A Four a.m Owl and a trip to Farmoor

As I was driving around the roundabout above Junction 16 at just before four this morning I was surprised to have a Barn Owl fly low across the road in front of me to the centre of the roundabout where it proceeded to hunt over the grass. It certainly isn’t surprising that so many are killed on the roads as it was only a few feet above the road. After work I had intended to do some stuff at home but when I went on the computer and noticed that there was a Grey Phalarope at Farmoor. A few minutes later I was on my way and a with no delays en-route I was there in around forty minutes. As I walked towards the causeway a couple of birders who were heading back to the car park told me where it had last been seen. After a brisk walk along the perimeter of F1 it was soon obvious that it had moved. Four Redshank and a Dunlin were at the waters edge but they all flew as I approached. Some more birders came along and said that it had flown towards the causeway. I then started scanning the water and after a few minutes picked it up flying towards me. Amazingly it landed on the water just a little way ahead of me and started to feed. I walked along so I was a few yards past it and sat down on the bank to see if it would come closer. It did and totally unconcerned by my presence passed within six feet or so of where I was sitting. Leaving it to carry on feeding I walked back towards the car. Three Grey Wagtails were amongst the Pied Wagtails. As time was getting on I had a brief but unsuccessful look for the Red-necked Grebe before leaving. Also seen were a couple of interesting aircraft that were heading for Brize Norton. They were an RAF Sentinel and a Ukranian Antonov 74. For some reason none of the pictures I took were particularly good but I have added them anyway.

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