Saturday, 16 September 2017

Radley Lakes: 16 September



With the Grey Phalaropes having departed, an early-ish morning visit to Radley Lakes seemed the best idea. Arriving at the Osprey's favoured site just before 8am, I found a number of birders had already arrived and were looking at the bird which was sitting in a tree over the far side of the lake:

Osprey in tree

At around 08:45 it took off, caught a fish (out of sight behind an island) and then disappeared, all in a remarkably short space of time (about 20 sec)! Photos were somewhat distant, so heavy cropping was needed. 


Osprey in flight
See also my website for larger images

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Thin pickings: 9 September

Ever hopeful of migrants at this time of year, I again tried Farmoor, where, unlike last week, it was feeling distinctly autumnal. Walking over the causeway, I met Bob & then  Dai who reported a Ringed Plover at the far end, a Common Sand somewhere about and a couple of Wheatears, as well a Shag or two. 

Well by the time I reached the causeway end, I had seen no waders and the weather at the Pinkhill hide was apparently too cool for any dragonflies. Walking the long way back round F2, I found nothing within photo range, so departed without having taken a single shot!

The day was however partially saved by a last minute diversion to the lay-by at Letcombe Bassett cress beds, where I found that the Little Egret was back, probably for the winter. As I arrived it was very close, but it took fright before I could get the camera on it. Fortunately,  it didn't fly too far though...

Little Egret

While I was waiting in vain for it to come closer, a Kingfisher flew past and a Grey Wagtail appeared. 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Farmoor & Folly Park Pond: 2nd September

A quick call to Dai on arrival at Farmoor confirmed that up to 5 Shags present, with one on the F1 side of the far end of the causeway. En-route along the causeway there was a male Yellow Wagtail. The Shag was very inactive, just sitting (or lying there) and very tame. Not the most exciting subject, but a genuine Oxon rarity.

juvenile Shag 
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Thereafter, I tried the Pinkhill Hide which was again good for hovering Migrant Hawkers. As last week, there were also a few Common Darters around.

Migrant Hawker

It then clouded over and the dragonflies disappeared, so I retraced my way to the causeway, to find two Shags including the original in exactly the same spot (was it unwell?) and a more lively individual in the water. This allowed photos of the whole bird without the concrete, but they would have been better if the sun had been out.

A more lively juv Shag in the water.
Again go to my website for a larger image.

I then walked back the long way round F2 and spotted two Wheatears on the western side, one initially on the fence.

At Faringdon Folly Park Pond, the sun had come out again and the placing was buzzing with Odonata! The usual Small Red-eyes were again out on the floating vegetation but better was a single male Emerald Damsel in the vegetation on the near side of the pool. Other species included Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker and Brown Hawker, as well as the usual darters (Common & Ruddy).

Emerald Damselfly

Migrant Hawker