Guided Walk at RSPB Otmoor

Wed 08-06-2022, Leader Mike Bird

Here is Mike’s report on this walk:

A cuckoo singing distantly seemed like a good omen for the day and that was just as I got out of my car when I arrived. There were just four of us who turned up at this site, which is well known to our North Bucks members and recently publicised in Nature’s Home, the RSPB’s magazine. Otmoor was looking splendid with plenty of water providing refuge and resources for much of its wildlife. The hedgerows were expanding and the paths were not too muddy. It hadn’t even rained by the time we left around 2pm.

As for the wildlife we were treated to Curlews calling and excitedly distracting away predators such as Red Kite and Buzzards. There was a Bittern flying low and landing in a nearby reedbed only for it to show us how to skypoint by extending its neck skywards to match the tall reeds in which it was hiding. Two Hobby’s were hunting for dragonflies over Greenaways field. If they were looking for Swallows and Martins they were out of luck. We saw none during the morning. There were a few Swifts however, reeling around, seeking insects in flight. It was cool and cloudy at first which probably discouraged the butterflies and dragonflies from flying but our keen eyed photographer managed to spot an adult Ant-Lion in the car park.

Lots of goslings with adult Canada and Greylag Geese were on Big Otmoor but ducks were a bit thin. Gadwalls on the lake at the first screen had large numbers of fully-fledged young but apart from those most of the ducks seemed to have vanished.

By the time we left we had clocked up 51 species either seen and/or heard. Sadly we didn’t manage to see the Cuckoo but hearing it was reassuring that these long distance migrants are still able to visit our shores.

I think we all enjoyed the walk and we all agreed that Otmoor is definitely a fantastic reserve no matter what time of year you visit.

Mike Bird

Sightings List

Birds seen: 44
Bittern, Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Blackcap, Blue Tit
Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Cetti’s Warbler
Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Gadwall, Goldfinch
Great Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Heron
Greylag Goose, Hobby, Jackdaw, Lapwing
Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Egret, Magpie
Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Oystercatcher
Pied Wagtail, Red Kite, Redshank, Reed Bunting
Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler
Skylark, Swallow, Swift, Treecreeper, Tufted Duck
Whitethroat, Wood Pigeon

Birds heard: 8
Chiffchaff, Cuckoo, Dunnock, Garden Warbler
Long-Tailed Tit, Pheasant, Willow Warbler, Wren

Green-veined White, Orange Tip, Red Admiral
Small Tortioseshell, Speckled Wood

Damsel Flies:
Common Blue, Large Red, Azure

Broad-bodied Chaser

Other species:
Roe Deer, Grey Squirrel
Blue-bordered Carpet Moth (Plemyria rubiginata)
Scorpion Fly

Here are some of the photos taken on this walk.

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