Saturday 7 May 2016

Farmoor & Pinkhill: 7 May

Having somewhat missed out on spring in Oxon so far, I decided that a fairly early start was called for and so arrived around 07:00. There was a Barn Owl in the fields to the south of F2, but it quickly disappeared well before I could get the lens on to it.

Walking north along the paths between the river and the reservoir, it was nice and peaceful although even at that hour a dog walker was about. Nearly all the expected warblers were singing away, with Blackcaps, Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers (Shrike Meadow and Pinkhill), Whitethroats, Lesser Whitehroats and Cetti's Warbler (Pinkhill). There were also 2 Oystercatchers along the river and a couple of Common Sands.

Sitting in the splendid new Pinkhill hide, Tom's walk appeared and we all heard a Gropper out in the middle and saw a Cuckoo flying across and back a few times. There were at least 2 present.

Click here for a larger image


Walking up onto the causeway it seemed very quiet. Although Tom had seen a distant Black Tern earlier there was no sign of it now. There were plenty of Common Terns around though and some were showing an interest in the large number of rafts that have suddenly appeared in the middle of F1. Waders were notably absent, apart from one Ringed Plover that flew past without stopping.

Returning along the river there was real avian drama with a Mute Swan taking exception to a Greylag on the far bank and was apparently trying to drown it, while the other adult goose and a brood of goslings disappeared quietly up  river! At one point the Greylag looked to have succumbed but it then seemed to wake up and struggle free before hiding in vegetation further up the bank. At this point the Mute Swan appeared to lose interest and swum off. I've no idea why the Swan was being so aggressive.