Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Tadmarton Heath: spotted flycatcher amongst the tit flock

An early-ish visit on a chilly but nice and sunny morning.   Most of the birds seemed to be gathered in a single flock working their way around the edge of the woodland surrounding the western side of the nature reserve.  Long-tailed tits were numerous and noisy, in amongst them were smart looking willow warblers in fresh plumage ready for their migration south of the Sahara.  A pair of marsh tits fed higher up in an ash tree, where a spotted flycatcher also showed itself, making a few characteristic flights out of the canopy to snap up small insects.
view looking east, wild bird crop in foreground
Moving on around the hedgerows were several blackcaps, whitethroats and a family of bullfinches.  I watched as a whitethroat fed delicately on the individual nuggets of berry that make up the whole blackberry fruit. 
common blue
In the wild bird strip some lovely flowers of corn marigold made a great subject for the camera.  
corn marigold
Leaving the nature reserve and heading back through the golf course to my car, I disturbed a kingfisher from the golf course lake.

In the evening, a quick visit to Grimsbury was rewarded with a family of common terns, an adult and two juveniles.  Both the juveniles had metal rings on their legs.
one of the two young common terns
A couple of grey wagtails graced the concrete shoreline.  The dunlin and common sandpiper are still in residence.  No swifts at the reservoir but I saw a single bird over Banbury.  They are very few and far between now.

yellow wagtail feeding amongst cattle grazing in the field next to the reservoir yesterday
These photos of swallows were taken at Grimsbury Reservoir yesterday evening in great light.

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