|Turtle with the wind up its sails (c) Derek Lane|
|Reed warbler (c) Mark Chivers|
From amid the depths of this green and white profusion all the regular warblers were pumping out their songs, occasionally flying up still calling before parachuting back down into the foliage. The Grasshopper Warbler that has taken up residence beside the path to the first screen was very obliging on Sunday reeling out in the open, while clinging to a single reed. It was possible to see its whole body vibrating with the effort of pumping out that stream of sound.
|Gropper (c) Mark Chivers|
Over Greenaways and the Closes Snipe were drumming, climbing and diving in their roller coaster flights. They seem to be present in very good numbers and recent surveys suggest that they might be doing better than ever. Redshank are also very much in evidence and when they have chicks close to the fences and paths, or are moving them from one area to another, they are most vociferous in their alarm calling and swooping flights. Lapwings too are very noticeable going up to challenge overflying Red Kites but not effectively enough to prevent them swooping down over Big Otmoor.
|Red Kite on patrol (c) Derek Lane|
On Greenaways Hobbies are perched up on the posts and fences, as usual they sit around idly until around eleven o’clock, at this time they get going and start to hunt the dragonflies that by now have warmed up and got onto the wing. They are saving energy, there is of course no point in flying around aimlessly when there is nothing about to catch!
|Hobby with prey (c) JR|
|Hobbies (c) Tom N-L|
|Cuckoos (c) Derek Lane|
Out in the reedbed there is one easily observed Heron nest. The two well grown chicks now look very like a pair of rather dishevelled punks. It is fascinating to watch the parent birds come in and get mugged for the food they are carrying in their crop. The noise and the excitement make quite a spectacle.
There are other Herons that are breeding successfully on the
reserve, including the ones in the platform on the dead tree in front of the
hide. Six Little Egrets have been roosting regularly in this area but as yet
have shown no signs of making a breeding attempt.
|Turtle dove stepping out! (c) JR|
|Punk Herons and parent (c) Terry Jones|
Four Shelduck flew between Big Otmoor and Ashgrave on Saturday morning and there are now many other ducks swimming round with ducklings in tow. While on a survey last week we saw a Shoveller with six “Shovellettes” in her wake. The Common Terns are now sitting on the tern raft although another pair, on the southern lagoon, seem to have nowhere to nest.
|Hares are much in evidence now (c) Peter West|
I had hoped that the Spoonbill seen over the Trap Grounds and Port Meadow would make its way onto the moor, it is a couple of years since we had one down there. Perhaps this week!
|Grass Snake (c) Andy Harris|