Description

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.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

13th Aug 2017

The highlight of the w week was on Monday, when John found a Dunlin at lunch time. There was also a Little Egret around, a Willow Warbler and two Common Terns. The Dunlin was still present in the evening when Adrian and Sandra visited but it had left before dusk. Of note they also had c.50 Swifts gathered, which may have been passage birds.

Both photos courtesy and copyright of JFT


John saw a Wheatear on Tuesday but there was not a lot else around. There seemed to be a steady passage of Sand Martins this week. The most seen was 20 on Wednesday, but there were other smaller groups on other days. There has also been an increase in Canada Geese loafing at the reservoir.

Today Colin was out in the morning and late afternoon. This morning there was a Yellow Wagtail and good numbers of the other wagtails. He also watched two Kingfishers fighting on the pontoon! This afternoon there was a Yellow-legged Gull.

Friday, 4 August 2017

4th Aug 2017: Spotted Flycatcher

Gareth has been away for the week with work, so I'm (John) filling in for a bit.

Colin & Steve had a walk around the reservoir & Upper Cherwell Valley on Sunday 30th July. They saw 2 adult Common Terns & a Common Sandpiper at the reservoir, while at the Borrow Pit, there were 6 Little Grebe (including 2 juveniles) & 3 Sand Martin. They also had a Red Underwing moth land on a car in the car park!

On Monday 31st July, Mike paid the reservoir a morning visit, seeing a single adult Common Tern and a Great Crested Grebe. At lunchtime I came across the same, plus a couple of ringed Black Headed Gulls loafing on the pontoon, however they were small metal rings and I just couldn't read them!



On Tuesday 01/08, Common Tern numbers were back up to 5 (4 adults, 1 juvenile), on my usual lunchtime visit. The Great Crested Grebe was also still present. Later on that afternoon, Steve saw one adult Common Tern feeding the juvenile. He also counted 64 Black Headed Gull (including 23 juveniles), while Canada Goose numbers had built up somewhat, to 79.



It rained for much of Wednesday 2nd, however I popped in at lunchtime and on my way home. Despite the unsettled conditions, there was a little to get excited about. A Common Sandpiper was new in and there were 2 Common Terns still about (1adult, 1 juv).



Yesterday was been pretty windy and unsettled. Just one Common Tern & 3 Sand Martins the best. Today there was no sign of any terns, however finally something a bit different was about with a Spotted Flycatcher along the fence at the southern edge of the cattle field, a new bird for the year, the first for quite sometime! 

Friday, 28 July 2017

28th Jul 2017

Monday John had a Common Tern and a Common Sandpiper at the reservoir again. Tuesday there were few birds bit John did see Small Copper and Essex Skipper butterflies in the grassland between the wood and the reservoir.

On Wednesday evening John had five Common Terns (including a juvenile bird) and on Thursday there was three.

This morning Mike saw a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and three Common Terns (two adults and a juvenile). Also, John had five Sand Martins at lunch time.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

23rd Jul 2017

There was not a lot happening again this week but on Thursday 19th John had 24 Cormorants fly over, quite an odd sighting at this time of year as numbers are usually only that high in the depths of winter. On the 20th and 21st John also had a juvenile Willow Warbler, a Common Sandpiper and a Common Tern.

Mike was out early on Saturday morning and saw a Common Tern and a Common Sandpiper and a dog walker reported seeing a juvenile Badger in the woodland. A little later the tern had gone but I saw the sandpiper. Mike also mentioned lots of young Whitethroats and Blackcaps and I noticed a large amount of juvenile Chiffchaffs calling too. In the evening John saw a Little Egret, Common Tern and two Sand Martins.


There is a fruiting of Chicken in the Woods fungi in the woodland near the river. Mike got some photos of it which are on his blog here.

On Sunday morning Steve had a single Coot on the res - his first on the reservoir this year. Also four Common Sandpipers and a single Little Egret dropped in to east somewhere.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

16th Jul 2017

Only reports from John this week with his regular visits. He had a Yellow-legged Gull on the 10th, two Common Sandpipers and a Common Tern on the 12th, a Yellow-legged Gull on the 13th and an adult Mediterranean Gull over north on the 15th.

Both photos courtesy and copyright of JFT


Sunday, 9 July 2017

9th Jul 2017

There has been nothing too unusual to report recently but there has been a steady amount of notable birds. John had a Hobby recently and there has been the odd Yellow-legged Gull around on most days. On Wednesday John, Dan and I had a walk around. It was quiet for birds but we did see some butterflies about including several Marbled Whites, Gatekeeper and a few Large Skippers.

Both photos courtesy and copyright of JFT


Yesterday Mike saw a Common Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover at the reservoir. Today Colin saw c.310 Lesser Black-backed Gulls that had a Yellow-legged Gull with them. There was also a Little Grebe on the reservoir which is quite unusual.

Monday, 3 July 2017

3rd Jul 2017

A Common Tern and a Yellow-legged Gull were seen at the reservoir by John today.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

2nd Jul 2017

Steve had 3 Little Ringed Plovers at the reservoir today.

Friday, 30 June 2017

30th Jun 2017

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, it has been a very busy few weeks!

The end of the month was relatively quiet but there were a few notable sightings. The main thing being the start of gulls gathering at the reservoir in the afternoons and the first returning Yellow-legged gulls of the summer. Some days John had 4 or 5 at a time.

Steve had a Great Crested Grebe and 45 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the 18th.

John had up to 200 big gulls on the 20th including an adult Yellow-legged Gull. On the 21st 4 (or possibly 5) Yellow-legged Gulls - 2 2CY and 2 3CY. An adult was present again on the 23rd. At least 5 again on the 26th and then it went a bit quiet for gulls again.

All photos courtesy and copyright of JFT


On the 27th John had a Little Ringed Plover and one Yellow-legged Gull (ad or near ad) was seen by Steve on the 28th. On the same day Steve also saw juvenile Whitethroat at the reservoir and two juvenile Little Grebes with the two adults at the Borrow Pit pool. We had no evidence of nesting here but it seems that they have.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

11th Jun 2017

Bird wise, very quiet but that is to be expected now everything is nesting or even finished nesting. However, it was the first weekend I saw good numbers of dragonflies and damselflies. There was Emperor, Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Banded and Beautiful Demoiselle and Large Red, Common Blue, Azure and White-legged Damselflies. it was a nice surprise to see the White-legged as I didn't see any last year.

There was also a Common spotted and four Bee Orchids and it was fantastic to see four Grass Snakes basking along one of the paths. More than I have seen here in one go than over the last 10 years. The only disappointment, was a real lack of butterflies. I saw one white spp and a Common Blue and other than that the odd Small Tortoiseshell.










Friday, 9 June 2017

9th Jun 2017: 'portlandica' Commic Tern

Well this week has definitely been quiet. Unfortunately I haven't been out too much but John and Steve have been visiting on various days. On Tuesday lunch time John phoned me to say he had a 2CY tern at the reservoir and Steve was there and saw it too. It was awful weather and they were struggling to see any detail of the birds plumage and although Steve had mentioned Arctic Tern, the general consensus was that it was a Common Tern. It stayed the day and actually into Wednesday too, when John saw it in the evening. It was dry then and John managed to get the photos below. After John had posted them on twitter, there was a report of a 2CY Arctic Tern put out by a popular bird news service. We were surprised and a little confused.

I asked for more information and confirmation of the identification and they kindly came back to me with the following. 'The amount of black around the eye is beyond what a Common Tern would show, and, more importantly, all the primaries are of the same age. A Common Tern would have two generations of primaries at this time of year, having moulted the inners and retained the worn outers.'

Very informative and a great record for the reservoir.



Sunday, 4 June 2017

4th Jun 2017

It was a quiet weekend, but there was finally some damselflies out.



Friday, 2 June 2017

2nd May 2017

The end of this week has been fairly quiet again. John has noted gulls gathering up, generally up to 30, with most being Lesser Black-backed and a few Herring Gulls. This evening I popped up and there were two Common Terns foraging over the reservoir.

Both photos courtesy and copyright of JFT


Wednesday, 31 May 2017

30th May 2017

A couple of interesting sightings today. Two Great Crested Grebes are back, seen by Steve at lunch time and John later in the day. John also had a drake Pochard late afternoon/early evening. It is an odd time to see these species here and the assumption is that they are failed breeders moving around already.

Monday, 29 May 2017

29th May 2017

Andy Veitch visited today and saw two Mistle Thrushes, a good sighting for here. A Little Ringed Plover was still at the reservoir and there is still a good mix of warblers singing including numerous Sedge Warblers around the Borrow Pit pool up the valley.