|Stints and Dunlin (c) P.Barker|
|Breakfast (c) P.Barker|
|Ringed Plover (c) P. Barker|
|Drummers over Path to first screen (c) P.Barker|
|Sedge Warbler(c) P Barker|
|Linnet (c) Peter Barker|
The new scrapes that were made on Big Otmoor last autumn are really beginning to attract waders. They are shallow and have muddy and not reedy margins. Birds of the weekend were the party of six summer plumaged Little Stints That were there from Saturday afternoon until at least yesterday evening. In the past Little Stint records on Otmoor have been of autumn passage individual juveniles. It was a treat to see such brightly coloured birds working the margins like clockwork toys accompanied on Monday by a summer plumaged Dunlin. It was possible to get a clear sense of just how small these birds are when they were chased away by the resident Little ringed Plovers. The Little Rings were also having problems with a party of six Ringed Plovers on Saturday, clearly seeing them as a threat to their chosen breeding area. As well as these three species Curlew came in to bathe and well fledged juvenile Lapwings skulked around the edges. There was also a group of at least seven newly fledged birds on Ashgrave. Snipe continue to drum over the path to the first screen with three birds at times taking part in the display.
Elsewhere Linnets seem to be the most noticeable birds in the hedgerows with a number of juveniles feeding by the cattle pens. They seem to be having a much more successful year on the moor than I can remember.
Cuckoos, Turtle Doves and Warblers are around but a little subdued by to weather. On Monday a Hobby was seen chasing a Skylark, dragonflies not being so active and evident because of the cold.
On Monday morning as I was walking along the track in the carpark field I saw something white bouncing along the track ahead of me, it turned out to be a stoat and it was carrying a ping pong ball sized egg in its mouth. It was so preoccupied with taking its food back to its den it got very close before the sound of my camera scared it into the hedge. It was probably a Coots egg and clearly was being carried a long way from the water. There is always something new to see on Otmoor.