|Linnet (c) Nick Truby|
|Fieldfare (c) Derek Lane|
|Redwing (c) Tom Nicholson-Lailey|
|Goldfinch (c) Derek Lane|
There were lots of birds to be found on both days and they were often concentrated where there was a little shelter in the lee of the hedges. Not so for the larger flocks of both Lapwings and Golden Plover that are feeding out on Noke Sides (the fields to the west of the path to the second screen). The numbers of both species are rising and we thought at least four hundred Lapwings were present and a slightly smaller number of Goldies.
They have attracted a
pair of Peregrines, we assume a pair because of the difference in size between
the two. The birds are using the vantage point of the large oaks across Noke
Sides, just as Peregrines did last year and it seems quite likely that they are
the same birds. They interacted once or twice with the Marsh Harriers which in
turn were not over pleased to have Red Kites cruising over “their” reedbed.
Raptors do resent each others presence.
|Lapwings and Goldies (c) Tom Nicholson-Lailey|
Duck numbers continue to rise and the areas of open water for them to exploit are also on the rise, literally! Shovellers are most noticeable on the main lagoon and more Wigeon can be seen feeding out on the grass beside the pools on Ashgrave and Big Otmoor.( For a wonderful description of Wigeon feeding read Mark cockers description in the Country Diary section of the Guardian on 1st December its obtainable on line. I wish I could write like that !) We have yet to see more than the odd Pintail perhaps it is still too warm for them to have been pushed south. There are also fewer Pochard than I would have expected at this time of year. The Grey Lag and Canada Goose flocks are very large and it is about now that they might be joined by their wild and more exciting cousins. So its worth scoping through the flocks, last year the Whitefronts spent most time associating with the Greylags.
|Redpoll (c) Derek Lane|
|Kingfisher from the hide (c) Nick Truby|
The Bramblings are still with the Finch flock by the hide although they can be elusive and a visit from the Sparrowhawk can scatter the flocks for quite some time.
The Bittern put in a slow flypast on Sunday as it was making heavy
weather of flying into the wind. A very dapper Grey Wagtail has been seen around
the cattle corral over the last few days its smart clean plumage and bright
yellow underparts are in stark contrast to the muddy manured area it is
patrolling. It is a lovely bird to see and not one that is common on Otmoor.
With more gales forecast who knows what might appear next. Perhaps Farmoor will
lend us one of their Phalaropes!
|Bittern in the wind and gloom (c) JR|
|Long tailed Tit and reflection (c) Derek Lane|