Wednesday 3rd April..
Just a quick visit on the afternoon of Wednesday the 3rd. Still that very cold easterly wind, howling like a banshee. The screens were very quiet with unfortunately no sign of the Ferruginous duck. Just a few Coot, Pochard and Tufted braving the gale force winds at the 2nd screen. The field west of the path to the second screen was the most productive, with 32 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 2 Curlew, 2 Golden Plover, 3 Redshank, 15 fieldfare. Lapwing, Canada, Greylag, Starlings also present on the same field. A Peregrine was on Ashgrave also the 7 Whitefronted Geese are still there. A water Rail was skulking along the stream behind the hide. 4 Little Egrets on Closes field. Lots of Wigeon, and Teal are to be seen just about anywhere on the reserve. Pintail and Shoveller also in good numbers. The highlight of the day was seeing 2 Muntjac deer on Big Otmoor just behind the 1st screen. I heard a faint strange barking, it was just audible above the wind. A Muntjac doe appeared from the bushes and was quickly joined by a buck. He calmly approached her then took up a position several feet behind. I always get a real buzz from being that close to wildlife and leaving them undisturbed.
Walking back to the car early evening i was treated to another Otmoor treat. A spectacular sky over Closes field.
Photos from Wednesday afternoon...
Sun rays bursting through the clouds over Closes field.
Pochard in the swell
Zombie Pochard. That's how my eyes felt after being exposed to the freezing gale.
Killer Whale ?
No, Tufted Duck
Sunshine over Greenaways.
Thursday 4th April...
If Wednesday was very cold, Thursday was decidedly arctic. The wind had noticeably gained in strength from yesterday and the air temperature even colder. It was so cold it actually stung any exposed skin. An even shorter visit than yesterday ensued. Only making it to the hide before deciding enough was enough. Needless to say birding was pretty slow. The Whitefronted Geese were still over the far side of Ashgrave. It was reported the Fudge duck was seen at the 2nd screen this morning.
2 Curlews were on Greenaways, 15 Dunlin (Big Otmoor) along with 3 Redshank. Two Ruff also reported with the Dunlin. Red Kites seemed to be everywhere. At least 7 individuals seen today. Little Egrets again on Closes and Ashgrave. A Jay was in the car park field along with a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a myriad of Reed Buntings, Tits and finches around the feeders. Marsh Tit was spotted on the feeders this morning. Apart from the hide, the feeder area was the only place i could get any respite from the wind and watch some birds in relative comfort.
Roll on next week when some warmer weather is forecast. BRRRR.
Photos from Thursday 4th April...
Greylags with Gadwall in foreground and Wigeon in background. Ashgrave
Evidence of a kill.
Thief caught in the act of unlawful entry.
G.S Woodpecker & Long Tailed Tits.
Greenfinch, Great, Blue and Long Tailed Tits
Blue Tit Flight.