Wednesday, 24 October 2018

BOS Bicester Wetlands :: 24 October 2018

Another day off work for the school half term so I talked Charlotte into a visit to the BOS Bicester Wetland Reserve, a first for her. The sun was out again and so regardless of what we saw, it would be a relaxing day out.

We decided to take our lunch up into the main hide so as to not spook the birds unnecessarily. From here we looked across the water and noted teal (18), moorhen (6) and black-headed gulls (19). Blue and great tits joined goldfinches, greenfinches and chaffinches at the feeders, only interrupted by a visiting great spotted woodpecker.

When thinking about eating our sandwiches we saw three jays fly from right to left over the entrance road but into the far trees. We waited for further views but none were forthcoming. While waiting though, a magpie chased out a sparrowhawk from the trees and began a dogfight ... first the magpie chasing the sparrowhawk, and then they swapped places. At one point I couldn't believe that the magpie escaped the sparrowhawk's clutches. Just minutes later this event was repeated but in addition to the magpie a crow decided to have a go. Again, how the crow escaped a lunge from the sparrowhawk we will never know.

As we were deciding to head down to the other end of the reserve, a wren decided to land on the ledge of the window - I'm not sure who got the biggest fright! As I looked down the fence below I could see the wren hopping left and right, recovering it's composure. Shortly after both red kite and buzzard flew over, the buzzard landing in a distant tree, to the annoyance of the magpies.

On the works pool two little grebe dived around the groups of mallard and gadwall.

Green sandpiperAs we approach the new hide the teal on the water were disturbed and every single one took to the air - 28 of them. From the hide all we had was a solitary green sandpiper. Over we had woodpigeon (65) and starling (45).

On our return to the car I looked over to the water treatment facility and counted 49 carrion crows. I also spotted a single grey wagtail.

Nothing out of the ordinary but a nice day out.

Sightings (30) included: black-headed gull, blue tit, buzzard, carrion crow, chaffinch, dunnock, gadwall, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, green sandpiper, greenfinch, grey heron, grey wagtail, house sparrow, jackdaw, jay, little grebe, magpie, mallard, moorhen, pheasant, pied wagtail, red kite, robin, sparrowhawk, starling, teal, woodpigeon and wren.

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