|White Stork (c) Bark|
It’s been some since we found a scarce Bird on Otmoor, so it was a thrill to find a White Stork on Sunday morning. We were half way along the bridleway back from yet another abortive attempt to find any Wheatears at Noke, when JR noticed a large bird circling Big Otmoor. A glance with bins revealed it was clearly a White Stork and not as we first assumed a Crane. Its’ circuit brought it closer and its huge broad wingspan made it look a bit like a flying door! It circled for a couple of minutes, as if it might land but then vectored off towards Ashgrave, descending as it went.
|White Stork (c) JR|
|Willow Warblers and a Chiffy (c) Bark|
This weekend I heard and saw my first Willow and Sedge Warblers of the year. The Willow on the far side of the moor and the Sedge by the entrance to the trail to the first screen. Despite the cool misty weather, it was notable how much birdsong could be heard.
|Lapwing (c) Tom N-L and Curlew (c) Bark|
|Robin nest building (c) Bark|
|Skulking Cetti's (c) Bark|
We saw a male Peregrine on both days this weekend, for some of the time it was perched out on one of the posts on Greenaways. The Marsh Harriers were very active over both the reedbed and the adjoining fields, several food passes were seen between the male and female. During the last couple of weeks two Short-eared Owls have been seen regularly hunting over Greenaways in the early evening.
|S.E.O (c) Tezzer and Buzzard (c) JR|
On Saturday we walked right around the moor and over at the western edge we found a flock of seventeen yellowhammers feeding on a recently ploughed and harrowed field. The males standing out vividly against the dark brown soil.
|Yellowhammer at Oddington (c) Bark|
|Linnets (c) JR|
Brown Hares were very active across Greenaways and Big Otmoor, chasing and boxing. When they take off on a run their extraordinary pace and manoeuvrability can be seen and appreciated.
|Brown Hares above (c) JR below (c) Bark|
Last time I suggested that this week I would be able to report the arrival of Sedge and Willow Warblers, which came to pass almost as I published my blog, I am sure that we will have other new arrivals to report in my next posting.
|Calling Great Crested Grebe (c) JR|