Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Look before you book. /Otmoor sightings 28th aug

As the summer holidays are nearly over. Just one piece of advice for next year.

Look before you book

After spending nearly two weeks away in sunny Devon and Dorset with the Mother in law. (I still managed to do some clandestine birding). Notching up Nightjar, Dartford Warbler, Tree Pipit and Woodlark.  I was itching to get back to Otmoor. Even though the Mother in law's garden produced Raven, Buzzard, Willow Warbler and i think a Southern Hawker Dragonfly. The caravan is not in my mother in law's garden. Or anything to do with her. (Had to point that out otherwise she would kill me.)

Devon willow Warbler

Southern Hawker ?
Even before i had left home for Devon, i got this shot of a sparrowhawk in my back garden.

Arriving at Otmoor at 7:00 am. I had only reached the first corner, after leaving the car park. When i was treated to three very smart Lesser Whitethroats in the bush behind and to the right of the telegraph pole. (Try as i might, just couldn't get a photo of them) They were flitting about with two Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler and several Blue Tits. Bullfinch also seen nearby. A Great spotted Woodpecker was on the telephone wire just a little way along the track.

On reaching Greenaways. Two Wheatears were on the wires, close to the RSPB hut.

They flew onto Greenaways where i counted a total of three by the sticks.
A juvenile Marsh Harrier drifted over from the m.o.d. land and landed in the long grass close to the first wooden fence posts along diagonal track (Greenaways). An all dark brown bird, with no cream on crown or wings at all. Seconds later a second bird appeared from the pill direction. Although this bird had a cream crown there was no sign of colour on the leading edge of the wings. (I believe this was the bird Later photographed by myself and Dave Cuddon from the 1st screen). I believe the lack of cream colour on the fore wing indicates this is also a juvenile bird. (Please correct me if this is wrong).

My pic of Marsh Harrier.

Dave Cuddon's pic 1

Dave's pic 2

(Thanks Dave for your pics)

A Raven flew across the path from Greenaways over to closes field.  A Snipe also flying close to path.
A slow walk towards 1st screen and studying the bushes, (where the hedge is cut lower than the rest) produced two grass snakes, in the same place i had seen them, two weeks previously.
Unfortunately i spooked the first one. But an even more cautious approach allowed me to get close enough to take these shots. the lighter picture was taken 3/4 of an hour later, on the way back from 1st screen. It hadn't moved an inch. The sun was now higher and notice how much larger it's pupils are.

Three Gargany and a Green sandpiper seen from 1st screen and also a Common Blue butterfly and this Dragonfly (ID please).

One of the distant Gargany. apologies for the poor quality.

Green Sandpiper

Common Blue butterfly 

Full list of species:

Mute swan, Greylag, Grey heron, Little Egret, Mallard, Gargany, Tufted, Gadwall, Cormorant, Common Tern, Black headed Gull, Coot, moorhen, Little Grebe, Lapwing, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Pheasant, Red Legged Partridge, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Raven, Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Magpie, Jay, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Red Kite, Hobby, Kestrel, Blackbird, Wheatear, Starling, Swallow, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Robin, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, Great Tit, Blue Tit.

Total 52

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