|House Martin over the first screen (c) Bark|
|Reed Warbler feeding up (c) Bark|
|Just some of the geese on a morning panic (c) Bark|
|Eleven Blackwits (c) Bark|
|and again (c) Bark|
|Whinchat (c) Darrell Wood|
|Sedgie (c) Darrell Wood|
Autumn is really kicking in now with hips, haws and blackberries in the hedgerows and the grey and damp weather. Passage migrants are still on the reserve with both Whinchats and Wheatears to be found. Notable today was a party of eleven Black tailed Godwits that circled the reedbed and when they could not find anywhere to land went out onto big Otmoor. There are still warblers feeding up in the hedgerows but not as many as last week. Most noticeable today were the very large numbers of hirundines feeding over the fields, they were mostly Swallows and House Martins with just a scattering of Sand Martins amongst them.
The resident flock of Canada Geese and Greylags has been swollen by a major influx of birds. I counted at least four hundred individuals out on Big Otmoor and when a kind of mass panic overcomes them and they take to the air the noise is extraordinary. Hopefully having such an extensive feral flock will encourage their wilder congeners to overwinter with us. Peregrine was seen both days and a Sparrowhawk seems to have taken up territory around the reedbed.
I have just received a report that a Bittern was seen this afternoon flying between the southern and northern reedbeds. This is early but given the breeding successes that this species has had this year it is not surprising.