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

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Sunday, 10 May 2015

10th May 2015: Long Day Count

Today was the B.O.S. long day count. The idea is fairly similar to the short day count held earlier in the year. The long day count is held on the second Sunday in May each year with teams of bird watchers out recording as many species as they can see in the twelve 10 km grid squares that make up the B.O.S. recording area. For the long day count teams have up to twelve hours and can go straight through or can have one break. For more information see here.

I was out with Clive Payne covering SP44, which includes Grimsbury Reservoir, the woodland nature reserve and the Upper Cherwell Valley. We had competition within the square from Tim Clark and his dad Tony, also out for the count. Our par score for the day was 62 species.

I'm very happy to say we were very successful and recorded 72 species. Grimsbury Reservoir held two key birds for us with Dunlin found in the morning and Little Ringed Plover present in the evening. There was also a good number of Swifts with around 20 there in the morning. In the Upper Cherwell Valley we were surprised to see a female Wheatear (which is rather late now) and a there was a Common Sandpiper.

Other species of note were a Whinchat at Warmington, a Spotted Flycatcher at Prescote, Reed Warblers in Banbury's Spiceball Park along the River Cherwell and Tufted Ducks in Horley. We also recorded Peregrine, Raven and Red Kite.

Spotted Flycatcher pictured the previous day at Farnborough

The Whinchat was quite distant, hence the terrible photo!
The Whinchat with Yellow Wagtail and Yellowhammer
I'm yet to hear how the other team got on but I know we missed some birds that are, or at least have been recently, present in the square. We didn't pick up Grasshopper Warbler at Hanwell Fields, although I did later in the evening after our 12 hours was up. The Willow Tit was not recorded and although he was still present Sunday 3rd he may have left now. I saw Greylag Goose in Farnborough yesterday but we couldn't find it today. We also didn't see some birds we might have expected like Black-headed Gull, Kingfisher, Little Grebe, Lapwing and didn't record any owls.

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