This morning another addition was made to the year list almost as soon as I had arrived. I had parked up and just walked round to the boot of my car and looked up to see a Little Egret flying over to the north east. It wasn't flying at much of a height so I hoped it would drop in to the reservoir or the river but it must have carried on over.
At the reservoir there were circa sixty hirundines hawking low over the water. Mostly Swallows but a few each of Sand Martin and House Martin. Over the course of the morning the Swallows lifted higher and left and were steadily replaced by more House Martins. By late morning there was around forty. Two Common Sandpipers patrolled the reservoir edge but are extremely shy! Oddly there were eight Great Crested Grebes, I really would have thought they should be somewhere else nesting by now but maybe they are still passing through.
Ian Rowe had a Garden Warbler singing in the scrub by the river at lunch time, which is another first for the year. There were plenty of Whitethroats around today and one Willow Warbler still singing along the river. Blackcaps and Sedge Warblers are singing from most suitable habitat but the Chiffchaffs seemed rather quiet, maybe they are busy nesting. We are still waiting for our first Lesser Whitethroat and with a bit of luck we will get Grasshopper warbler too.
Sat on the bench at the northern end of the reservoir I noticed a few micro moths around the bench. Andy Mackay identified them for me (via twitter) as Esperia sulpherella. A fairly common species, the larvae of which feed on dead wood. From here I could hear the Willow Tit singing in the woodland. I later located him and it appears he has still not found female company.
In the Upper Cherwell Valley I came across two Roe Deer bucks, but this time managed some pictures before they departed. There are Cuckoo Flowers out in some number now, particularly along the flood alleviation bund. At the Borrow Pit pool two Tufted Ducks remain and there are four Coots. Two of the Coots have finished constructing their nest and one bird is sitting on eggs.
Later this afternoon Steve Holliday reported two Common Terns were at the reservoir and there had been four species of gull present with Black-headed Gull, four plus Lesser Black-backed Gulls, three Common Gulls and a Herring Gull. A single Little Ringed Plover was present.
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.