Quite a bit of pottering around over the last few days working in the garden and office work. Highlight of this week's episode of life-in-the-sticks was confirming that Great Spotted Woodpeckers are breeding in the garden and also the constant presence and sound of Spotted Flycatcher ( visited three official nature reserves this week and no Spot Flys anywhere apart from in our garden).
Managed to visit Otmoor this morning, Ebird list HERE. Highlights were a Turtle Dove, up to 7 Cuckoos, Garden Warblers, Curlews etc but despite me concentrating on the rightish sort of habitat- no return on the outside bet of a Blyth's Reed or Marsh Warbler (there's a small influx of them in the country at the moment). Also no other mid-summer overshoot despite it being perfect conditions and with an influx of other bits still occurring across the UK such as Rose-Coloured Starling, Red-foots, Bee-eater etc. The weather is set to change back to westerlies and cooler conditions tomorrow.
The moth trapping has been consistently busy in the warm dry conditions with quite a few new ones for the Old Vicarage- highlight being a Sloe Pug (lifer). The same Great Tit got back inside the trap again and ate the hawkmoths- just the wings and drained body of this year's first Pine Hawkmoth.
We visited a couple of small BBOWT reserves for secluded family picnics well away from the second wavers- Bernwood Meadows (the Green-winged and Purple Orchids were all over) and Upper Ray Meadows.
Our breeding Great Spotted Woodpeckers
One of our Spotted Flycatchers
Garden Warbler at Otmoor
Four-spotted Chaser at Otmoor. Also Black-tailed Skimmer and Emperor.
Small Elephant Hawkmoth and Elephant Hawkmoth
The Lackey- also nice to see
Sloe Pug- the highlight of this visit
The strawberries are ripening so we've hired in new security