I had Sunday to get some birding in and really couldn't be bothered with Northamptonshire, I needed a change of scenery.
I initially planned a trip to Norfolk but the weather was a bit hit and miss, so instead snuck over the border to Oxfordshire, more precise the RSPB reserve of Otmoor (anyone heard of the plans for Oxfordshire to steal a big chunk of Northamptonshire by the way?).
I'd been before so felt confident I could find it (huh) and satnav in hand jumped in the car and headed off, took a few wrong turns, chucked the satnav in the dashboard as it wasn't helpful, consulted a few maps, a smartphone, prayed to a deity I don't believe in and followed some crows until I found Otmoor Lane.....seriously how hard was it to find!
This reserve is worth it though. For an inland nature reserve it really is impressive. Both in habitat, species and simple vistas. I haven't left a reserve feeling not only feeling chilled out. But also feeling like I'd visited somewhere natural. It was easy to find a place to just sit and soak in the bird calls and sights without feeling disturbed. That's not to say it wasn't busy. I struggled to park the car but the reserve is massive so no worries.
What did I see?
Loads of Warblers. A Marsh Harrier, Bittern, Grasshopper Warbler, Redkites, Redshank, 4 Cuckoos, 7 Hobbies and 2 Turtle Doves,Skylark, Common Lizard.
The Turtle Dove was one species I wanted to add more images of to my image bank only having two images so far to date.
My favourite was it taking off to drop onto the ground to feed from a fence post.
The call is so bizarre I overheard one couple with kids in tow remark "I think it's that bloke with the camera making the noise", I had to giggle to myself. I rattled off plenty images ignoring it when it perched on the phone cables and opted for the fence...slightly better perches.
But no, it sat temptingly close on this fence post only to fly lazily at most 100 metres from it and perch back up again...maybe on my next visit. Got loads of images to go through so should have a decent odds and sods post.