Sunday, 5 May 2019

RSPB Otmoor :: 05 May 2019

This morning I rose early (for the weekend) in order to visit RSPB Otmoor - ideally to see the turtle dove. Should have called ahead as it was out ... apparently no one saw it all morning. Lesser whitethroatThe supporting cast put up a good show, and I added hobby to my year list. Will have to undertake my annual pilgrimage again.

From the car park I could hear cuckoo calling, and as soon as I was through the first kissing gate, I could hear a lesser whitethroat - it showed well. As I was anxious to see the turtle dove, I didn't waste any time getting up to the bridleway along Greenaways. It was surprising to see the feeding station bereft of birds.

I stopped to look In front of the cattle pens but no luck there. I turned and had views of a drumming snipe overhead, and a pair of skylark out across Greenaways. Sedge warblerSince my last visit, many more sedge had joined the reed warbler to my right. A single hobby was cruising in the distance - very early in the morning?

Past the bench I heard a cuckoo ahead of me. Before I could reach its perching spot, it flew off across the bridleway and over to the path towards the first screen. By the kissing gate I could see a rather showy sedge warbler entertaining a couple of photographers.

Nothing special on the way to the first screen. From the screen we had numbers of swifts, a couple of swallows, a single sand martin and later a couple of house martins. WhitethroatThere was the constant call of a cuckoo from far over the reeds, lapwings mobbing a red kite but nothing to add to the year list. I headed back.

Back down the path I had good views of whitethroat and reed bunting; then more views of sedge warbler. A cuckoo dropped into the trees behind me but as I turned it was off and disappeared over (and into?) the reeds beyond.

I stopped several times to see sedge and reed warbler and eventually got a decent view of a singing reed warbler. A singing chiffchaff also showed well.

Reed warblerI checked out the trees and around the cattle pens, but no sign of the turtle dove. A pair of linnet fed on the seed. I turned and looked out across Greenaways and could see two hobby resting on posts - I suppose it was still a little early for them to reach peak activity levels.

I waited to see if the turtle dove would show and had another view of cuckoo, but still not good enough for anything other than a record shot.

Further views of various warblers as I walked back to the car, and added a pair of bullfinches as I left.

ChiffchaffSightings (44) included: barnacle goose, black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, bullfinch, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, chiffchaff, coot, cuckoo, dunnock, gadwall, goldfinch, great tit, grey heron, greylag goose, hobby, house martin, lapwing, lesser whitethroat, linnet, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, oystercatcher, red kite, redshank, reed bunting, reed warbler, rook, sand martin, sedge warbler, shoveler, skylark, snipe, swallow, swift, teal, tufted duck, whitethroat and woodpigeon.

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