Sunday, 17 August 2014

Otmoor RSPB nature reserve: seven raptors and summer insects

Spent today with friends looking for birds, dragonflies and butterflies at Otmoor.  Mid-morning rain rapidly cleared to give a sunny but breezy afternoon.  Raptors were much in evidence, with red kites and kestrels regularly in view, several buzzards and hobbies, and singles of marsh harrier, sparrowhawk and peregrine.  A single adult greenshank gave great views from the bridleway path and was later joined by a little ringed plover.  The cloud and wind reduced our encounters with warblers, but we did see a few reed warblers and whitethroats.
migrant hawker
We searched the Roman Road track near the car park for brown hairstreak butterflies but drew a blank, though they had been seen earlier in the afternoon.  We did find a clouded yellow next to the second viewing screen that overlooks the reed bed, for most of us this was a first of the year.
A brown argus butterfly allowed very close approach at the far end of the car park where it was nectaring on fleabane.  Dragonflies included three hawkers: brown, migrant and southern; and numerous ruddy darters.
magpie moth
common blue on tufted vetch
brown argus on fleabane
All in all a very rewarding day.

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