Thursday, 26 October 2017

RSPB Otmoor :: 25 October 2017

The first sunny day of my week off (half term) and feeling a bit better after my Russian cold. Charlotte and I headed to a sun soaked RSPB Otmoor to find an almost full car park. We set off and enjoyed the pair of great spotted woodpeckers as we passed the feeding station. Golden ploverWe haven't been for a while and it was a stark contrast as we walked along the path to have relative quiet following the departure of the sedge and reed warblers. Looking to the skies we had a distant fly-past from a peregrine [#164] which bizarrely is a first for the year. As we reached the turn for the hide we could see distant large flocks in the skies; to the right some starlings, but to the left and ahead very large numbers of golden plover [#165].

From the hide we saw an unusual sight of a kestrel sitting in the grass, albeit slightly camouflaged by the brown of the stems. The usual suspects were feeding on seeds beyond the gate, joined by larger numbers of chaffinch than normal - unfortunately no brambling amongst them.

SnipeDown at the first screen we found 20 snipe with large numbers of resting mallard and teal; a single widgeon joined them at the far end.No sign of hen harrier, water rail or even marsh harrier but a late flight from a bittern raised the adrenaline.

Given the time we had to turn back here and return home, seeing my first redwing of the winter as we did so. A late treat was a marsh tit at the feeding station as we passed again.

Species recorded today (40) included: bittern, black-headed gull, blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, coal tit, coot, cormorant, dunnock, golden plover, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, greylag goose, jay, kestrel, lapwing, linnet, magpie, mallard, marsh tit, moorhen, mute swan, peregrine, pheasant, red kite, redwing, reed bunting, robin, rook, shoveler, snipe, starling, teal, tufted duck, wigeon, woodpigeon and wren.

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