Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Otmoor Oasis

Today was the quietest walk i have had this year on Otmoor. Apart from a pair of Yellowhammers and a Willow Warbler serenading me from the car park. There was hardly a peep until the feeders. Where a Green Woodpecker took off from the bridge yaffling loudly as it flew.
Walking along the bridleway beside Greenaways. It is noticeable that the bushes, that only a few short weeks ago, were alive with bird activity and song, are now deathly quiet. Save the odd timorous squeak. The fields that bristled with activity. With the ever present piping Redshanks flitting around the moor and squadrons of alert Lapwing rising in unison to meet the aerial threat from the stuka dive bombing Red kites. seem a long time ago. Many of the birds still present are now in full moult like the Whitethroat below. A Kingfisher was seen from the 1st screen.again in full moult.

Moulting Whitethroat

A noisy family of four Green Woodpeckers accompanied me along the bridleway. I think the two together are juveniles. They were sticking close and even flying together.
While the other two stayed in close attendance.

The Family of Green Woodpeckers.
Good news from the young Cuckoo that suffered the ordeal by lens. It has been seen again and looks fit and healthy. With long tail and wing primaries it looks pretty much fully fledged. Birds of prey also quite thin on the ground. With just one buzzard, one Hobby, one Kestrel and Two red kites seen on my visit today.

One of today's Red Kites
 Six little Egrets seen again over Ashgrave and Greenaways. Apart from the usual Pochard, Gadwall, Tufted and Mallard. A surprise Wigeon made an appearance from the 1st screen and two snipe flitting around the reed bed there.
Even though Otmoor seems so quiet at the moment. It still manages to throw up the odd treat. Walking back along Greenaways. On reaching one of the large oaks. movement caught my eye. Looking up, to my amazement, this one tree and the adjacent bushes were alive with birds. There were at least six Willow warblers, (A conservative estimate) two Chiffchaffs, one Garden Warbler, one Blackcap, two Chaffinches, several Goldfinches, a family of five or six Long Tailed tits mixed in with Great and Blue tits. A Whitethroat and a sorry looking moulting Reed Bunting made up the throng. The Oak tree appeared like an oasis compared to the sparceness of bird life elsewhere on the reserve.

Willow Warbler

Acrobatic Willow Warbler

Other news: There are still plenty of Dragonflies on the wing. With common Darters everywhere and the menacing Brown Hawkers putting in plenty of appearances.
A large back end of a Grass snake was seen slithering from view by the conservation area gate on the car park field.

Todays bird list....
Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cormorant, Common Tern, Lapwing, Snipe,Pheasant, Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Magpie, Buzzard, Red Kite, Hobby, Kestrel, Blackbird, Starling, Robin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Swallow.


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