Monday, 2 April 2012

Saturday 31st March and 1st April

The first Willow Warbler on the moor this year. (c) P. Barker

The same .......

........and again.

Reed Bunting. (c) P.Barker

Long Tailed Tit collecting nest material. (c) P.Barker

Odd Bee with long proboscis. (c) P.Barker

Frost on Nettles (c) P. Barker

A very grey windy morning on Saturday and a cold crisp start to Sunday that gave way to warm sunshine.
Chiffchaffs are singing along all the hedgerows and several Blackcaps can be heard especially in the Roman road area. Fresh in, was a Willow Warbler singing appropriately in a pollarded willow on Sunday morning first thing. There may have been two of them but we were not sure. Reed buntings are very much in evidence and there is a small flock of Linnets along the track between the two screens. A Little ringed Plover was in front of the hide on Saturday but did not show itself on Sunday. There seem to be really good numbers of Redshank on most of the fields and they can be heard calling and seen displaying almost all the time. A lone Ruff was the only other wader species present. Peregrine was seen as was Raven and there seem to be very pale Common Buzzards everywhere. One birder told me that he had counted fourteen and several Kites in one rising thermal on Thursday.
There is a very attractive Snow Goose that has joined Guinea Fowl, Bar-headed Goose, Night Heron and Black Swan on my Otmoor “plastic list”. Presumably a vagrant from Blenheim. There are still a diminishing number of Wigeon and Teal on the moor and at least sixty Golden Plover many of which are in smart summer plumage. Last week there was a flock of over three hundred Fieldfares with a few Redwings, this week there were about seventy and it won’t be long now until they go. An Otter was seen crossing the track between the two screens on Sunday and unfortunately a Mink was seen along the bridle way.
Migrants will be turning up rapidly now, it is the most exciting time of year for a patch watcher.


  1. I think the bumblebee mimic may be the narcissus fly, Merodon equestris, a bane of spring gardeners' lives.

  2. Hi Peter I think Bee looking insect is a Beefly.

  3. I think Dai is right. Have alook at Mark Avery's blog for Tuesday 3rd April. Seems to be a widespread insect at this time of year.