Wednesday, 1 June 2016

RSPB Otmoor :: 01 June 2016

The weather forecast looked to be poor for June so we didn't rush out and instead dropped into the Red kiteAbingdon Arms at the top of Otmoor Lane for lunch. The three of us enjoyed a really nice lunch of soup, sandwich and a Ploughmans.

Onto the reserve and straight away we could see swift and house martin feeding above, even in the light drizzle. Soon a red kite floated by, soon to be mobbed by lapwing as they sough to move it on. As we approached the feeders a jay scarpered and a pair of woodpeckers exited stage left into the trees; soon they we gone right down the hedgerow.

At least half a dozen snipe we drumming over as Turtle dovewe made it down the carpark field and towards Big Otmoor.

No sign of the turtle doves at the gate or the trees beyond. I was disappointed. Still a lot of activity in the reeds on the righthand of the path, with quite a few reed warbler and a few sedge. As we turned the corner for the Wetland Hide we saw a turtle dove on the ground to the right of the hide, accompanied by a couple of linnets. From the hide we saw a large mixed flock of carrion crows, rooks and jackdaws feeding along the track; whether they were scaring of the usual flock of linnets, yellowhammer and reed bunting I am not sure but they were virtually absent. Eilidh spotted a rather acrobatic sedge from the window and we watched as it contorted itself catching flies.

Between the first and second hide we began hearing a cuckoo. Turtle doveBy the time we got to the second hide we would hear it ahead in the conservation area. I had a play at playing cuckoo from my phone but although it appeared to get some response we never managed to set our eyes on it.

The highlight on the way back was again the turtle dove, back on the track beside the Wetlands hide. It took off and landed on a tree some distance down the path along Big Otmoor. We were fortunate to find it again on our way back. Further sightings of great spotted woodpecker and jays at the feeders as we finished our visit.

Species sighted (41) included: swift, wren, lapwing, Great spotted woodpeckerred kite, snipe, greenfinch, reed bunting, jay, goldfinch, chaffinch, pheasant, woodpigeon, great spotted woodpecker, bullfinch, coot, carrion crow, black-headed gull, housemartin, reed warbler, robin, greylag goose, canada goose, Ross's goose, mute swan, kestrel, turtle dove, little egret, redshank, rook, grey heron, sedge warbler, linnet, jackdaw, tufted duck, shoveler, mallard, cormorant, whitethroat, blue tit, common tern and blackbird.