Monday, 22 April 2013

Saturday and Sunday 20th and 21st April

Gropper on the way to the second screen

Sedge Warbler


Dawn Willow Warbler

Sand Martin over second screen


Wheatear at Noke

Curious Whitethroat

Massive clump of Primroses at the side of Ashgrave

Wood Anemone  All pictures this week (c) Bark

From a scattering of migrant arrivals last weekend this weekend there was a flood. Unlike normal years when warblers and passage migrants arrive in a regular, steady sequence, this year everything seems to arrived at once.
All of the regular warblers are now present with the exception of Garden Warbler. Also notable by its absence is Cetti’s, just one singing bird present for about a week last spring and this year no sound at all. Our Cetti’s have not yet recovered from the freezing winter of 2011/12 and it would be wonderful to have them back adding their strident calls to the chorus that is now pouring from the hedges and reedbeds. Grasshopper Warblers were calling in the carpark field and a couple were also seen very close and out in the open along the path to the second screen. Sedge Warblers still outnumber Reed in the ditches but that will change over the next couple of weeks.
Whinchats were found in the carpark field on Friday and along the visitor trail on Sunday. There were six Wheatears at Noke on Saturday and Sunday with several others on Ashgrave and Big Otmoor. Cuckoo was both heard and seen on both days and will be regular now until it leaves at the end of July.
Both Marsh Harrier and a Ring-tailed Hen Harrier were seen over the weekend and Peregrine could be seen flying over and sitting on the ground on Ashgrave. A Raven was also mobbed by the breeding Lapwings on Big Otmoor.
Two Little Stints were reported last week on the scrapes on Greenaways and there were thirteen Black Tailed Godwits on Ashgrave on Sunday morning.
Brimstone, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshells were in evidence and Toads are making merry in the ditches. Several Grass Snakes could be found warming up in the sunshine and Brown Hares are performing their mad March behaviours in April! There is now so much to see and hear on the moor that it is difficult to know where to go but if time is limited the car park field and the Roman Road are full of interest. Perhaps our first Hobby to look forward to next week.

Update: A Hobby was seen over the reed bed and the carpark field on Sunday morning (per S.T.)

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