Monday, 30 January 2012

Saturday and Sunday 28th and 29th January

Three hints of spring #1 Singing chaffinch (c) P. Barker
#2 boxing Hares (c) P. Barker
#3 mad Hares (c) P. Barker
Not a great deal happening on the moor this weekend. We did however have one very interesting sighting, of a bird that is common elsewhere but I have only seen once before on Otmoor. On Sunday morning in the gloom “Clackers” and John Prowse found a female Goldeneye out on the northern lagoon in the company of some Tufties. I later had very poor views of it on the southern lagoon badly hampered by the mist. We also recorded our first Coot of the year. Where have they all been?
In the sunshine on Saturday Skylarks were singing and on Sunday I heard my first singing Chaffinches of the year. Two Brown Hares boxed and raced round madly on Ashgrave sometimes coming close enough to be photographed. There are now at least sixty Wigeon on the water in front of the hide and a flock of about three hundred Lapwings. We also had several smaller groups of Golden plover flying over.
The new niger feeder is being used regularly and during the week attracted its first Redpoll. Many of the visitors I spoke to commented on the Bullfinches in the car park field that are becoming more used to people and easier to see, as they are now feeding on the blackthorn buds alongside the track.
There were still at least five Short eared Owls out on Greenaways at dusk on Saturday.

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