Despite the lack of water on the reserve we have had a really good run of birds and the moor is hosting a good variety of species despite it being a “quiet” time of year. Short Eared Owls and Hen Harrier are being seen daily and the Great Grey Shrike was re-found on Friday evening.
The Bird race held on Sunday gave us a very clear indication of what could be found in a very intensive four hour scouring of the reserve. When the sheets were handed in we found that seventy species had been seen altogether, highlights being the Hen Harrier hunting across Greenaways, Ravens, Peregrine, Water Rail at both screens and a broad spread of small passerines. There were also many notable absences, that would almost certainly have been present had the ground been wetter and the scrapes and pools full. Thanks to Badger, the Wickster and Ewan for making sure that the first time this event was held at Otmoor it was won by Otmoor regulars. College Lake next year will be quite a challenge.
Another stunning image from Ewan © Ewan Urquart