Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Toad Haul

Not being able to get down to Otmoor last week owing to family commitments. As migration finally seems to be under way.  I was worried about what i was missing. It was gratifying to find lots of Warblers and Hirundines have arrived. Willow Warblers being the most common Warbler this morning, with twelve individuals found in various places around the reserve. Five Chiffchaff, two Sedge Warblers, one Reed Warbler and two Whitethroats also found. The Whitethroats were in the first corner of the car park field. Reed Warbler by the R.S.P.B hut, Sedge just past the hide and along the path to the 1st screen. Twenty five Swallows, six Sand Martins and two House Martins were seen today. At least three Snipe were drumming over the bridleway (Greenaways). Redshank are to be found on Ashgrave, Greenaways and Big Otmoor (Fifteen seen today). One Dunlin was on the first scrape on Big Otmoor. Curlew can also be found in various locations. Only three seen today but others could be heard calling on Greenaways. A Water Rail was squealing near the bridge by the hide and with a little patience i was rewarded by fleeting glimpses as it skulked near the waters edge. A second Rail was also heard squealing near the 1st screen. Birds of prey were in short supply this morning with Red Kites being the only raptors i encountered. Although another birder said he saw a Hen Harrier over Big Otmoor.
On the way back to the car park i witnessed a different kind of migration. "Toads"
Just past the feeders, Common Toads were crossing the path in numbers, from the field heading towards the water filled ditch opposite. Some individually but most were females with males clinging on tightly to their backs. Some carrying just one male others were carrying two at a time. i counted seven different females carrying males and four individual males.

Today's photos...


Willow Warbler

Whitethroat.
Long Tailed Tit.
Goldfinches on the feeders.
Snipe drumming over Greenaways.
Redshank.
Dunlin on Big Otmoor.
Dunlin & Redshank, Big Otmoor
Greylag at the 1st screen.
Greylag in flight.


Red Kite.
Red Kite being mobbed by Lapwings.



Grey Heron.
Common Toad.


Two's up.


Three's a crowd



News away from otmoor..

I had a very welcome visitor to my garden last week, in the form of a Siskin. I was very pleased as It was a new bird for my garden list. My garden also seems to be inundated with what i think are a type of shield bug.

Siskin.



A couple of weeks ago Derek Woodard photographed a very unusual sighting.
A Barn Owl was carrying a mouse when it was suddenly attacked from behind by a Kestrel. Apparently the Kestrel caught the Owl and they disappeared into the long grass were they fought over the mouse. Both the Owl and Kestrel were seen flying off in different directions with the Owl still in possession of the mouse. 
I just had to include Dereks Photos in my blog. they are fantastic shots. (Thanks Derek).






Today's list of species...

Mute Swan, Greylag, Canada, Mallard, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Pochard, Tufted, Shoveller, Water Rail, Coot, Moorhen, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Redshank, Curlew, Dunlin, Lapwing, LBB Gull, BH Gull, Red Kite, Raven, Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Magpie, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Starling, GS Woodpecker, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Reed Bunting, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Great Tit, Blue Tit, LT Tit, Goldcrest, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin.

Total 52