Monday, 7 February 2022

Bicester Wetlands Reserve :: 06 February 2022

Sunday began windy with waves of rain and so I rose late, had breakfast, and eased into the day. The wind hadn't improved by early afternoon and so we abandoned our planned walk - instead I made my way to Bicester Wetland Reserve for a sneaky visit. I opened the shutters in the hide and worried that the wind might lift off the roof - the rain started again and with the wind direction I had to reposition my scope, bins and camera to avoid getting them wet. I counted the teal and made c160, also ten gadwall, two shoveler and numbers of moorhen. I scanned around and noted a couple of grey herons, one deep in the scrub in the works pool and the other along the hedge between the reserve and the new Technology Park. Three little egrets got up from the works pool and one landed not far from the grey heron on the hedge line. As I watched the egret fishing a single green sandpiper appeared and started feeding along the water’s edge, passing close to the little egret. The little egret seemed to be disturbed by its small companion and tried to flush it off, unsuccessfully – regardless, the green sand was soon gone and the little egret was left fishing along the edge of the reeds.

Green sandpiper
Green sandpiper and little egret
Green sandpiper and little egret
Little egret

Four gulls dropped into the water and one of them got me excited thinking it could be something special. Once I got the scope on it, I could see that it was just a herring gull like the other three. I looked back on the opposite hedge and saw the heron had moved on but could see a chiffchaff working the pruned branches. After a couple of minutes, it was lost from view.

Herring gull

I'd hoped to spot a kingfisher in the works pool, but one never appeared. Two little grebes fished together, and a couple of shovelers dropped in. The rain stopped but the wind kept blowing directly into the hide - the light was going and so I took and couple of final photos and headed home.


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