I didn't mean for it to be so long since my last post but somehow the days have slipped away and then I was away for a while and suddenly here we are on the threshold of autumn already (at least in the birding world). So I'm going to do a big round-up post of all the news over the last couple of months.
Some video of the 2009 bird. Miraculously this was shot digiscoping
whilst it was flying around - no mean feat!
Less rare though still wonderful to see has been a family of Little Owls that are being raised somewhere on the greater Port Meadow catchment area (I'm being deliberately vague here). There are three young birds, now nicely fledged. This species is recorded a bit less than annually on the Meadow though is probably more or less resident.
|Little Owl courtesy of Joe Tobias|
Some great footage courtesy of Matthew Lloyd
Talking of Owls, there was also a Barn Owl which was seen for a couple of nights in the fields around Binsey. This too is less than annual and a most welcome year tick.
|Barn Owl courtesy of Ben Sheldon|
The only other thing to report is a Hobby that was seen over Burgess Field by Thomas Miller towards the end of June.
This time of year is very much about insects. There have been the usual butterfly species on the wing which have been nice to see. This year I have also been appreciating more and more just what a good site the Trap Grounds is for Odonata. We've been very lucky with Downy Emerald seemingly starting to establish itself as an annual visitor as well as all the usual species. Luckily Nicola Devine has been capturing a lot of the Odonata action there. Below are some of her photos.
|Emerging Southern Hawker courtesy of Nicola Devine|
|Brown Hawker courtesy of Nicola Devine|
|Beautiful Demoiselle courtesy of Nicola Devine|
Thanks to the keeness of some observers who have been visiting Burgess Field in the dark, there have been Glow Worms recorded there again this year.
|Glow Worm courtesy of Zichen Zhou|
Autumn is usually the best time of year for birding though without any floods it's going to be slim pickings for us on the Meadow. The best we can hope for are some passage birds such as Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers which we have yet to get on the list. The very dry first half of the year (the driest in the last 48 years across the country) meant that our year list is rather low this year with quite a few of the rarer waders missing. With luck we might break 130 which is my measure for a reasonable year though it could be a tough few months trying to winkle out these extra ticks. Still you never know what might be around the corner.