I haven’t been anywhere much this year and my bird-list is dire, so today I went to Otmoor, east of Oxford, where the RSPB has rescued former MoD and agricultural land and made it into wetlands and reed-beds. There is always something interesting about, and it is wonderful to have a different habitat close to home. Otmoor feels truly wild.
Today there was a strong wind, making bird-watching difficult, and some very heavy rain, but I had wonderful views of thousands of lapwing and golden plover, sweeping across the wet fields in great flurries of glistening silver, black and brown. My photo is blurred but you get the idea.
I had hoped to see one of the great murmurations of starlings, but it was probably too windy. However, there were some smaller groups. Here’s one which again is blurred because my camera was wet!
The fields were flooded
and there were plenty of duck on the open water: shovelers, wigeon, mallard, gadwall, teal and tufted duck—probably more but it was hard to identify them against the late-afternoon light.
As I came back a kestrel hovered above the path, stationary for many minutes before diving on its prey. But those thousands of lapwing and golden plover were the highlight for me.