Monday, 31 August 2020

RSPB Otmoor :: 30 August 2020

We didn't rush out so arrived at the reserve at about 10.30am. We planned to skip down the Roman Road to Saunder's Field to catch up a male restart that has been showing very well - @old_caley had posted some nice photos the night before. As we entered the car park, we came across Dan and Trish Miller who told us that there was a cattle egret on Greenaways; for the avoidance of doubt (ID), it was hanging about with the cattle. In addition, they mentioned that they'd seen two cranes drop into the reed bed beyond. A quick change of plan.

We made it to the bridleway and fortunately the egret was showing and Cattle egretfollowing a cow as it fed. Eventually the cow lay down and the egret dropped down into a hollow. It showed briefly but not as well as when we'd arrived. No sign of the cranes but a jay could be seen working it's way along the far hedge line. We all waited and hoped that the egret would hop onto the back of one of the cattle, but no such luck.

We decided to go back to our original plan and headed for Saunder's Field - amazing that we've never been there before - perhaps we will need to plan for a full circuit someday.

We'd been given instructions as to where we'd find the bird, but as we arrived another birder was marking the spot. As he left, he appeared to be rather pleased with is encounter - ours was to be just as good. What a showy fella'. Although he came and went, he visited frequently and often gave clear views - not at all like the redstart I'd seen in Long Meadow recently.

Redstart

Redstart

Redstart

We noticed a kestrel hunting along the hedge and out into the field, dropping on prey in the mown grass. At one point we saw it leaving the top of the hedge again (or so we thought), and as we watched it danced around in the air - it became obvious that there was small bird wheeling around. It didn't manage to evade capture and when we got the camera and bins on it, it turned out to be a different bird - a hobby.

We made our way along the hedge with both red kite and kestrel dropping to the ground to our right and came across a number of chiffchaff.

Chiffchaff

Time was getting on and we had planned to have lunch with the girls at home, so turned back. We reached the end of the Roman Road and could see that the cattle had relocated to this end of Greenaways, and so had the cattle egret. We decided not to take the fast route back in the hope of spotting the cranes. Nothing as we made our way along the bridleway, but as we stood by the cattle pens we managed to pick them out.

Sightings (28) included: blue tit, carrion crow, cattle egret, cetti's warbler, chaffinch, chiffchaff, crane, goldfinch, great tit, grey heron, greylag goose, hobby, house martin, jay, kestrel, linnet, magpie, mallard, marsh harrier, moorhen, pheasant, red kite, redstart, swallow, swift, woodpigeon and wren.

No comments:

Post a comment