Monday, 21 November 2011

Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th November

Reed Bunting (c) Peter Barker

Short-eared Owl(c) Darrell Wood

Misty Reeds (c) Darrell Wood

A quieter weekend on the moor with foggy mornings giving way to sunny afternoons.
Short-eared Owls have been hunting over Greenaways and the Closes every evening and the Hen harrier/s and Merlin have been seen quite frequently. Peregrine was seen both days. The Cettis Warbler was both seen and heard on both days this weekend and is very mobile along the ditch beside the bridle way. A few Redpolls were seen occasionally in company with Goldfinches, but never in range of my camera!
Golden Plover were seen but usually flying over, on one occasion a large number flying high in long skeins. Two Pintail seen on Saturday morning were the first record of this winter period.There were five Stock doves on Big Otmoor on Saturday. On Saturday morning we found a Grey Wagtail by the first screen and as far as I know that is the first record of one on the moor this year. The scattering of grain by the cattle pen is paying dividends with a flock of over sixty Chaffinches and some Yellowhammers feeding on the ground. We will shortly be adding a Niger feeder to the feeding station in the carpark field and this will add to the interest around the feeders.
I spent a lot of time this weekend looking and listening for Bearded Tits but without success. I did however realise just how many Reed Buntings there are taking advantage of the reedbed. We now desperately need rain as the ecology of the reedbed is under considerable stress.

Some rather grainy video footage of the owls taken by Adam Hartley

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