I didn’t see a kingfisher when I visited Otmoor, the RSPB’s reserve in Oxfordshire, on 6 May to escape the coronation. Of course, it was pouring with rain so I had the problems of steamy specs and bins. But it was a lovely visit all the same, and very quiet. The only people were fellow escapees.
From the hide I saw two cranes grazing peacefully,
and a great white egret bobbing about far away in a ditch (thanks to a man with a scope for that). On the way I had heard a cuckoo calling and could see it perched on a fence post.
I wandered along the bridleway towards Noke in the hope of hearing a garden warbler or lesser whitethroat, but there was none. I heard and saw Cetti’s and whitethroat. Later I saw a sedge warbler doing its precocious flight song and the shyer reed warbler hiding in the reeds.
When I arrived at the first screen there were about ten hobbies flooping about, along with swifts, swallows and house martins, enjoying the insects. It was a peaceful scene.
A bittern boomed every so often, and great-crested grebes dived and disappeared. A marsh harrier then a heron flew across.
Four hours later I returned to the car, soaking wet but having seen or heard 42 species. Far better than watching the coronation.
We escaped to Oxfordshire too, but in our case looking for money and lady orchids. Soaked to the skin, even through my normally waterproof goretex!
‘Monkey’ not money (although that might be handy too)
Did you find them?
We did indeed!