Sunday, 25 August 2019

Farmoor Reservoir & Bicester Wetlands :: 24 August 2019

All through the week, kingfishers have been showing achingly well from the hide on Shrike Meadow. Some friends have taken some great photos and this was my first chance to have a go. Charlotte joined me, with the offer of lunch - a reward for the early start :-)

We parked in the main visitors car park and headed across the causeway. Quite a few black tern were showing - Dai Johns counting c.30. Managed a couple of photos but at a distance as usual - a few adults but many juveniles. The total rose to c.60 by mid-morning.

Black ternBlack tern
Black ternBlack tern

We arrived at the Shrike Meadow hide having seen a single common sandpiper and two little egrets on the reservoir perimeter. There were three people in residence - included my work colleague and his wife (Dan and Trish Miller). Migrant hawkerThe other was a chap who had been there from first light and we were informed that the kingfisher hadn't shown all morning - this was 9.10am. Some noisy reed warblers showed well and a single sedge warbler dropped in. Throughout our time there the kingfisher stayed away and it was left to the dragonflies to entertain - many brown and migrant hawkers.

We sat and waited and as we did, a long-tailed tit flew amazing close passed the hide - it took us a minute to realise that it had in fact entered through the window and was now trapped at the far end. I opened a window and guided it out. Migrant hawker

Back on the edge of the reservoir, I saw what I thought might be some birds acting as if they were spotted flycatchers - when I got to the trees I had seen movement, there was nothing to see. A family group of chiffchaff were in the bushes at the end of the causeway.

Walking back across the causeway we bumped into Mr and Mrs @old_caley. They had been at RSPB Otmoor and had been enticed to visit when Nick had heard there were black terns - he can't get enough of them.

After lunch at the White Hart in Wytham we headed across to Bicester. We stopped and did some shopping at the garden centre and then opened up the gate to Bicester Wetlands, heading for the main hide. From here I could see green sandpipers (4) and two chiffchaff behind.

Sightings at Farmoor Reservoir (30) included: black tern, black-headed gull, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, chiffchaff, common sandpiper, common tern, coot, cormorant, dunnock, great crested grebe, grey wagtail, greylag goose, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, pied wagtail, reed warbler, sedge warbler, snow goose, starling, swallow, tufted duck and woodpigeon.

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