Tuesday, 13 February 2018

RSPB Otmoor :: 11 February 2018

A sunny, cold and blustery day but better than the rain yesterday. Charlotte was out playing tennis from lunchtime so Sunday lunch was rescheduled for teatime. A visit to RSPB Otmoor was called for.

KestrelThe car park was quite full again. It is good to see the interest in the reserve; its while since I visited and the car park was quiet. Nothing much around the car park or up to the feeding station; at the feeding station it was business as usual with ground feeders interrupted by two squirrels and a male pheasant. Just as I went to move on a kestrel swooped into position and hovered over Moorleys.

Crows, geese and ducks on Greenaways and not much in the sky. As I reached the turn for the hide, a mixed flock of Linnetgolden plover and lapwing took to the wing, spooked by an invisible foe - noticeably fewer than when I was here in mid-January. In the hide the mixed seed was attracting good number of linnet, reed bunting, chaffinch and yellowhammer.

Onwards to the first screen, finding good numbers of wildfowl. It was noticeable that the water level was higher as the two island, one straight ahead and one to the right were both submerged. This meant that no snipe were visible and the Hen harriermajority of the birds rested on the leftmost waters edge. Waiting quietly a shout went up from the other inhabitant saying that the hen harrier was up - the male. Although distant it was beautiful to watch as it quartered the far edge of the reed bed, near the oak tree. All too brief but at least I got a photo this time. Shortly after a female marsh harrier followed suit hunting more to the left and slightly closer.

On the way back along the path between Greenaways and The Closes a redshank was spooked from one edge of a pond to the other, disappearing into the short grass stubble.

A cold but worthwhile visit.

Sightings (37) included: blackbird, blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, coot, dunnock, goldcrest, golden plover, goldfinch, great tit, grey heron, greylag goose, hen harrier, kestrel, lapwing, linnet, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, marsh harrier, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, pochard, red kite, redshank, reed bunting, robin, rook, shoveler, stonechat, teal, tufted duck, woodpigeon and yellowhammer.

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