Sunday, 4 September 2016

Final piece of the jigsaw

Hobby has been hard to catch up with this year on the reservoirs, perhaps because we don't have a local breeding pair this summer on the surrounding marshes. But after a slow walk up Lockwood, I finally saw the last of my missing summer regulars when I got a quick glimpse of one coming down the overflow channel from Banbury before it disappeared behind the trees. Lol (who also had not had one this year), Jamie and I saw presumably the same bird later flying across No 4 carrying a recently snaffled bird. It then circled over the playing fields and seemed to be plucking or even eating its prey in flight - which, according to BWP, they can do with birds as well as dragonflies.

It was hardly a surprise that it first came from the direction of Banbury as there were still plenty of martins feeding overhead with around 20 late Swifts. Other migrants included three Wheatears on the side of Lockwood while at least two Spotted Flycatchers remained in the pylon bushes. They came out into the open more today so even I could get a recognisable picture even if not quite up to Jamie or Phil's efforts @owlturbot from yesterday. But then they can't fit their camera in their pocket....

There are still a few warblers around with perhaps four Willow Warblers seen, two Whitethroats and a Lesser Whitethroat. Common Terns on Lockwood were down to four with two juveniles - perhaps the twins off the raft on Lockwood with their parents. I wonder if they were still be there next weekend.

 Sadly, there seems to be some inverse relationship between the excellence of the habitat on Lockwood and the number of waders, Despite a wide beach round the entire reservoir all we saw were around five Common Sandpipers - less than we would expect if it was all concrete.

                                          A beach waiting for a wader...any wader

DB @porthkillier 

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