Monday, 23 December 2013

Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd December

Chilli chompers and gin sippers.

A rainbow over the carpark as I was leaving, an omen for next year?
 Saturday morning was largely a washout with most birding being done from under cover of the hide or the roof at the second screen. It is notable however that we now have a significant presence of Golden Plover on the reserve with a mobile flock of over five hundred. There are also similar numbers of Lapwing. In amongst these were at least two Dunlin and two Ruff both species only really noticeable when the birds flushed, which they did frequently.
Sunday morning started grey but rapidly gave way to bright winter sunshine and piercingly blue sky. A number Otmoor regulars met up for a several hours birding, nips of sloe gin, chilli chocolate, fudge, marzipan balls and mince pies.....and of course scintillating conversation about the highs and lows of 2013 and scurrilous gossip about everyone else! We managed to find fifty one species by eleven o clock and that was without the Peregrine seen by others on Ashgrave and the passing Raven. All the regular species were seen and it is good to record that the Whoopers are still settled and have now been joined by nine Mute Swans.
The current torrential rain will further flood the moor and this in turn may well draw in more wildfowl and perhaps something more exciting and unusual. I will be writing a review of the year over the Christmas period and will try to catalogue the highs and lows of what has been a brilliant year on Otmoor.
I wish the happiest of Christmases to all my readers and look forward to a great 2014

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