Wednesday, 26 June 2013

It's a Quail-ity summer

Apart from biting flies, that make your legs ache. They make your legs ache because you can't get back to the car quick enough when you are being targeted by these horrible insects. One day last year i made the mistake of wearing shorts to Otmoor in the summer. NEVER AGAIN!! I suggest if you are planning a visit, to cover up or use a good repellent. Myself and several others were bitten on Tuesday.
On a happier note. According to an Otmoor stalwart there are several Quail on the reserve at the moment calling from several places on Greenaways, Ashgrave, Closes and the 100 acre field. One in particular around the cattle pen area of Greenaways. Also keep your ears open, because it was about this time of year last year, we had a visit from the now famous Corncrake. A Spoonbill was seen on Monday (Per Jack) flying over the 2nd screen and heading towards Ashgrave. I missed the bird by ten minutes. We walked up to the farm, hoping to be able to see if it had landed on the scrape over the far side of Ashgrave. But to no avail, as the grass is so long, you would have been lucky to see an Ostrich out there let alone a Spoonbill. There are plenty of Grey Herons and Little Egrets on the reserve, so food must be plentiful. Lets hope if it did land, there would be enough food for it to stay awhile.
Warbler numbers are swelling, due to lots of fledglings and the drake ducks are beginning to look ragged as they go into eclipse. Three Turtle doves are still very obliging around the cattle pens and Oak trees along the Greenaways bridleway.

Willow Warbler..


A blog on Otmoor wouldn't be the same without a photo of its resident poser.
The Sedge Warbler along the path to the 1st screen..



Reed Warbler..





Turtle Dove and Turtle dove in flight..






Not the spoonbill. Just a Little Egret..




The bugs continue to impress with Longhorns and Cardinals still to be found along the bridleway and roman road. My first Brown Hawker Dragonfly of the year was hawking in a clearing along the bridleway between Greenaways and Closes field.
I also saw for the 2nd time in two weeks a golden yellow coloured Dragonfly Slightly smaller and thinner bodied than a Four spotted chaser or Broad bodied chaser. I could not make out any other colours on it. But never got close enough to have a good look or take a photo.
A special thank you to Jodie Southgate who sent me three stunning photos of a very strange beast. It's a Scarce fungus Weevil (aka Cramp-ball fungus Weevil) (aka Platyrhinus Resinosus).



Thanks Jodie. What a fantastic beasty.

Butterfly species..
Brimstone, Orange tip and first for the year Red Admirals, Speckled wood and a rather tatty looking Tortoiseshell all seen this week.

Speckled wood..


Tatty Tortoiseshell..



Red Eyed Damselfly Female..



Nasty biters.. Horse flies (Tabanidae family)



Not 100 % on this one i think it is a Ground or Rove Beetle Larva but can't pin down which one. It was shiny black, about an inch long and moved like a centipede, but only appeared to have legs at the front end..If anyone knows it's I'd, it would be great if you could please leave a comment in the comment box at foot of page



Brown Hare..