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

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Saturday, 27 June 2015

27th June 2015: Siskin

I had a late morning into early afternoon visit today, mainly to look for invertebrates but also to check out the recent birds that have dropped in. The Common Tern was still present, but with a large fishing match on it was no surprise the Little Ringed Plover had gone. Several Black-tailed Skimmers were hunting around the reservoir and I expect these are the ones from the Upper Cherwell Valley.

There is obviously many more butterflies around now, with Meadow Browns and Ringlets around the reservoir and edge of the wood. There was also a Banded Demoiselle around the scrub. The mowers had been put into action again this week and it is a massive shame that the management of the reservoir seems to be intent on cutting it back hard. I am thankful that at least one strip of vegetation has been left on the eastern bank of the reservoir.

In the Upper Cherwell Valley birds continue to sing away and I'm tempted to say these are birds trying to attract mates to attempt a second brood. There was at least two Garden Warblers and one Lesser Whitethroat singing and there was a pair of Bullfinches. All evading the camera.

Invertebrates have exploded into action along here and walking around the river and Borrow Pit pool I recorded many species. Butterflies included Marbled Whites, Essex Skipper, Red Admiral, Meadow Browns, Ringlets and Small Tortoiseshells. Damselflies included White-legged, Common Blue, Red-eyed and Blue-tailed as well as Banded and Beautiful Demoiselle. Dragonflies were Emperor, Four-spotted Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer. I also saw a Cinnabar Moth and a few Mayflies I think are Ephemera vulgata. 

A lapwing was at the Borrow Pit pool, which is nice as I rarely see them actually landed on patch. The pool has some narrow muddy edges now so hopefully it will attract more waders on their return migration. The biggest surprise though came in the form of a Siskin. I hadn't seen any in the winter as they were so scarce and knew I'd see one at some point, I just didn't expect it to be in June though! There are birds migrating at the moment, which is very early but apparently due to a big Sitka Spruce crop this year we are likely to have a big influx of these finches this Autumn/Winter. Hopefully that means Crossbills too!

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