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AOG Sunday – Otmoor wildlife walk

9 0f us met at the rather wet car park at Otmoor, which, despite being just seven miles from the centre of Oxford, still retains a remote feel away rom the madding crowd. We set off in very drizzly conditions, but that did not seem to dampen our enthusiasm as we spent some time watching a Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding at a peanut station. We then walked out on to the reserve proper and were soon enjoying an adult Marsh Harrier training her youngster how to hunt.

We carried on to the first screen where we spent about an hour watching Snipe, a good variety of ducks, and some very noisy Lapwings while we had a drink and a bit to eat. We carried on to the second screen where keen eyes spotted a Great Crested Grebe and a Shoveler. The weather had definitely picked up by now and it was quite pleasant to finally dry off a bit, while watching a few butterflies venturing out into the sunshine. A Hobby put on an aerial display catching dragonflies, which is always an exciting sight.

We spent some time in the main hide watching Little Egrets, but we finally set off back to the car park, picking up the pair of Marsh Harriers for the last time.

It was a great walk, and I am very grateful for the enthusiasm and interest shown by the rest of the group. It was such a privilege to show you all one of my favourite wildlife sites!

Mike Wilkinson xx

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