Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Beardies and Fieldfares




Sunrise from the 1st screen.
Arriving very early am, in the hope of avoiding the showers and finding the Bearded tits, that had been reported in the reed bed. And maybe even the Bittern if it is still around. I wasn't holding out too much hope for the Beardies as a strong westerly wind was blowing. i was accompanied by a beautiful yellow and golden sunrise as i trudged briskly around Greenaways and reached the first screen. Stopping only briefly to view a fantastic little Stonechat, perched atop a Willow tree near to the hide and a Jay that was scurrying around on the grass in the sw corner close to the gate. Nearing the corner of the path to the 1st screen a flock of six fieldfare flew overhead. Chuck chucking noisily as they flew along the tree line. 

Sunrise over Greenaways.
 

Stonechat near hide

Jay
 Creeping into the  the 1st screen, so as not to disturb anything that might be on the island like a Bittern or something equally as good. Or any Bearded tits that might be on the reeds just outside the screen. (Very early mornings can play havoc with your sense of reality at times) Alas only a smattering of Mallard, a couple of Teal and a couple of Fish guzzlers (Cormorants) were present on the island. Sixty plus Teal were asleep at the end of the right hand channel. As feared the Reeds were being buffeted by the strengthening wind. scanning the reeds a female Reed Bunting sent the pulses racing for a split second as it flew low over the reeds.
Cormorant on the island in front of the 1st screen
After forty five Bearded Titless minutes or so and slightly disheartened i decided to make my way down to the 2nd screen. Having found just a few Wigeon some Gadwall and the ever present Coots. I was just weighing up my options. Should i go to the hide and then Noke or sit it out back at the 1st screen. When i heard the familiar and fantastic Ping Ping Ping call of Bearded tits. One was calling very close and just to the right of the screen. It sounded as if it was somewhere near the waters edge. as i scanned the reeds i was lucky enough to see one flying over the reed bed and dropping down some thirty to forty yards away into the reeds. The one i heard originally was still calling and another replied from the left hand side of the screen in the corner again very close. Then as quickly as the calls started,they stopped. try as i might, i couldn't find the birds again. Meeting up with some of the Otmoor regulars, they informed me they had just seen six out from the 1st screen. Also when i got home i heard that the Bittern had also been seen AARRGGHHH !!! Musn't grumble though. I had my brief view of one of the Beardies and the excitement of hearing them close by. They have been reported now for the last three days. So here's keeping everything crossed, that they decide to stay a while longer. A fantastic little bird to have on our reserve.
Other sightings....
Lots of Greylag and Canadas on Ashgrave accompanied by a large flock of Bh Gulls. Five Little Egrets also on Ashgrave and several seen flying at different locations. Three Goldcrests were again tagging along with a flock of LT Tits. Two more Stonechats were on the fence posts between Ashgrave and Closes field. On the way back to the carpark, a flock of twenty plus Redwing flew over the far side of Greenaways.


Greylag over Greenaways.
 There are still a few Migrant Hawker and Common darters on the wing.
The Hornets are still attacking the Ash tree saplings. A second Ash is receiving the same treatment, just around the corner after the 1st screen.

Hornets bark stripping.
 The beautiful White poplar trees look absolutely stunning when the sun catches them as the wind blows their leaves revealing exactly how they get their name.
White poplar tree
Crest country. There's gold in them thar bushes. Goldcrests that is.
Today's sightings....

Mute Swan,Greylag, Canada, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Coot, Moorhen, BH Gull, LBB Gull, Lapwing, Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Jay, Magpie, Pheasant, Red Legged Partridge, Woodpigeon, Fieldfare, Redwing, Starling, Reed Bunting, Robin, Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Great tit, Blue tit, Long Tailed tit, BEARDED TIT, Goldcrest, Stonechat.
Total.....41
Other species...
Hare, Migrant Hawker, Common Darter, Hornet.