flushing a Bittern out of the marsh's Great Reed Bed or picking out a Firecrest in the Horseshoe Thicket.

Came across a Kestrel at the front paddocks.

Turned the corner to head for the rear paddocks and saw tree full of Chaffinches by the side paddocks. But one seemed a bit orangey!

Took a rubbish snap (a reoccurring theme of the morning)

Thought - I'll check that when I get home - and headed for the rear paddocks.

Heard loads of Linnet, Goldfinches and Chaffinches overhead.

Got to the rear paddocks and saw a female Brambling. I wasn't imagining things after all. 

The finch flock were very flighty. The horses kept on trying to shoo off the wagtails and were constantly either sending the finch flock up or standing right in front of my scope. Frustrating!

There were a few Stock Doves in there too (personal patch year tick).

So I went round to the 'sustrans' side of the paddocks to try and get a better view. 

And of course, a horse sent the finch flock up. They flew right up into the trees beside me. And I could just pick out Mrs. Brambling.

She's on the left.
En route to the 'Great Reed Bed', I passed two Stonechats in the bomb crater field.

Heard a Greenfinch pass over the north marsh (personal patch year tick).

Did not flush a Bittern from the Great Reed Bed but did flush a Snipe which scarpered northwards.

And also did not find a Firecrest in the Horseshoe Thicket.



  1. Hi,

    I enjoy your reports. However, could you tell me whereabouts on the marshes the 'rear paddocks' are? They are not marked on the map. I thought I might try for the Brambling in the next few days.


  2. Hello Alan,

    The the front paddocks are the four paddocks in front of the lee valley riding centre, the side paddocks are the three paddocks to the east side of the riding centre and the rear paddocks are the ones behind the riding centre.

    Hope you catch up with the Brambling.

    1. Many thanks - it was helpful to be able to get the right area straight away. No Brambling, alas, though did get Little Egrets, Linnet, etc.

  3. Dear WB,

    Thanks for your help re Brambling. Unfortunately, I found some days after my visit to the Marshes that I had dropped the front lens of my Opticron scope at some point during my visit to the paddocks. I checked with the Ice Centre and the Horse Riding Centre, and the LVP rangers, to see if anyone had handed it into one of those, but they all came up blank. Have any of the local birders mentioned finding it at all?