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

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

08th Feb 2015: Signs of Spring

There are increasing signs of spring at the moment. Noticeable in this last week was the increase of trees with buds and in some cases new leaves. It is amazing that, with freezing night time temperatures, it is still generally warm enough for the trees to start producing new growth. The daylight hours are rapidly increasing and the birds are singing more and more too.

At the reservoir there was not a lot of change but a Skylark flew over north. A pair of Bullfinches were feeding on fresh Blackthorn buds and this set a theme for the rest of the morning. I saw at least nine Bullfinches in total during my walk including a flock of five, all feeding on Blackthorn buds.

In the wood the Siberian Chiffchaff and at least one Common Chiffchaff were amongst the tit flock. Today they were feeding high in the pines and it was good to stand in the sun looking up into a clear blue sky. There is a fantastic picture of the Siberian Chiffchaff here by Roger Wyatt, which illustrates perfectly the views I had this morning. The Sparrowhawk made a quick stop in the trees above me at one point but I was too slow to get a picture. It is great to see one so frequently but a shame it is nearly always a quick glimpse.

In the Upper Cherwell Valley the flock of Meadow Pipits was in the long wet grass again and although I didn't count them today there were easily 50 plus. I could see the Canada Geese further up so went to check for the Greylag Goose. It was there with them and whilst scanning through for anything else it struck me how many geese there were. I counted them three times and came up with 235, a very good count for here. As I was counting I realised there was a Skylark singing over the fields, the first one I have heard this year. At least four Green Woodpeckers were in the area today frequently calling as they flew from one place to another. Walking back down towards the wood I heard three Reed Buntings singing at least another two calling along the river.

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