Oughtonhead Common: A Hotspot for Birds
|Published: 8th September 2008 14:15|
Article and photos provided by the RSPB Hitchin & Letchworth Group, the copyright of which is theirs.
Oughtonhead Common is situated just off the A600 between Hitchin and Ickleford (O/S 166: TL 168 303)
Oughtonhead is the "jewel in the crown" of our region's nature reserves. The river Oughton wends its way along the edge of the reserve, creating its own unique (for our area) habitat, including the only reedbeds in the area which, although quite small, support both reed and sedge warblers. Aquatic vegetation and insect life is rich and diverse.
The reserve is perhaps at its best in late spring, when as many as 9 warbler species may be heard singing along with the supporting cast of resident passerines. Cuckoos are regularly heard, whilst yellow wagtail and turtle dove make occasional appearances. Reed buntings are common here and little and tawny owls can sometimes be seen hunting at dusk. Grey wagtails are often seen in the winter, when flocks of redwings and fieldfares often take up residence.