Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Time for a Chat and Crestfallen.

                                                Time for a Chat

Tuesday...... Grey and murky early am. giving way to bright sunshine and scattered cloud. Fresh easterly wind.

Noke pond bathed in sunshine
First Thrushes of the autumn seen in the distance. (From the path between the screens) Twenty five Redwing heading towards Noke.
Wildfowl dominate the moor at this time of year. Early morning saw a  flock of one hundred plus Greylag Geese float over the trees and land on big Otmoor. Large flocks of Mallard also travelling between big Otmoor and Ashgrave. A flight of seventy plus Teal darted across Ashgrave, landing on the Lagoon on the far side. being joined by several other smaller groups.
Six Little Egrets out from the hide on Ashgrave. Flocks of Snipe were seen on two occasions. The first a Wisp of twenty birds, coming in to land on Big Otmoor. Later in the morning a larger flock of around forty birds were seen flying from Big Otmoor and landing in the reed beds. A Redpoll was on the wire near Noke farm. Four Stonechat and lots of Meadow Pipits also there. Four Chiffchaff seen along the bridleway. Newts are still to be seen crossing the paths. Please take extra care, as they are very small and not easy to see against the gravel.
Tuesday photos...

                                                    Noke Stonechats

                    Still some colour to be found in the hedgerows. (Spindleberry)
         (Thanks Paul for the id and the fascinating history of the plant and its uses)



There has been a fall of Goldcrests today. Their thin high pitched calls could be heard at several locations on the moor. At least four were seen along the path to the first screen. Three more were in bushes, just past the first screen. Two more in bushes near the hide. Lots of calls and one or two seen all along the bridleway towards Noke.

Goldcrest in the shadows.
A flock of 150 plus Teal and Mallard, (mostly Teal) rose from the reed bed, when disturbed from the first shots that rang out from the rifle range. An even larger flock of  between two and three hundred Lapwing were wheeling around the sky over Ashgrave.
                             Part of the Lapwing flock over Ashgrave.

Lapwing swirling over Ashgrave

Apart from the Goldcrests and Goldfinches, smaller birds were few and far between. Two Siskin flying over by the bridge at Noke. Just one Stonechat near the farm. A Stonechat and a Whinchat were reported on bushes along the path to the first screen. Only two Swallows seen today. One Chiffchaff was along the bridleway towards Noke. Three skylarks and twelve Meadow Pipits also seen today.
The metallic ticking of the Robins can be heard coming from the hedgerows. Along with the high pitched tseep of Dunnock.

Altogether ten Snipe were seen flying in various locations on the reserve. A Raven was flying over Greenaways carrying something, that appeared to have legs dangling from it, in its bill. (A Mouse or Vole perhaps). A Kingfisher added a welcome splash of colour, as it zipped across Ashgrave, heading towards Big Otmoor. 
Two photos from Thursday of last week...
The first one, is of two Redpoll that were perched on a bush by Noke pond. The second sent to me by Derek Woodard of a Blackcap. (Thanks Derek)

Complete list of birds. Wednesday and Thursday....

Mute Swan, Greylag goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted, Coot, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Lapwing, Snipe, Cormorant, B-H Gull, L-B-B Gull, Kingfisher, Buzzard, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Pheasant, Raven, Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Magpie, Jay, Green Woodpecker, G-S Woodpecker, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Redwing, Starling, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Redpoll, Siskin, Linnet, Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Swallow, House Martin, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue tit, Long Tailed Tit,

Total... 58

Mammals, Reptiles, Insects......Of note.

Fox, Common Newt, Migrant Hawker, Common Darter, Hornet.

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