Friday, 18 October 2013

Saturday 12th October (a belated posting)

Little Grebe from the first screen


Goldfinch along the bridleway.

Frog on the path. all pics (c) Bark
A brief posting as I only managed one visit to the moor this weekend. Sunday was a washout with rain almost all day. It seems churlish to complain about it as we have been experiencing close to drought conditions over the past few months and the scrapes and ditches have been bone dry. We will only get large numbers of wildfowl overwintering if there is sufficient water for feeding and secure roosting.
All day on Friday I had seen parties of Redwings passing over Headington heading west on the strong winds. I saw several groups of them over the moor on Saturday and notably my first Fieldfares of the year, a group of seven and later a singleton.
Finch and tit flocks are active in the hedgerows with a larger flock of Goldfinches feeding on burdock along the bridleway towards Noke. A loose flock of at least thirty Skylarks were very noticeable over Greenaways chasing around making their buzzy calls. There were also two individuals singing. A Chiffchaff was singing in the carpark field as I arrived and there were at least three other individuals along the path to the second screen. This is where we had a number of overwintering birds last year.
Lapwings are beginning to be seen in larger groups and one party on Saturday numbered over fifty. Although the Bittern was not seen on Saturday it had been seen flying from one side of the southern reedbed to the other on Friday morning. All I saw of the Bearded Tits was one individual briefly flitting over the top of the reeds and pinging. At this time of year we often have irruptive groups of Beardies and I hope that our resident birds are joined by some others.

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