As I left another birder arrived and I later found out it was Ian Rowe. He didn't see much but reported a probable Sanderling he heard it and saw it fly across the reservoir through the rain. Later he checked and confirmed it as a moulting adult Sanderling based on plumage and call. This is a great record and the only other one I know of was from May 1966!
With news of the probable Sanderling and interest in the Tree Pipits from a couple of county birders, I returned later in the morning for another look. There had been some more birds arriving through the morning and there was now a Common Sandpiper and around 90 hirundines (but unfortunately no Sanderling). There were mostly Swallows but also at least 25 Sand Martins and a few House Martins. Another Willow Warbler was in song and a Common Whitethroat called but other than that passerines were keeping well hidden in vegetation. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was loafing with Black-headed Gulls at the pontoon.
In the Upper cherwell Valley at least one of the Tree Pipits were still present along with the three Whinchats. There were three Tufted Ducks and I noted how there was only one yesterday and the additional two were probably the ones from the reservoir earlier.
|Photo taken on the 30th|
This evening I received emails from Steve Holliday and Tim Clark who had been out in the area in the afternoon. Steve saw two Cormorant, two Heron, 45 plus Mallard, 25 plus Black-headed Gulls, a juvenile Common Gull, eleven plus Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Swift, Grey Wagtail, two Pied Wagtails, 25 plus Swallow, 20 plus Sand Martins and a House Martin, five Goldfinch, one Greenfinch and two Linnets.
Tim had been in the area of Peewit Farm, Little Bourton and saw an Osprey heading south down the Upper Cherwell Valley. The second this autumn and showing that birds must use the valley on migration and what must be missed when no one is looking. He also had a Wheatear in the farmyard there.