Monday, 24 November 2014

Saturday and Sunday 22nd and 23rd November

In Peters absence this week Pete Roby has kindly stepped in as guest editor to bring you some of the wildlife highlights seen on the reserve this weekend.

The weather was dull on the weekend but the birds still turned up in numbers.
The car park is always worth a look before you head out onto the reserve as you can usually have close views of Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Robin, Dunnock and Blue tits. I was hoping for Redpoll but didn’t find any this weekend. The car park field held good numbers of winter thrushes, especially on Sunday. It seemed like every bush held Redwing and Fieldfare, and you could hear noisy Starlings chattering in the hedgerows all around the field.  The feeders always attract Greenfinches and this is usually the best place to see them on the moor. 

Reed Bunting (c) Tezzer

There was a nice pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers on the nut feeders and Reed Buntings in the bushes nearby. A single Goldcrest was associating with a loose flock of tits along the bridleway The scrapes on Greenaways have started to fill up and they held 80 Lapwing and a few Common Snipe. From the main hide we could see a Buzzard sitting on a post in the rain, the Fallow deer is still hanging around the cattle, thirty Teal and small numbers of Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipits.A Peregrine flew over towards Big Otmoor and was lost behind the Oak trees.

Shoveler from the screen (c) Tezzer

The winter ducks are spread all over the moor and occasionally get flushed, and that’s when you realise there are twice as many as you thought.  As well as the ducks around a thousand Golden Plover and a few hundred Lapwing went up when the Farmer went to check the cattle on Ashgrave . There are still two Stonechats on Big Otmoor, flitting about and hovering over the tops of the reeds. The Marsh Harrier was seen on both days over the main reed bed and the Cetti’s warbler is still calling near the second screen.

Hidden Roe Deer (c) Andrew Marshall

Two Tawny Owls were heard calling along the Roman road early on Saturday morning with another calling back in the distance.  There are around 30,000 Starlings in the roost at the moment and if you head up onto the moor in the late afternoon it’s worth keeping an eye out for the Short Eared Owl.

Hunting Sparrowhawk (c) Tezzer

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