Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Saturday and sunday 29th and 30th September

Chiffy (c) Bark

Chiffy #2 (c) Bark
Whinchat and friendly Reed Bunt (c) Bark

Longtailed Tit in hedgerow (c) Bark

Dawn Kestrel (c) Bark
Comma (c) Bark

Red Admiral (c) Bark

Migrant Hawkers in cop (c) Bark
Grey Wagtail just up the road in Stanton St John (c) Lyn Ebbs
Chats (c) Badger

Moon over Greenaways (c) Badger
Another weekend of contrasting weather and again it consisted of a sunny calm Saturday and a greyer windier Sunday.
There are now at least four Stonechats on and around the reserve with a couple by Lower Farm Noke and others on Greenaways. There are also still at least four Whinchats, two of which were out on the 100 acre field on Sunday (re Paul Greenaway).
Duck numbers continue to rise with a flock of about seventy Mallard on the reedbed, at least fifty Wigeon and twenty Shoveller. The Pintail pair seen earlier in the week were seen again on Thursday evening but not reported this weekend. Likewise the Merlin seen on Thursday evening has not been reported since. A Peregrine was seen on Saturday and Ravens were seen and heard both days. A party of twenty plus Snipe have been flying between Ashgrave and big Otmoor on both days. Meadow Pipits are now common in the pastures and there are still good numbers of Yellow Wagtails present. A Grey Wagtail flew across the lagoon at the second screen and over our heads on Sunday morning. The flock of feral Greylags seems to have grown and has been making its presence felt both with spectacular flyovers and noisy honking. Perhaps their presence will encourage other wilder geese to join them on the moor, in previous years Whitefronts have been found on the periphery of such flocks.
Mixed flocks of tits and warblers are still working the hedgerows with the one beside the path to the second screen proving to be very productive. There is often a flock of Long Tailed Tits at the heart of the group and on Saturday at least five or six Chiffchaffs were amongst them as were a similar number of Reed Warblers.
There was bright colour in the hedges from the turning leaves, ripening berries, Comma and Red Admiral butterflies and Migrant Hawker dragonflies. A single very tatty individual Brown Hairstreak was in the top of the hedge half way to Noke a very late record.

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