Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A few ups on the downs.

A walk along the springy turf of the Kingston Warren racehorse gallops was energy draining but a good pace was ensured by the omnipresence of a lightning storm that never quite caught up with me until I had made it to the comfort zone of my car parked on the Ridgeway.
Nothing too exciting to report , although several pairs of Corn Bunting, Meadow Pipits and Linnets were noted, and singing Whitethroats along the edges of Oilseed Rape crops seemingly to have been planted over many more acres than usual, perhaps due to the difficult weather situations that have faced our farmers this last year.  
The Oxon Feather.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Up Yours!

Finally managed to see the Wood Warbler early afternoon, easily found the site due to really good directions from Black Audi. A very friendly gardener working on site pointed me in the right direction where I found EU and NH and it wasn't long before they had helped me locate it although the little blighter was lively and kept pretty well on the move, with the consequence that I only managed to get photos of its underside and its jaxi. Really good to meet up with EU and NH and after the best part of an hour we all decided to move on.
I decided to revisit pit 60 at Standlake in the hope that the Black-Necked Grebe would be closer to the shore and give me at least a record shot. Parked up and walked down the lane leading to Langley Hide (at least I think that's the name for it) There were many hundreds of Martins going through mostly Sands. The B-N Grebe gave me better views but not great ones with the result I still have not taken a decent shot of it . Other birds seen were a Wren in full song just past the sub-station on the way down and on or by the water I noted Shoveller, Teal Red-Crested Pochard, Gadwall, Little Egret, Common Sandpiper and Reed Bunting along with Greenfinch on the hide side feeders.
The Oxon Feather.
                                            Wood Warbler
                                          Singing Wren
                                          Black-Necked Grebe
                                           Red-Crested Pochard
                                           Little Egret
                                          Common Sandpiper

Monday, 21 April 2014

Tezzer,Age and Foxy.

An old friend 'Age' fancied a trip out birding and asked if I knew anywhere interesting to go. The birding jungle telegraph had early today beaten out the message that a Black-Necked Grebe was on pit 60 in summer plumage, and so this seemed like a good place to start.
I picked Age up in Didcot and headed along the A34 and arrived just past the Rose Revived around 11.00am, parking between the two sets of traffic lights (off road of course) we left the car and made our way toward the pit lake. A few Blackcaps were singing in the hedgerows along with I think a Reed Warbler.
Entering the hide we had the good luck to find that Tezzer had already located the distant B-N Grebe and put us on to it straightaways . After about an hour Tezzer moved on to the other hide to get closer views of the Grebe and we followed about quarter of an hour later.
The Grebe proved to be too distant and the light too bright for a decent photograph. Common Sandpiper, four Green Sandpiper, Little Egret, Red-Crested Pochard, Wigeon, Lapwing, Gadwall and an apparently lactating Vixen put in an appearance.
The Oxon Feather.

                                          Green Sandpiper
                                          Red-Crested Pochard
                                          Common Sandpiper
                                         Crummy shot of the Black-Necked Grebe.
                                          Foxy on the prowl

Monday, 14 April 2014

Extreme views of a Red Neck or Fish and Dips

Computer playing up so just a few pics of the Red-Necked Grebe before it crashes again.
The Feather.

Friday, 4 April 2014

I Rang You And You Rang Back.

Further to my previous blog entry and having talked to "his birding holiness" the multi -  talented Lew  I wish to make very clear my support for Twitching in general and our local well behaved compassionate Twitchers in particular. The point I tried to make is my abhorrence of the unnecessary harassment of  our wildlife by a minority of thoughtless single minded people, a good example is the stone throwers who have a disregard for the welfare of the bird they are twitching and are prepared to resort to this sort of disturbance .
Now for a conundrum, at Hardwick yesterday I encountered both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler singing, and so dear blog reader I would like you to tell me the identity of the bird I have posted with this entry, as identification could not be confirmed by voice due to the close proximity of the birds.
The Oxon Feather.
 There really should be a prize for the first correct entry but as I do not know the answer I can save my money and follow one of my favourite pastimes of being a nasty old meanie.


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Don't Ring Me I'll Ring You.

Recent emotive comments regarding an unfortunate and sad accident to an Otmoor Barn Owl demonstrate the compassion that birders feel for our feathered friends. I have to admit to having reservations to the wholesale ringing of birds particularly those species that over many years have contributed virtually nothing to the science and understanding of them and believe a review is overdue .
I would also like put things in perspective, this unfortunate bird has made the local birding news because it is such a rare event, and we are all guilty of driving motor cars - by far the biggest killers of Barn Owls but I guess nobody is going to throw away their car keys.
The main reason I don't twitch is what appears to me the often apparent persecution of disorientated and confused birds by hordes of , I must admit mainly caring and thoughtful twitchers, but also a few that put these birds under intense pressure.
The Oxon Feather.
 Twitching Red Kites in the Garden.