Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Wading through the numbers

The sheer numbers of birds on Otmoor at the moment is breathtaking and careful scrutiny of the mass flocks of Golden Plovers, Lapwings and Wildfowl can produce a few surprises. 5 Blacktailed Godwits were present on Sunday on Greenaways. I found them again today Wednesday 19th on Big Otmoor, along with
15 Dunlin and 4 Ruff. Sanderling and a solitary Grey Plover have also been seen over recent days. Peter Barker thought he heard Redshank on Sunday but couldn't find them. I thought i heard Redshank today on Big Otmoor but again couldn't find them. However i have just seen on the Oxon Bird Log Redshank have been seen on Big Otmoor.
My first Otmoor Curlew of the year was feeding among a small flock of Canadian Geese on Greenaways on Tuesday evening and was found in the same area Wednesday morning.  Bearded Tits are being seen regularly around the 1st screen area and the path to the 2nd screen. I have found them on my previous two visits giving fantastic views by said screen area. Hen Harrier and Peregrine were both viewed over the reedbed heading towards the flood field. Every time a raptor flies over the Flood field or Big Otmoor thousands of Goldies, Lapwing and various Wildfowl take to the air making for some spectacular sights.
Among a plenitude of Tits, Finches and various other passerines, the Marsh tit is still a regular visitor to the feeders in the Car Park field. It provided welcome entertainment whilst waiting for either a Short Eared or a Barn Owl to make an appearance in the Car Park field on Tuesday evening. That and a most spectacular sunset, didn't quite make up for the fact that i gave up at 5:45 pm when the light had all but gone. Only to get home, look at the Oxon bird Log, to see Short Eared Owl seen in Car Park field at 6:00 pm. ARGHHH!! The second time recently, i have missed them by minutes. The first being last Friday. Ambling slowly back to the car i met a chap by the Cattle pens, who informed me he had just seen a Short eared Owl fly over him as he was getting out of his car. That's birding for you.
There are still a few Redwings around. A flock of 20 plus were in the car park field early am Wednesday. With the odd one or two in various other locations on the reserve. fieldfare are also still present but in smaller numbers. With only three found feeding on Greenaways (Wednesday). A Chiffchaff  was again in the bushes at the top of the path to the screens. Two Little Egrets and three Snipe were located from the hide. One of the resident Great Spotted Woodpeckers was very confiding around the feeders and posed nicely for the camera. Showing it's falcon like talons, chisel bill and vibrant colours.
My list for February is up to 71 so far. Not bad considering there are a few Otmoor residents i have yet to catch up with.

Otmoor photos...

Confiding Great spotted Woodpecker..







Sunday's Bearded tit..






Bearded Tit in flight..



Long Tailed Tit in evening sunlight..


Goldies in V formation..



Golden Plover..




Marsh Tit.. 




Buzzard over Big Otmoor..



And surprising a Coot..



Two very distant Black Tailed Godwits..



Kingfisher..



L,B,B Gulls..




Canadas..


Lapwing..



Early morning mass..



Going down of the sun. Fiery Sunset Tuesday 18th..








Dawn's early light. Wednesday 19th..