Monday, 17 April 2017

RSPB Otmoor :: 15 April 2017

Reports of cuckoo and redstart at RSPB Otmoor enticed us to take our morning walk there. On-site and booted by 9.15am we talked briefly with another visitor in an already full car park. Grasshopper warblers could be heard reeling In the field adjacent to the car park. With quite a lot of trees and shrubs it would be a challenge to get a sighting, unless luck was on our side.

Along the path we stopped at a break in the hedge and the fence to the seasonal path, closed at present due to 'weather'. The gropers could be heard to the left and passages of goldfinch and reed bunting adorned the tops of the trees. HareSoon a lone skylark ventured above the tree line in it's characteristic accent and decent. We continued on to the feeding station, again seeing large numbers of goldfinch. Although closer now, we couldn't catch a glimpse of the gropers (at least two reeling). At one point we thought our luck was in but it turned out to be a linnet and not the singing bird.

Now along the path on Greenaways we could hear numbers of sedge warbler (#104). They obligingly rose and dropped into the reeds; unfortunately my ability to follow and catch the bird in the act only resulted in out of focus blobs. Fleeting views of reed warbler (#105) were also enjoyed. Drumming snipe also passed overhead. A hare also made its way parallel to our path, fortunately not so fast that I couldn't get a couple of photos.

Great spotted woodpeckerNothing spectacular at the hide so we progressed down to the first screen. Got first views for the year of swallow (#106) and then house martin (#107). Unfortunately no sign of any of the harriers, nor bittern, either from the first or second screen. No sight or sound of the cuckoo either.

On the return from screen one to the gate, we saw the flock of lapwing take to the air. Wondering what had spooked them we turned to see a red kite swoop down, being mobbed as it did, to snatch something from the ground. Unfortunately we didn't see the target and the kite continued being mobbed as it flew off directly away from us.

Great spotted woodpeckerAs we passed the feeding station we came upon a great spotted woodpecker which made Charlotte's day. 3.2 miles walked but slightly disappointed how quiet the reserve was, bird-wise. Perhaps the breeze and temperature? Maybe a few weeks and I'll go back to see what else materialises - hopefully the turtle dove.

Today's sightings (36) included: blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, chiffchaff, dunnock, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, grey heron, house martin, kestrel, lapwing, linnet, long-tailed tit, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, pochard, red kite, redshank, reed bunting, reed warbler, robin, rook, sedge warbler, shoveler, skylark, snipe, swallow, tufted duck, woodpigeon, wren and yellowhammer.

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