Sunday, 20 December 2020

RSPB Otmoor :: 13 December 2020

I decided on a late trip to RSPB Otmoor, primarily hoping to find a short-eared owl - yes I know it has only been seen very sporradically, but it sounded like my usual site hasn't yet reported any.

Golden plover

I walked down along the path between The Closes and Moorleys. The noise made it clear that many of the golden plover had recollated to The Closes, as had some lapwing.

At the feeders we coild see the usual suspects, but including two great-spotted woodpecker and a treecreeper.

I managed to connect with five white-fronted geese but not close enough for any identifyable photos. There were a growing number of people and it occurred to me that they must be coming for the starling murmuration. I decided to turn and head to the footpath leading to The Pill. There was a flock of geese - mixed greylag and Canada. As I watched a single barnacle goose ascended a bank into view.

Barnacle goose

I went through the gate into the field leading to The Pill and had to swing through on the gatepost as the mud was too deep for my walking boots. I walked along the edge of the field but saw nothing of note. The further I went, the wetter it got. I eventually turned back and stood on the edge of the field looking through to the MOD land. I saw a dozen or more blue tit presumably gathering to roost and a squirrel entering a hole in a tree - 'no talk me, I'm angy'.

Squirrel

I decided not to chance having to walk against the incoming flow of people and head back to the car down the Roman Road. I stopped on several ocassions to see if the short-eared owl might be quartering these fields but with no success. However, thousands of starlings were coming in from the south east, in flocks of 10s to 100s. The wing noise as they passed over was fantastic.

Not the longest visit but I think I'll have to consider how busy it gets at the end of the day. I had to squeeze between several cars to make my way out as every possible place for a car was occupied.

Signtings (28) included: barnacle goose, blackbird, blue tit, canada goose, carrion crow, chaffinch, dunnock, fieldfare, golden plover, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, grey heron, greylag goose, lapwing, magpie, mallard, mute swan, pheasant, red kite, redwing, robin, rook, starling, teal, treecreeper, white-fronted goose and woodpigeon.

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