☀️23C Tuesday 8th May 2018 ~ Today was my annual pilgrimage to RSPB Otmoor in Oxfordshire for the residing Turtle Doves, sadly a persecuted and declining species!
|Cuckoo in flight, along with at least two other birds|
|Turtle Dove ~ target species acquired ~ Year-tick ✅|
|Snipe in courtship display ~ Clearly showing the modified tail feathers.|
I managed to capture the above image which shows the modified tail feathers. 'Drumming (also called bleating or winnowing) is a sound produced by Snipe as part of their courtship display flights. The sound is produced mechanically (rather than vocally) by the vibration of the modified outer tail feathers, held out at a wide angle to the body, in the slipstream of a power dive'.
Also today I spent some time with Denis Woodward and Paul Cashmore, who I met when returning to the car park for breakfast. After which I continued on past the hide turnoff towards some farm building where I spent a little time searching for Whinchat. I drew a blank here and on the return trip paused at the empty hide for tea. Highlights were Brown Hare and Muntjac Deer. Across the meadows a few waders to be seen which included: Ringed Plover, Redshank and Curlew.
On route back to the car my first Large Red Damselflies of the year, plus several Hairy Dragonfly. Although familiar with the male of the species a big thank you to Jim Timms who was good enough to identify the above female for me.
An amazing eleven Hobby feeding high over the meadows, which included having seven in my binocular field of view at one time. A half dozen Red Kite, as you'd expect in Oxfordshire and a selection of butterflies on the wing, but nothing unusual within the eight species.
|Hairy Dragonfly (Female) ~ Thanks to Jim Timms for ID|
|Hobby's a plenty today!|