Tuesday again saw a large movement of hirundines. With all three species gathering on the telephone wires near noke farm. mostly Swallows but a good mixture of House and Sand martins were in attendance.
|Swallow on wire Noke. "Bit chilly first thing, glad i wore my scarf".|
|Sand Martin with Swallows|
There are plenty of Meadow Pipits to be seen, flying in small flocks just about everywhere on the reserve. Early morning is a good time to see mixed flocks near the Cattle pens and RSPB hut. Both on Tuesday and Thursday there were lots of finches, several Dunnocks, Meadow Pipits, Tits and one or two Warblers. Comprising of Two Chiffchaffs a Willow Warbler and a Blackcap. All of which were present on Thursday.
|Meadow Pipit near Cattle pens Tuesday.|
|Chiffchaff just past the first screen.|
|Three Noke Stonechats|
|Stonechat near Noke Farm.|
Perhaps the only disappointment of the week has been the lack of diversity Wader species wise. Apart from Snipe and a lovely flock of Golden Plover on Monday just Lapwing and a solitary Ringed Plover to make up the numbers. Unfortunately the water level at the first screen has risen again to a point where any waders have been pushed away from virtually all of the viewable areas.
|Mallard over Big Otmoor|
Spectacular skeins of Geese are a regular feature now and like the Mallard, Big Otmoor is a good place to see and hear them.
|Greylag coming in to land on Big Otmoor|
|Wheatear on the lawn. Noke.|
Sparrowhawks were seen on three occasions on Thursday. The first making a spectacular failed attempt to catch a Meadow Pipit right over my head near the RSPB hut on Greenaways. Seeing the hawk twist upside down with outstretched talons the Pipit made a desperate last ditch manoeuvre, avoiding the razor sharp talons by a hairs breadth.
Other birds of prey... The usual Buzzards, Red Kites and Kestrels were seen on each day and on Thursday a tantalising and all too brief view of a small brown falcon. Which was perched on the fence next to the bridge leading to the hide. As i walked along the bridleway and the fence came into view. I saw it take off and disappear behind the screen, heading in the direction of the hide. Reaching the bridge and peering around the screen. hoping to see it flying. It had completely vanished. I have seen a female Merlin on two occasions recently. So it was possibly a Merlin. but not enough of a sighting to be sure.
|Sparrowhawk near reed bed|
|Mallard against a powder blue sky.|
|A view of Ashgrave|
|Show off. Your not the only thing that can hover here at Otmoor matey.|
|Hover Fly. (Helophilus Pendulus)|