This is no Farmoor, Otmoor or Port Meadow. This is Grimsbury. It's Grim up north!

There is a running total year list in the link above.

Please send in your bird sightings to the B.O.S. and/or to me directly for inclusion on the blog. If you have some photos you would like to contribute please let me know (contact via the comments box on the right if you do not have my email already). Thank you.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

7th Jan 2019: Duck(s)!

The start of the week saw a decrease in dabbling ducks but an increase in diving ducks.

On Monday John reported there was still seven Wigeon, twenty-one Tufted Ducks (great for here) and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. By Tuesday there was an impressive twenty-nine Tufted Ducks (come on, that is impressive for here!) and a female Pochard flew around over the reservoir but continued on south-east. Later on Steve also saw a drake Goosander with the Tufted Ducks. The same Yellow-legged Gull was also still around.

Wednesday morning John reported the Tufted Ducks were down to only twelve. Which to be fair, is still a good number for the reservoir these days. It's odd to think people used to regularly report much higher numbers overwintering here.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

3rd Feb 2019

A pretty cold end to the week and it bought in a good amount of waterbirds to the reservoir. Well, good for here anyway!

On Friday (1st) John found our first Teal of the year with four Wigeon. On Saturday (2nd) the Teal was present again, now with 11 Wigeon (a decent number for here) and a Coot.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

31st Jan 2019

A very cold day today, so much so most of the reservoir surface was frozen leaving some open water only at the northern end. That where all the birds were and where John found four Wigeon and nine Tufted Ducks this morning.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

30th Jan 2019

A late update from Colin regarding sightings from the afternoon on Friday (25th) confirmed a drake Pochard was seen at the Borrow Pit. He also pointed out I hadn't added Buzzard to the year list! That puts the year list up to 64 so far, which is a fantastic start to the year.

Highlights this morning were a pair of Peregrines over and three Red Kites together over the Lockheed Close area. At least one Marsh Tit still in the wood.

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 27 January 2019

27th Jan 2019

It's been a fairly quiet week again with very little to report.

Last Friday (18th) and this Wednesday (23rd) John had a Yellow-legged Gull at the reservoir.

Thursday (24th) John had a drake Wigeon at the Reservoir and on Friday (25th) Mike had two Marsh Tits in the wood. The latter pretty much confirming my sighting of two the other day.

This morning there were four Wigeon (three drakes) at the reservoir and a Marsh Tit and two Jays in the wood. 

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Thursday, 17 January 2019

17th Jan 2019

John and I were out this morning. Nothing new to report but a near adult Yellow-legged Gull was at the reservoir harassing the Cormorants (32 this morning) and Black-headed Gulls.

In the woodland there was Marsh Tit (just the one bird) and Sparrowhawks displaying again. I thought I heard a Chiffchaff calling but that turned out to be a Great Tit doing a pretty good impression!

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

16th Jan 2019

Courtesy and copyright of Dave Fuller
Lunch time today John had two Mistle Thrushes fly over north. First of the year and good to get on the list.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

13th Jan 2019

It was a fairly quiet week really. John had a Red Kite and Peregrine over on Tuesday.

On Wednesday John had eight Greylag Geese (a good count for here), a drake Tufted Duck and a Siskin in the morning. There was also pair of Sparrowhawks displaying over the wood.

Greenfinch was new to the year list on Friday morning when four were flying around over the cattle fields. Also Friday morning there was 38 (surely a patch record!) Cormorants at the reservoir and a Marsh Tit in the wood. It was joined very briefly by a second bird, that I could not identify as Marsh or Willow but my gut feeling was it was a second Marsh Tit.

All photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 6 January 2019

6th Jan 2019

Colin was out this afternoon and recorded our first Yellow-legged Gull of the year. There was an adult at the Borrow Pit pool at around 3 pm in amongst a good number of gulls, also including at least 10 Herring gulls.

Also of local interest, an adult Yellow-legged Gull was also recorded at the cattle sheds in Chacombe at around the same time (possibly the same bird) and at the Boddington roost an adult Caspian Gull and a 2CY (first winter) Yellow-legged Gull were recorded (

Thursday, 3 January 2019

3rd Jan 2019

John and I were both out this morning. A drake Goosander on the reservoir was a nice addition to the year list and our first of this winter. I also saw a Kingfisher along the river, north of the railway bridge, bringing the year list to 59 species.

There was a single Lapwing in the cattle field that flew up to join a second bird flying over to the west.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

2nd Jan 2019

John was out this morning and at lunch time and added a few things to the year list. Most notable were Wigeon (two drakes on the reservoir), Ring-necked Parakeet and Jay.

As I compile the year list, please let me know if you have any additions to make.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

1st Jan 2019: Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Let's hope it's another good one.

I was out reasonably early today to make a start on the year list. Admittedly, not as early I planned to be though! I didn't see a huge amount of interest with my highlights being a Marsh Tit in the woodland and  17 Lapwings flying over the Upper Cherwell Valley. I did manage to tick off most of the common stuff though.

I bumped into Colin and Steve for a quick catch up and as Steve and I left we had a single Siskin along the river. Colin managed to find a few more bit's after we left. Including Chiffchaff in scrub along the river in the U.C.V. and two Snipe and a female Stonechat in the wet field in the U.C.V. Also, he added a Red Kite to the year list by scanning and seeing one drifting over the western end of town.

Not a bad start at all.

Monday, 31 December 2018

31st Dec 2018: What a year!

The end of the year has arrived and the additional bonus species we were hoping for didn't materialise. However, it was one of the best years I've witnessed and we ended the year on 128 species. Most of this is due to John's persistent visits, but all records count and I thank everyone who's sent sightings over and contributed photos etc.

Other than the odd Yellow-legged Gull there has been a possible Caspian Gull and a possible Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull. There were three Gadwall on the 10th, a Pochard on the 11th and Parakeet on several days. Jays have been hanging around in the wood and a Peregrine was seen going over on the 29th.

Possible Herring and Lesser Black-backed hybrid - JFT

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Yellow-legged Gull - JFT

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Goldcrest and Tufted Duck courtesy and copyright of Dave Fuller

This year's bird of the year comes from a list of a Black-necked Grebe, our second Grey Phalarope in two years, the first White-fronted Geese for over 30 years, a Shag which is possibly the first record for the reservoir, Pied Flycatcher and Wood Warbler... again.

My personal pick is Pied Flycatcher, which was a patch and and county tick.

JFT's montage of the best of 2018

Saturday, 8 December 2018

8th Dec 2018: Recent Roundup

Some of the more interesting and notable sightings from the last month:

17th Nov (Mark): A drake Pochard and two Teal at the Borrow Pit pool and three drake Pochard at the reservoir.

19th Nov (John): Two Eurasian White-fronted Geese over. I'm hopeful these would have been wild birds, as there was a lot arriving in the UK at that time, but they could also be from the feral flock in the Oxford area.

Whitefronts record shot - courtesy and copyright of JFT

20th Nov (John): Nine Wigeon and four Teal.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

23rd Nov (John): Thirty-two (!) Cormorants was a pretty high count for here. There has been a big group roosting in the valley and fishing at the reservoir.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

24th Nov (John and myself): A drake Pochard still at the Borrow Pit and a Yellow-legged Gull seen at the Borrow Pit and then at the reservoir.

25th Nov (John): Four Wigeon at the reservoir. Also of note an adult Caspian Gull in the fields near Middleton Cheney.

2nd Dec (John): Five Gadwall (three drakes), two drake Wigeon, two Yellow-legged Gulls and a Ring-necked Parakeet at the reservoir.

3rd Dec (John): A pair of Gadwall still at the reservoir.

5th Dec (John): A female Pochard and the Parakeet again at the reservoir.

Hopefully there will be a little bit more of interest before the end of the year...

Thursday, 8 November 2018

8th Nov 2018: Latest sightings

John: With Gareth busy, away with work, I thought I post a bit of an update on the Res, as autumn slowly turns to winter.

The main couple of highlights for me, both came on 21/10 with a female Pochard appearing out of the fog. This was only I think the second sighting this year at Grimsbury. Another second for the year were a couple of Brambling that arrived from the north, circled briefly before carrying on south, calling loudly. 

All in all, it's been fairly quiet. A male Blackcap appeared on 01/11, presumably a new arrival for the winter, rather than a late leaver. Other slight scarcities have included singles of Redpoll, Wigeon, an adult Yellow-Legged Gull, a flock of 35 Lapwing, a pair of Raven and small numbers of Siskin.

The expected rise in Great Crested Grebe numbers has seen them slowly creep up to 7 by today. A Wigeon was about on Monday

Bird movement overhead has slowed too, although this week has seen a few flocks of Fieldfare & Redwing moving through quite high and 1 or 2 Skylark are seen heading through most mornings.

The mild weather this year went well into October, drawing out the odd butterfly, as well as a pair of Migrant Hawker dragonflies on 22/10.