I got to the reservoir a little later than I had intended to this morning and (fortunately / unfortunately - delete as you like) missed the rain. I was just at the river scanning through a roving tit flock when Roger Evans phoned. He had news of a Ring-necked Parakeet that Adrian Tysoe had seen fly over the reservoir to the west a little earlier in the morning. This is a new bird for the reservoir and probably a sign of things to come as they spread further out from the south east.
Whilst still on the phone I heard a call I thought was Nuthatch, but wasn't convinced. So I said goodbye to Roger and listened out for the bird to call again (sorry if I seemed a little keen to go Roger, but now you know why). It did call again and even 'sang' if you can call it a song. It was moving through the willows by the river and ended up going off to the east. A second patch tick for me in as many days. I don't have any previous records of Nuthatch at Grimsbury but I'd be really surprised if it was a completely new bird for the the reservoir.
So three year ticks in two days, all of which are possibly completely new birds to the patch. This is an amazing flurry of records, a real purple patch!
I saw Mike Pollard and we were chatting about the management of the grasslands, the river and the presence of the Common Terns. Reg is going to be talking to Thames Water about the mowing regime and to see if we can understand the requirements and if it can be relaxed a little bit. Apparently the river has been lowered as a mitigation for environmental pollution, so it is likely to be allowed to fill up again once it is given the all clear. The terns continue to puzzle me as to what they are doing and how many there are. Yesterday I saw two at the reservoir and two in the U.C.V. and then two back at the reservoir again. I thought there may have been four birds but concluded there was just the two moving around. This morning Mike had seen two at the reservoir, but they had gone before I got there. I later then saw three flying down the valley but back at the reservoir only saw two there again. It's possible that there are two regular birds now and the third was just passing through? or that there are up to four ranging around the valley? who knows?
I went back this evening to see if there was any kind of gull roost yet. I'm really glad I did as I saw the Ring-necked Parakeet flying from the Southam Road area, across the reservoir and south towards town. There is a very minor gull roost with around twenty Black-headed and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls. One of the Black-headed Gulls was ringed with a white davric ring on the right leg and a metal ring on the left leg. I couldn't read the code but looking it up on cr-birding a white ring could be from the Czech Republic, Poland or the UK!
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.