Saturday, 6 January 2018

SP54 Short Day Count.


Early this morning saw at least one hunting Barn Owl between Scaldwell and Hanging Houghton and Eleanor's regular visit to Staverton provided views of a pair of very vocal Ravens.

Today four of us completed the Banbury Ornithological Society Short Day Count in the 10km square of SP54 in the south west of the county. Half the day was spent walking around the Edgcote and Trafford Bridge area which includes the upper reaches of the River Cherwell. Three Hawfinches were seen briefly and other birds included a Brambling, 2-3 Redpolls, 3 or more Siskins, a Kingfisher, 1-2 Woodcock, six Ravens, a Chiffchaff and a couple of Grey Wagtails.

This area of the county still has relatively few Red Kites but today there were at least half a dozen birds around Edgcote and we saw them elsewhere in the square too.

Four Grey Partridges were located between Sulgrave and Thorpe Mandeville where there was also a flock of about 150 Linnets. A female Merlin accelerated past us over fields between Chacombe and Thenford, the exact same place where we saw one last year!

At Thenford itself we couldn't locate any Hawfinches sadly but bumped in to a Peregrine, at least two Ravens and a flock of forty Greenfinches, a big flock by modern-day standards. Nearby there was another pair of on-territory Ravens at Marston St Lawrence and a flock of forty Greenfinches were presumably the same ones from Thenford?

This afternoon Eleanor watched an Otter at Ravensthorpe Reservoir showing well from the causeway on the 'small side' plus two Great White Egrets, the juvenile Whooper Swan and two Green Sandpipers. Four Hawfinches were showing well in trees opposite the playing field at Cottesbrooke at 3.45pm this afternoon and the two Barn Owls had found each other in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton this afternoon.


Neil M


Red Kite.


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