Wintering European Golden Plovers at the Otmoor RSPB Reserve

Another storm, this time it was named Dennis, arrived for the weekend again, making birding almost impossible. As I’m on the recovery from my knee problems, I didn’t really mind, but I felt the desperation of going out all Sunday.

European Stonechats perched and Cetti’s Warblers and European Robins sang along this trail. © Gyorgy Szimuly

By the late evening, the sun popped out, and I was on my way to a short and easy walk to the Otmoor RSPB Reserve. There has been extensive flooding everywhere, especially along the A41 between Kingswood and Bicester. Several hundred Northern Lapwings and a Red Kite were of note.

A view to the Greenways of the Otmoor with roosting Northern Lapwings and a few thousands European Golden Plovers. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Strait out of the car park of the reserve, I saw a beautiful, almost all white Western Barn Owl. As I walked towards the meadows, I heard the calls of the thousands of European Golden Plovers and Northern Lapwings roosting at The Closes.

Big flocks of European Golden Plovers. © Gyorgy Szimuly
It was fascinating to watch the flyover flocks from a very close distance. © Gyorgy Szimuly
Mobile phone video of a part of the swirling flocks. © Gyorgy Szimuly

A rough estimation resulted 4,500 European Golden Plovers and close to 1,000 Northern Lapwings. Sadly, I couldn’t walk around due to darkness but considering my condition, it was just enough for the day.

The Wetlands Watch hide in the setting sun. © Gyorgy Szimuly

These mobile photos somehow reflect the atmosphere of the one-hour-long walk.

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