Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Birds and Bugs. The Purrfect Hobby.

Whether you are into birds or bugs or both, Otmoor has a lot to offer at this time of year. From the beautiful Turtle doves purring softly along the bridleway and the elusive Garganey occasionally giving wonderful views from the 1st screen. Or the charismatic Marsh Harrier floating effortlessly over the fields and reed beds. Add to this the fantastic and sometimes frenetic behaviour of the hunting Hobbys and a surprise or two like the female Bearded Tit that has graced us with its presence for over a week now. which I was fortunate enough to get brief glimpses of, on my last two visits. (I believe a first ever summer record for the reserve). Nine species of Warbler are also to be found. (See full list of sightings at bottom of page).

Below, two spectacular photos of  Hobbys taken by Andrew Marshall at Otmoor, Tuesday 4th June. (Thanks Andrew) (C) Andrew Marshall



Reed Bunting joining in the dawn chorus.



And the same bird later in the day.



Turtle Doves along bridleway.




Drake Garganey at the 1st screen.



Below Two lovely photos of the Garganey by Gary Parker. (Thanks Gary) (C) Gary Parker.

Garganey in flight.


Garganey in the reeds.



More bird photos from Otmoor.

Little Egret.



Common Tern.





Great Crested Grebe.



Skylark Singing.



Green Woodpecker.



Redshank.



Swift.


Swallow.



Whitethroat.



The Red Kites are still causing havoc among the Lapwings and Redshanks.



The Kites are not the only danger for fledglings. I watched as a L,B,B Gull swooped down into the reed bed and carry off what looked like a coot chick.

Imm L,B,B Gull.


Taking the birds aside there are some fantastic insects to be found at Otmoor. Amazing Long horned and Cardinal Beetles, Froghoppers, Squash bugs, Moths, Butterflies and their Caterpillars and a mind boggling array of spiders adorn the vegetation.  Common blue Damsel flies are everywhere, with Large Red Damsel flies less common. Four spotted chaser Dragonflies dart around the hedgerows and pathways. A rusty ginger appearance in flight gives them away. Hairy Dragonflies are also on the wing and a club Tailed Dragonfly has been reported. Large white, Peacock, Small white, Orange tip, Comma and Brimstone make up the Butterfly species i saw this week. A Comma even landed on my leg giving me a great opportunity to view its ragged wings. The ditches are alive with Tadpoles at the moment. A good place to view them is in the ditch alongside the path behind Closes field.

Photos from the undergrowth...

Longhorn Beetle. (Agapanthea Villosoviridescens)..




Cardinal Beetle..



Cardinal Beetle. Give us a wave..



Hover flies mating.. (Holophius Pendulus)


Shield bugs or as this particular species is known as a Squash bug (Verlusa Rhombea) Is usually found in dry heaths and sandy soiled environments. But also grasslands.

Squash bugs mating..




Froghoppers..



Burnet Companion Moth.


Comma Butterfly up close and personal ..



Lackey moth Caterpillars..



Garden tiger Moth Caterpillar..



This next one i am not sure of. I think it is a Drinker Moth Caterpillar. Please correct me if i am wrong.



Recently emerged Hairy Dragonfly..


Hairy Dragonfly in all of its glory..



Four Spotted Chaser..

Don't be shy.


Smile for the camera..



Lovely..


Common Blue Damsel flies..



Large Red Damsel fly..


Setting the trap.. A Spider i think which belongs to the Tetragnatua order of long bodied and extended forelegs spiders.


The trap is set. Almost perfectly hidden note the legs touching the web to feel for vibrations.

Another spider lays in wait..



Hunting spider. A different strategy.
Zebra Jumping Spider on the 1st screen.



The rather horribly named Flesh fly..

Tadpoles in the stream.


Tufted Vetch flowering..

Fields of Gold. Greenaways in bloom.


And finally some more shots of one of my favourite falcons, "the Hobby" hunting alongside the bridleway on Greenaways.










All photos (C) Peter Coombes unless stated..

Full list of my weeks Bird sightings.

Greylag, Canada, Mallard, Shoveller, Pochard, Garganey, Tufted, Teal, Gadwall, G, C Grebe, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Water Rail, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Curlew, Redshank, Lapwing, Snipe, Common Tern, Cormorant, L,B,B, Gull, Herring Gull, B,H, Gull, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Red Kite, Hobby, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Barn Owl, Cuckoo, Pheasant, Red Legged Partridge, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Magpie, Jay, Green Woodpecker, G,S, Woodpecker, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Starling, Skylark, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whtiethroat, Bearded Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Swift, Swallow, Reed Bunting, Pied Wagtail, House sparrow.

77 Species