Monday, 16 April 2012

Saturday and Sunday 14th and 15th April


Bathing Wheatear

Bullfinch in the sunshine.

Redshank by the hide.

Wren singing in the wind. All above pics (c) P. Barker

Garganey from the second screen. (c) J. Coppock

Despite the chill wind all weekend and the greyness on Saturday morning, migration continues steadily. Fresh in this weekend were a pair of Garganey at the second screen and several Yellow Wagtails. A pair of Little Ringed Plovers were also at the second screen on the islands. Snipe were drumming and chipping close to the bridleway on both mornings with up to five birds in the air. (for superb photos, sound and video visit the blog. All courtesy of Badger and Roger Wyatt.)
Wheatears continue to be found all over the reserve but principally on the area to the south of the hide where there were at least five. They showed particularly well on Sunday morning bathing and interacting right in front of the hide. Sedge Warblers are now much more widespread but are not yet present in the numbers that we can expect in a few weeks time. A cuckoo was seen and heard in the Roman Road area to the east of the Car Park Field. Swallows were hunting in the lee of the hedge and House Martins have been seen in the week. Bullfinches are very evident in the hedgerows and in the carpark field and Yellowhammers are again taking up residence in their normal corner of the same field.
Golden Plover are still on Big Otmoor but I expect that if the wind becomes more southerly they will soon be off. A much smaller flock of Fieldfare were seen on Saturday heading east. A pair of Kestrels were seen mating on the fence surrounding Big Otmoor and Peregrine were seen several times over the weekend. The passage of Redstarts through the county continues and there were at least three males seen on Sunday to add to the pair seen at the Noke end during the week.
Redshanks are particularly noticeable at present around the edges of the new scrapes and Lapwings are flying up and challenging any birds flying over that they perceive as a threat.
Next week we should be hearing Groppers if the wind and weather behave.

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