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

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

21st Feb 2015: Charming

I was out bright and early this morning to make the most of the predicted fine weather. It was breezy and cold but it was a superb morning as the sun broke through! The bird movements just after dawn consisted mainly of gulls, corvids and pigeons all leaving their roosts, but it also included two Lapwings, some Pied Wagtails, a Sparrowhawk and a couple of Buzzards. I think Grey Wagtails are on the move too as there was at least three in the area. Four Goosanders were still around and three Common Gulls dropped in.

In the wood I watched a pair of Treecreepers going in behind hanging bark on a standing dead Alder. It looked like they were checking for somewhere to nest but a third came in and chased one of the pair away. I did two circuits today and it struck me how different birds were seen each time. I finally caught up with the Willow Tit again and a Common Chiffchaff, though it was harder to find them as the tit flocks are breaking up and are more widely dispersed. I am tempted to say the Siberian Chiffchaff has gone or if it is still around it is certainly keeping a low profile. A Muntjac Deer skulked through and was off as soon as it's senses alerted it to my presence. A charm of Goldfinches were feeding in the Alders by the river and I scanned several times for Siskins and Redpolls but there were none.

In the Upper Cherwell Valley there was at least four Buzzards, two perched and two circling over head. A flock of nearly 100 Fieldfares were foraging in a cattle fields joined by around 20 Starlings. The borrow pit had four Coots, two Tufted Ducks and there was a lone Canada Goose too that didn't seem to be in the best of health. I scanned around checking the roosting Cormorants and came across two Ravens perched up in a tree. It is the first time I have had Ravens in the area that were not flying over.

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