|Turtle Dove by pumphouse|
|........ and its antithesis. All above pics (c) Bark|
June on the reserve would have got off to the best possible start with excellent weather and interesting things to see, but for one persons greed and ignorance. Some time between dusk on Saturday and dawn on Sunday some selfish idiot decided to dump a tipper truck load of building rubble in the carpark in two heaps. The largest heap occupied at least two cars worth of space, which gives some idea of the size of it. We have looked carefully through the spoil and found that it had come from a house in Marston that is being worked on. Interestingly the pile also contained some flyers for a rubbish collection service. We will pass this information on to the appropriate authorities. It will of course cost the RSPB both time and money to dispose of this material properly, something that the perpetrator was also paid to do. The RSPB’s money and volunteers time are better spent on conservation than cleaning up after irresponsible parasites. With my rant over I can relate all the positive things that we have seen this weekend.
Last week we had a brief visit from a passage Osprey which appeared to be hunting across the waterbodies on the reserve this was our one hundred and fortieth species for the year. The Bearded Tit found last weekend is still present but is elusive and moving along the reedy margins around Greenaways and out into the reedbed. Hobbies entertained and thrilled many of the visitors this weekend with eleven being present on Saturday midday and similar numbers on Sunday. Turtle Doves were also very popular with birders but really only showed first thing in the mornings around the pumphouse and the pollarded oaks along the bridleway. Cuckoos too were present but we have yet to hear a female calling with the distinctive “bubbling” call. There were two Marsh Harriers over the reedbed and Greenaways on Sunday. The large female that has been present for several weeks was joined by another smaller bird which may be a juvenile male. There were four Curlew out on Greenaways and they were mobbing the Harriers as they came over. A drake Garganey was seen on the first lagoon on both days of the weekend and a pair were found on Ashgrave last week. The sunshine encouraged birds to sing and display and many migrant warblers are still collecting nesting material. It also brought out reptiles to bask. In addition to Grass Snakes there were at least two different Common Lizards on pollarded willow stumps in the car park field beside the track. (thanks to the eagle eyed Pete Roby)
On Saturday a Club-tailed Dragonfly was photographed along the Roman Road, as far as I am aware this is the first record of this species on Otmoor. There were numerous Four-spotted Chasers and regular sightings of Hairy Dragonflies. Many other insect species could be found along the Roman Road including beetles, hornets, butterflies and some fearsome looking hairy caterpillars.
With news from Portland Observatory of a massive fall of Spotted Flycatchers on Friday, it will be worth keeping an eye open for this increasingly scarce visitor in the coming week.
| Longhorn Beetles |
|Four spotted Chaser above pics (c) Bark|
|Drinker Moth Caterpillar (c) Badger|
|Newtlet or eft (c) Badger|
|Club Tailed Dragonfly (c) Mike Flemming|