Short-eared owls, frogs and yellowhammers

After a busy two weeks, I have finally made some time to be able to make another post.

There have been few signs over here of beautiful spring weather, as the wind has stayed up and temperatures have hardly risen. However, there have been a few days when the weather has been glorious, with the sun coming out of hiding and bathing us and nature with its warm, golden light.

Last Saturday, due to the unusual occasion of a lack of homework, I managed to wander off up to RSPB Otmoor – a very low key reserve, not even holding a visitor centre. Although, without the huge numbers of visitors, it is therefore very quiet, and still a hotspot for wildlife.

While up there, I saw a huge variety of birds, ranging from Marsh Harriers to Lapwings to Cetti’s Warblers. Some of the highlights of the day included; a huge flock of birds, comprising of Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Wrens, Reed Buntings, Goldfinches, Linnets and Yellowhammers feeding on some seed by the hide. While I was also there, I noticed a very cheeky Field Vole, deciding to have a go himself at eating some of this seed himself.

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Wren
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Reed Bunting
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Reed Bunting

There were plenty of ducks out and about to be seen on the water, including, Pochard, Shoveller, Tufted Duck, Teal, Pintail, Great-Crested Grebe and Little Grebe, just to name a few.

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Two beautiful swans in flight

Some other highlights were a Stonechat in full song, a Treecreeper, a couple of Black-Tailed Godwits and some very bouncy Brown Hares. However, most certainly, the best highlight of the trip was a Short-Eared Owl in full view.

The magnificent bird had been spotted a few weeks ago in a bush near the car park, where many people enjoyed observing it, until, about a week later, a stupid photographer decided to venture closer to see if he could get a better photograph, even though he was warned not to. The owl was flushed and did not return. At this point, I had not managed to see it and was devastated. Then, on my visit, the owl had finally returned to its perch and others and I were able to observe this bird in its true splendour. I do urge photographers not to be like this particular person and remember that the birds to come first.

Short Eared Owl Phonescope
My attempt at phonescoping the Short-Eared Owl
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The Short-Eared Owl from a distance

Overall, it was a wonderful trip and I hope to be able to find some time  to be able to return soon.

Back around my house though, the birds have been fairly quiet and afraid. However, I have now spotted the first Common Frog of the year in the pond.

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Author: Isaac the Ornithologist

Hi, I'm Isaac West, I'm 14 years old and I live in Oxford. I have a huge passion for wildlife, especially birds and I always enjoy being out and about in the wild. I also love wildlife photography and I greatly enjoy taking photos of nature. When I am older, I would love to be involved with nature.

3 thoughts on “Short-eared owls, frogs and yellowhammers”

  1. Dear Isaac We thought your new post was absolutely wonderful, amazing and fantastic. The photos were superb and we especially loved your comments. Well done! We shall look forward to the next update. Lots of love Poppa and Granny

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

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