Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Creeping, Crawling, Buzzing, Slithering.

Creeping, Crawling, Buzzing, Slithering. I am not saying my place of education was in a state of disrepair. But i am sure they were the house names at our school.
As i couldn't get down to the moor today. (My youngest sproglet was up with earache all night. Which is unusual because that's what he normally gives me).
So i thought i would take this opportunity, to introduce some of the species, other than birds that i have encountered at Otmoor this july. Of the creepy crawley variety.

Devil's Coach-horse (Awesome Jaws)

I found this beast close to the Ashgrave hide.

Otmoor diving beetle. Cybister Laterimarginalis

 This frog eating, fish eating, Newt eating monster is about two inches long.
If the Devil's Coach-horse is the horse then this leviathan is the carriage. A real tank of a beetle. It came scurrying down the path towards me on the way to the 1st screen.
Otmoor was so wet and flooded in early july. That i thought even the diving beetles have taken to the hills. Well paths anyway. He is so big and shiny you can actually see the cloudy sky reflected on his back. What i like about this shot is you can clearly see the swollen front tarsi, that it uses to grip the female when mating.

In this creepy crawley picture you can clearly see the insect hanging from the Reed Warblers beak. And if you look closely you can....  Whoops!! I have just lost a bet. When i told my son i was going to do a page just on things other than birds. He said "You will slip a bird in somewhere". So i bet him a weeks washing up that i wouldn't.
Ah well (Sigh). couldn't resist it. Back to the creepy crawly slithery stuff.

Grass Snake. found this beauty sunbathing on a log opposite the feeders

(Car park field)



Brown Hawker Dragonfly

The business end of a Brown Hawker.

Male Ruddy Darter

Female Ruddy Darter


 Common Darter

(I know i put it in here somewhere.)

Blue tailed Damselfly

Blue tailed Damselfly

And finally one of my favourite Dragonfly pics.

Male and female Ruddy Darters

Just one more for the ladies

Garden spider lurking in a corner of the first screen

I haven't even begun to scratch the surface but
I hope you have enjoyed this little foray into the huge diversity of life that can be found at Otmoor in the summer months.

Monday, 30 July 2012

There and back again. A Reed Warblers tale.

It has been pretty quiet on the moor bird wise of late. With many keeping their heads down feeding young. So imagine my surprise when I stepped out of the car at 6:45 am in the Otmoor car park, to find the place alive with birds. A mixed flock of Goldfinches, Chaffinches, linnets, two Bullfinches, two Yellowhammers, Great tits, Blue tits, Long tailed tits, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Whitethroats, a Greenfinch wheezing away somewhere back in the trees, oh and a Robin. Were all in the tall willows and surrounding bushes. I could also hear a Grasshopper Warbler and a Turtle Dove calling from behind me in the car park field. Leaving the car park I soon found the Turtle dove perched on a wire.

At the top of the car park field a second Grasshopper Warbler reeled away, close to the feeders. Standing by the RSPB hut admiring a pair of Red Legged Partridge on Greenaways. Four Snipe, or to put it more poetically, a wisp of snipe hurtled past me and disappeared over Saunders field.

Further along the track I discovered a juvenile Cuckoo being fed by two very frazzled looking Reed Warblers. I watched as the Warblers returned with food every thirty seconds or so. (Set of pictures at end of page) I am learning all the time about my new camera,. I watched as three Little Egrets flew in and took up residence in a tree.

But how I got this effect of the three Little Egrets in the tree and the tree is in silhouette I have no idea.
Swifts were on the move with a flock of 30+ hawking for insects over the Ashgrave pools. The first Hobby of the day was also seen flying over the hide. (Four seen altogether).
A Raven was perched on its usual post on Big Otmoor. Three Common terns were flying between the first and second screens. Grey Herons seemed to be everywhere on the reserve. Unless it was just one that was following me around.
Little and Great crested Grebes were out from the first screen and Buzzard also seen circling above.
Fifty three species seen today. Not bad not bad at all. For complete day list see bottom of page.

Mute swan, Canada goose, Greylag goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Tufted duck, Great crested grebe, Little grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Cormorant, Common tern, Grey heron, Little egret, Lapwing, Snipe, Lesser black backed gull, Black headed gull, Pheasant, Red legged partridge, Buzzard, Red kite, Hobby, Kestrel, Raven, Crow, Rook, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Stock dove, Turtle dove, Cuckoo, Blackbird, Reed bunting, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Great tit, Blue tit, Long tailed tit, Whitethroat, Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed warbler, Sedge warbler, Grasshopper warbler (HBNS), Garden Warbler, Swift, Swallow, House martin.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Latest photos from Otmoor Rspb

Green day on the moor today (saturday 28th july) With 5 Green woodpeckers seen. One on a fence in Beckley village and four more on the reserve. A Greenshank was on the second scrape on Greenaways at 6:45 am. Also of note on the green front was a greenish coloured Blue tailed Damselfly of the form rufescens-obsoleta colour form of this species.
Other highlights of the day were two Poplar Hawk moths in the Otmoor car park and
two Grass snakes were along the path to the 1st screen.
Cormorants seem to have taken over the Tern raft. Viewed from the 2nd screen.

Always nice to see the Little Egrets flying around the moor. with six seen today.
A snipe was chipping as it flew low over my head near the first screen. A Hobby circling over Greenaways suddenly did a stoop that a Peregrine would have been proud of and snatched a Brown Hawker Dragonfly from the air. Nonchalantly munching the insect in mid air as it flew to one of its familiar perching posts.
There are lots of juveniles of many species to be seen at the moment, including both Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, blackcap, Garden Warbler, Reed and Sedge Warbler. Redstart, Whinchat and an early Wheatear have also been reported.
To see lots more photos from Otmoor please check out my photos on flickr 

Green Woodpecker Beckley village

Greenshank on scrape Greenaways

Green Blue Tailed Damselfly

Poplar Hawk Moth Otmoor car park

Grey Heron and Little Egret flying over Ashgrave

Cormorant drying its wings on the Tern raft 2nd screen

Hobby on post Greenaways

Laser eyed Female Tufted Duck. (First screen)

Reed Warbler. Greenaways Otmoor