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.

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Monday, 2 February 2015

02nd Feb 2015: Pellets

Today on the reservoir itself the main interest was a Kingfisher and two Common Gulls. There was only one Great Crested Grebe that I saw, which is nearly in full summer plumage and a few of the Black-headed Gulls are starting to show dark hoods now. A Greenfinch flew over calling and is an addition onto the year list.

In the wood, the Willow Tit showed reasonably well quite quickly, but then seemed to disappear for the rest of the morning. Generally most of the birds disappeared and the wood went quite quiet. At least one of the Common Chiffchaffs is still present but I didn't see the Siberian Chiffchaff. The volunteer conservation team have been busy and one of the things they have done is strapping standing dead logs (in various stages of decay) to live trees. This is to provide nesting locations for Willow Tit and it will benefit invertebrate life too. I really hope it is successful.

In the Upper Cherwell Valley there was a flock of 15 Lapwings in the cattle grazed field east of the river. It is nice to see some on the ground on the patch as it doesn't happen very often. As I scanned around a Red Kite drifted over east to west. I was happy with this, as even though they are recorded most years I haven't personally seen one here for at least two years.

When I was looking around the wood I came across some pellets in the wood under a few of the pines. My immediate reaction was to think about the possibility of getting a woodland owl on the patch. A Tawny Owl, or maybe even a Long-eared Owl! I scanned the tree crowns from several angles but didn't find any owls. I thought about it a bit more though and realised that they are most likely to be from one of the local Buzzards that occasionally roost in the wood. I dissected some of them at home hoping to get a few mammal records but they were pretty much all fur. I got one incisor  and a fraction of a jaw but I am unable to identify them to species.

Buzzard pellets

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