Monday, 27 February 2012

Saturday and sunday 25th and 26th February

Bittern from second screen (c) Andy Last

Redpolls using the new niger feeder. (c) P. Barker

Teal from the hide (c) P. Barker

Bittern Hiding (c) P. Barker

Bittern over the reed bed (c) Terry Sherlock

It felt more like the last few days of April than the end of February, the weather was warm and bright and there were lots of birds to look at.
Most notable among them was a Bittern, probably the one seen last weekend It was seen flying over the reed bed on Saturday and then seen on and off all day feeding along the nothern edge of the top reed bed.
A pair of Redshanks patrolled the waters edge on Ashgrave and increasing numbers of Wigeon are feeding on the edges of these lagoons.
Reed Buntings have started to sing in earnest this week and their scratchy song can be heard from scrubby areas and reeds. On Sunday a Cettis Warbler was both seen and heard singing along the ditch beside the bridle way and from the bramble patch by the kissing gate that goes to the first screen.
New for the year list this weekend were Great Crested and Little Grebes and a Grey Wagtail that showed well in front of the first screen on Saturday morning.
On both days as the mornings drew on and it got warmer there were large numbers of raptors to be seen soaring and displaying over adjacent woodland. Principally Buzzards and Kites but at one time on Saturday there were at least five Sparrowhawks above Noke Wood. Peregrine was also seen on Sunday as were Ravens.
Large numbers of Lapwing are beginning to display and pair up over Big Otmoor and there were several sizeable flocks of Golden Plover distributed over the main fields.
Ten Curlew successfully fulfilled my prediction of last week and if the fine warm weather continues there could be further new arrivals by next weekend.

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