Dawn Marsh Harrier

Dawn Marsh Harrier

Friday, 3 April 2015

A Good Friday in Oxon

A sortie into Oxfordshire with Sharpy this morning. The target birds were fowl, which was lucky as the weather was pretty foul itself for the first part of the morning. It gradually improved to slightly miserable as the day progressed. But the rain was water off a ducks back when we arrived at Kiddlington to find an unusually showy drake Garganey on the lake west of Stratfield Brake Sports Ground. It was almost hyperactive as it swam purposefully back and forth, occasionally calling and throwing its head back in Goldeneyeesque fashion. It appeared to be so pumped with testosterone that it was oblivious to our presence, giving the best and closest views I've ever had of this usually skulking species.

There was little else noteworthy on the water apart from a pair of Gadwell and a pair of Teal.

Last weekend's trip to Farmoor for the Red Necked Grebe was a bit underwhelming with the bird being so distant, so it seemed logical to have another bash as we were in the area. Good logic as it turned out as despite the lousy light the bird was merrily scoffing quite close to the bank in the South West corner of F2.

 Interestingly, the main thing it was scoffing was the copious flies and midges on the surface of the water but it was Good Friday after all so fish was always going to be on the menu.

As we neared the car park heading back, I was amused as always by a seasonal outbreak of coot violence.

So the weather was mostly foul and the birds were mostly fowl but a 'Good Friday' it was.

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