Monday, 13 May 2013

Sunday 12 th May

The most noteworthy birds on Sunday were a pair of female Marsh Harriers. One of which appeared to be an immature as it was showing hardly any colour on the crown. Both could be seen at various times during the morning, hunting over the reed beds and Greenaways and a Barn Owl, again over the reed bed and Heading over Greenaways towards the Car Park. The aerial duels between Red Kites and Lapwings are growing apace. Last week only a couple of Lapwings would rise to the threat. On Sunday however an almost constant battle was taking place over Big Otmoor. With twenty plus Lapwings rising to mob the air born pirates. I can only assume the more persistent aggression shown by the Lapwings, means they must have chicks to protect now. I did witness at least one successful raid by a Kite. as it dived to the ground with its pursuers hotly in pursuit. I saw it peck at its talons as it flew off and what appeared to be feathers fall from its grasp. Other birds of prey seen on Sunday were. Two Sparrowhawks (A male and a female ) Hobbies and Buzzards.The two Garden Warblers were still singing along the bridleway. (Grenaways) They have been joined by at least three singing Lesser Whitethroats. A Curlew was on Greenaways, to the right of the diagonal path. Reed Warbler numbers have increased, with six seen or heard along the Bridleway (Greenaways) alone. Snipe were everywhere, especially over Greenaways. I saw five in the air together. I heard and saw them drumming over Greenaways, Closes and Big Otmoor. Other waders are still noticeable by their absence. with nothing on any of the scrapes apart from the odd Redshank. Any waders that are present, are being reported from the  lagoon on Ashgrave, but again just dribs and drabs. The multitude of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins continued to hawk over the reed beds and fields of Otmoor (No Sand Martins today). The majority being over the reed beds. Grasshopper Warblers were heard calling from three locations in the Car park field. Willows, Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats also present. A Grass snake was seen sunning itself near the R,S,P,B hut and another along the path next to the Car park field. There are lots of Hares to be found especially on Ashgrave. A Roe Deer was again on closes and a Weasel shot across the path to the 1st screen.

Photos from Sunday..

Reed Warbler (Greenaways)


Snipe Drumming.


Marsh Harrier over the Reed bed.


Marsh Harrier over Greenaways.






Barn Owl.


Swallow.


Tufted Landing.


Applying the brakes.


Little Grebe cleared for take off.


Greylags Taking off.




Aerial dogfights over big Otmoor.

The squadron homes in.




The lone fighter.




Reminiscent of a Stuka with fighter in pursuit.