Monday, 1 May 2017

RSPB Otmoor :: 29 April 2017

An early rise and off to RSPB Otmoor. Onsite by 7.15am and immediately the noise from warblers was evident. CuckooOver the car park field grasshopper warbler could be heard over the local chiffchaff. Soon after leaving the car park a cuckoo [#115] could be heard and by the time I'd reached the feeders it could be seen in the far distance in the top of an oak tree. At least two grasshopper earners were calling but remained out of sight. Great spotted woodpecker exhibiting the same behaviour as we saw last time we were onsite - taking shards of peanuts and pushing them deep into a hole in a nearby tree.

Reed warblerSedge warblers then took over as I walked along the bridle way, followed by reed warbler. Then spotted whitethroat [#116] in the top of a tree before seeing the cuckoo in the trees running parallel to the path. Turned to head down to the first screen and heard a grasshopper warbler in the bush beside me. As I tried to see it I was joined by two older gentlemen, one of whom was particularly hard of hearing. The managed to position themselves within 10 feet of the bird and discuss loudly what the could and couldn't see and hear. Amazingly the bird continued to sing and move around the bush, although not giving a photo opportunity.

Sedge warblerFrom the second screen I had views of marsh harrier [#117] and then common crane [#118]. Watching for movement I could hear a cuckoo calling nearby - two then flew past not a shabby imitation of a sparrowhawk! Turning round I then saw a female sparrowhawk low over the reeds.

Lots more warbler action all the way back to the feeders where I stopped to see if I could locate the grasshopper warblers - a fleeting glance but a view nevertheless. The cuckoo then reappeared in the distance then moved to the telegraph wires above and away into the trees. Now lesser whitethroat [#119] sang to the left and hobby [#120] flew over.

What a visit!

Sightings (49) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, bullfinch, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, chiffchaff, common tern, coot, cormorant, crane, cuckoo, dunnock, gadwall, goldfinch, grasshopper warbler, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, grey heron, greylag goose, hobby, house martin, kestrel, lesser black-backed gull, lesser whitethroat, linnet, long-tailed tit, mallard, marsh harrier, mute swan, oystercatcher, pheasant, pochard, raven, red kite, redshank, reed bunting, reed warbler, sedge warbler, shoveler, skylark, sparrowhawk, swift, tufted duck, whitethroat, willow warbler and wren.

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