Nature in the Heart of England: A personal view of nature at the junction of Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire - also known as "Banburyshire". Sometimes further afield too!
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.
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.