Sunday, 14 September 2014

Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th September

Young Sedgie (c) John Reynolds
A rather quiet weekend on the birdfront. The moor was rather grey and still first thing but warmed up during the mornings. There is a quietness about this part of the season almost as if nature is taking a deep breath before plunging into autumn and then all to rapidly into winter. The hedgerows are full of fruit and seeds and leaves are just beginning to turn colour so the foliage is tinted with oranges and soft browns.
Haws (c) Bark
A Green sandpiper is still frequenting the second Greenaways scrape, which is now little more than a few muddy puddles and before the week is over will be dry. There are still several Marsh Harriers present and on Saturday at least three Hobbies were on and over Big Otmoor and Greenaways. A Peregrine was mobbed by corvids along the northern edge of big Otmoor on Saturday and there are a number of Kestrels over the whole reserve. A Honey Buzzard was seen on passage on Wednesday one of three seen recently in the county. It was also a welcome addition to the yearlist.
Noke Swallows (c) Bark
A couple of Whinchats  and a Wheatear were seen and up at Noke Swallows are gathering on the wires like musical notes on a stave. 
Greylags and Canadas (c) Bark
There are huge numbers of feral geese on the reserve with a count of over five hundred on Sunday.
Jays are much more noticeable around the reserve now as they move in to harvest the acorns from the oaks along the bridleway and roman Road.
Jay (c) John Reynolds
At the first screen a Kingfisher has continued to entertain both birders and photographers alike.
Kingfisher (c) Bark
Herons are stalking the shallows and Snipe can be spotted probing the large areas of mud that have now been exposed. Occasionally Water Rails, both adults and juveniles can be seen scurrying from one patch of cover to another. More often than not they are heard and not seen, squealing in their distinctive pig like way.
Water Rail (c) John Reynolds
There was still at least one Redstart still in Long Meadow today and one or two Lesser Whitethroats.
It was good to find a freshly emerged Comma Butterfly along the Roman Road this morning. It provided a warm splash of colour amid the cooler greens and a reminder of both of the summer that has passed and the colours of autumn to come.
A splash of colour (c) Bark

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