God save our kingfisher

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.

Great white egret.

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.

The bridleway.

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.

View from first screen where the hobbies were.

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.


About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
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4 Responses to God save our kingfisher

  1. Walking Away says:

    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!

  2. Did you find them?

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