Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Grey Wagtail

I know the back lane  behind our cottage is a bit wet at the moment but it was still a surprise to see a Grey Wagtail poddling about in the small pools there this afternoon.

Monday, 27 February 2017


Three nice Waxwings have been frequenting Embleton for a few weeks, at the north end of the village around the quarry and bottle banks mainly. On Sunday we found two of them just inside the housing estate on the west side of the main road. Still there today.

It all adds up

Even though the forecasters are predicting doom and gloom over the next few days there was a spring like feel to the air this morning. Around the ponds birdsong has increased, winter visitors like Wigeon are still here in numbers but there has been a steady build up of summer breeders over the last week, Curlew on their way to the uplands, Shelduck and Oystercatcher which nest on the site and even the Black-headed Gulls are making their presence felt. No further sign of the Bittern today, it was last seen on Friday but Frogspawn has suddenly made an appearance and the numbers of Adders are gradually rising with 11 seen basking today, so it really does add up, spring must be on the way.

Monday, 20 February 2017


On Sunday I got a text message from Mike Carr to say he'd just had a Bittern at Branton Ponds, we were straight out  but didn't see the bird. Mike then sent us a stunning flight shot of the bird which left us drooling, so at first light on Monday we were in position staking out the site, eventually we briefly saw the bird as it flew from one side of the pond to the other, then back home for breakfast.
This is the second record for the site after a bird in 2014 and many thanks to Mike who provided the photos.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A small sign of Spring

At Branton the signs of spring can come in many forms, bulbs sending leaves skywards, frogspawn in sheltered pools or maybe some early insects on the wing. One of our favourite indicators is usually found curled up on a dry south facing bank, and today looked perfect for the first Adders of the year, so with this in mind I set off checking likely spots all to no avail, as I returned home the second shift headed out in the form of Keith, as the day grew warmer the prospects improved and he was soon looking at looking at a small male Adder basking in the sunshine, our first of the year, a couple of days later than last year but hopefully a sign of things to come.