Sunday, 16 June 2013

Bearded Tits. Birds and Bugs part two.

On Monday 10th June i was fortunate to encounter two juvenile Bearded tits and with the discovery a couple of weeks ago of a female it looks likely they have bred on Otmoor for the first time in recorded history (per Peter Barker Otmoor Birding)
http://otmoorbirding.blogspot.co.uk/  Very exciting news indeed.

The birding apart from the Bearded Tits was fairly quiet. All the usual Otmoor specialities were present including three purring Turtle doves along the bridleway and Roman road, Marsh Harrier is still to be seen hunting over much of the reserve. This week it seemed to favour the flood field, being seen from both screen areas hunting along the Flood field / Greenaways hedge line. Grasshopper Warblers have started singing again from the Car park field. Little Egrets were much in evidence with twelve of them feeding together in the field behind the 2nd screen. They were joined by Five Grey Herons on Friday. A drake Garganey has also been seen regularly from the 1st screen.

Andrew Marshall sent me some fantastic photos taken at Otmoor on Friday. The first a Sedge Warbler with two Damselflies in its beak, the second a brilliant photo of a Great Crested Grebe chasing a Damselfly and the third a Red Kite with a Lapwing in its talons. Thank you for the photos Andrew. Truly stunning.

Sights of Otmoor from Andrew Marshall.






To see more of Andrews stunning imagery go to http://www.gowildlandscapesphoto.com/#!british-birds/cdo

A pair of Redshank were feeding chicks in the ditch along the bridleway on Greenaways. Piping loudly as they flew back and forth to closes field. One even landed in one of the Oak trees. Unfortunately i could not get the camera on it before it flew. (Not something you see everyday, a Redshank in a tree)

Redshank crossing the bridleway..



And flying in to feed the chicks..









Redshank with chick hidden in reeds to the right of adult..



Redshank feeding on the scrape Greenaways..





Standing in one place along the bridleway i could hear Turtle Doves purring in the Oak trees behind me The plaintive call of a distant Curlew and an equally distant incessant call of a Chiffchaff, Snipe drumming overhead, the melodic tones of both Blackcap and Garden Warbler singing in the bushes joined by the Warbling of a Lesser Whitethroat, the frantic piping of the Redshanks as they flew back and forth to feed their young and a rather well fed Wood Pigeon added it's dulcet tones to natures orchestra. It was just one of those fantastic moments that Otmoor provides the nature lover.

Bridleway Greenaways..

Snipe Drumming overhead..



Chiffchaff singing..


Turtle Dove..

Well fed Wood Pigeon..


 Male Bullfinch in flight..



Further along the path a Sedge Warbler was catching insects to feed a nearby brood. Probably the same one photographed by Andrew Marshall..







Buzzards numbers increased this week with five seen on Friday including this one over Big Otmoor.



The two brilliant juvenile Bearded tits. Taken in poor light and windy conditions but nonetheless appear to be a male and a female..









The amazing Otmoor bugs were out in full force this week. The Longhorn Beetles were along the bridleway. I found four individuals. Cardinal Beetles were common on both the bridleway and Roman road. The variety is mind boggling several insects and spiders i haven't been able to identify even after trawling through my ref books.
(See bottom of page I:D help)
The iridescent green, Oedemera Nobilis Beetles with their impressive swollen thighs were common feeding in the flower heads of Buttercups. Weevils, and Soldier Beetles also found in several places along the bridleway. Some impressive looking Caterpillars can be seen crossing the paths and in the bushes.
In my ignorance i noticed the Lackey moth nest appeared to have been afflicted with a virus or disease of some kind as they all appeared to have died. I have since learnt that they shed their skins and what i was seeing was in fact not dead bodies, just the discarded skins of their owners.



Lackey moth Caterpillar..



Yellow Tail Moth Caterpillar..


Centipede..



Longhorn Beetles..





The brilliant red Cardinal Beetles..




Male and female Cardinals..




Oedemera Nobilis Beetle..



Cantharis Livida, Soldier Beetle..




Scorpion Fly..



Weevils..

Male Hairy Dragonfly..
Female Hairy Dragonfly..

Four Spotted Chaser..

Red Eyed Damselfly..


Volucella Oellucens.. Large Hover Fly..

Cricket..

Silver Ground Carpet moth..

Clouded Border Moth..


Wolf Spiders carrying their egg sacks..



Wolf spider guarding egg sack..


Spider i think of the order Therididae with Froghopper in web..


Yellow Iris..


This section i have called I:D help. These are all insects i saw at Otmoor on Friday and am not sure of their identification any help out there would be very much appreciated. If you have any ideas for their i:d You can leave comments in the comments box at the foot of the page.

The first two are Damselflies. The first one is straw coloured, possible Common blue female perhaps ? The second one i have no idea. It has reddish on the flanks and a blue ring at the end of the tail. Female Red Eyed Damselfly ?



This large eyed insect is about the same size as a scorpion fly. The closest i can find is a Cuckoo Wasp of some kind ? So called because they lay their eggs in other bee and wasps nests.


The next one is a very small golden coloured fly or bee.

Another large Scorpion fly size insect..


And lastly, Black Caterpillars emerging from a web nest.

Please leave any identification help in the comments box below.