Monday, 27 August 2012

Saturday and Sunday 25th and 26th August

Osprey (c) Bark

Osprey (c) Bark

Little Egret hunting (c) Bark

Confiding Ringed plover (c) Bark 

Dragonflies everywhere

Whinchat from Hide (c) Badger

Ashgrave peregrine (c) Badger

 Harrier from first screen (c) Terry Sherlock
It was an excellent weekend on the moor, with fine weather, apart from a sharp shower on Saturday and some great birding.
Early autumn migration is getting under way and we were treated to sightings of eight raptor species over the weekend. The best of which was a low fly-over Osprey on Sunday morning. The bird came from the north circling and appeared to check out the reedbed before drifting off south eastward. It was only the third sighting that I have had in all the time that I have been birding on the moor. In addition an immature Marsh Harrier was seen on both days although there is some suggestion that there are two different individuals present. On one occasion it was seen to be harassed and driven off by three Red Kites. Hobbies seemed to be everywhere you looked, which is no surprise given the very large numbers of Dragonflies. A young Peregrine was spotted sitting out on the ground on Ashgrave.
A Ringed tailed Harrier species was seen by several visitors during the last week and apparently was photographed. I would appreciate any information about this sighting.
The best place to be on the moor at present is at the first screen. The sensitive way that the reeds have been cut allows views in to some of the muddy areas and yet still affords the birds some cover and security. Over the weekend we saw three eclipse Garganey, a minimum of four Green Sandpipers, a juvenile Ringed Plover and many small parties of Snipe in this area. I also saw two different individual Water Rails one of which was a juvenile suggested by its dark bill. Kingfishers also put in several appearances as did several of the fifteen or so Little Egrets currently on the moor. Grey Herons are present in good numbers and once or twice a very pale neck stretched out above the sedge gave us a brief moment of excitement in the light of last weeks Great White Egret.
On the passerine front there were at least eight Whinchat on the reserve with three showing very well on the southern side of the hide. At Lower Farm Noke we found five Wheatears on Sunday morning, three on the barn roof and others on the fence and among the sheep. There are still Redstarts in Long Meadow and many mixed flocks of tits and warblers working the hedgerows. There are still no signs of a Stonechat but it may still be a little early for them.

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