Sunday, 4 December 2016

Weekend in Oxfordshire

Had the 20 week baby scan on Friday. Looks like Holly and I will be living between Oxford and London so I spent this weekend checking out the birding sites in the area to find a new local patch. Went to Farmoor Reservoir, a re-visit to Otmoor RSPB, a drive through Burnwood Forest (Muntjacs and Roe Deer), did a bit more on the Old Vicarage bioblitz and also explored the village. In the past I've checked out Ashton Rowant nature reserve on the Chilterns and there's still a few other hotspots in the area to check out.

Otmoor this morning was fantastic. Had Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Red Kites, Peregrine, Common Buzzards, Kestrel and thousands of winter thrushes. There was also Bittern, Short-eared Owl and White-fronted Geese that I didn't see. The drive through the countryside in this area is full of birds- certainly looks like the ravages of intensification have passed over this area. Flocks of Lapwings, Grey Partridge in the fields, thousands of winter Thrushes coming off the Hawthorn hedges, literally flocks of Red Kite, murmurating Starlings and we frequently see Roe Deer and Muntjacs in the fields. 

Hopefully living between Oxfordshire and here will be the perfect antidote to the challenges at Beddington Farmlands. 

 Grey Partridge 
 Redwings and Fieldfares- must have been at least 2000 this morning at and the on the way to Otmoor

 Marsh Harrier over Otmoor 
 Some random guy let me try his 800 mm Sigma lens. Got this Reed Bunting. Been contemplating about upgrading my photography equipment. 

 Some fungi at the Old Vicarage to identify
 Farmoor Reservoir
 The Old Vicarage in winter 


Chris Townend (aka Jaffa) said...

Sounds like a good plan Pete - Look forward to hearing about the new patch. Glad all is well.

Peter Alfrey said...

All good. The new year in Ghana will be even better!