Another blue sky and distinctly warmer temperature than my visit over Easter, Otmoor was starting to show genuine signs of spring finally settling in.
The feeders were my first port of call for some easier photo opportunities as Blue Tits, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and the below Goldfinch flitted on and off.
A female Pheasant collected seeds below and at least one Curlew passed over as Irfan gave me some more than handy tips for the new camera.
As we headed into the reserve, I had another Curlew over and several Snipe drumming; a sound indicating that the courtship and mating season was warming up.
A constant cacophony at Otmoor in spring is the cartoon-like peewit noise of the acrobatic Lapwings as they claim nesting territory, ward off predators and try to attract mates. Allocated red status with the RSPB it’s good to see these skittish and distinctive birds populating Otmoor again this year.
Photo opportunities were presenting themselves with the clear blue sky and still naked branches of the trees and I caught two of the more confiding species, a Chaffinch and a Robin.
Just before the Wetlands Hide, a fellow birder was staring intently at a water channel and told us he had spotted a Water Rail. Just about visible between the reeds and overgrowth, this secretive bird ducked in and out of view, but like so many birds was heard far more than it was seen.
From the hide I managed to snap these Grey Heron. I’m quite happy with this pic as they were some distance away and the pic was taken through the windows at the hide too.
The first reed-bed hide presented further proof that the courtship season was well under way as these 2 Canada Geese cemented their life-long relationship on the glass-like water. The male seeming to celebrate with a throaty exclamation:
Otmoor is not just home to birds and I hope to have more opportunities to share the non-feathered species as the year goes on. This trip I managed to capture this Muntjac Deer on the way to the second reed-bed hide:
On our return back to the car, we checked out the feeders one last time and among the usual suspects was this raiding Reed Bunting:
With the weather looking uncertain the following weekend, it would be time to check the home patch once again.
Once again, if you would like to see the bigger pics please check out my Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/94900571@N05/