John Friendship-Taylor: The weather has taken on a more Autumnal feel to it, with quite a chill in the air. Yesterday (08/09), Peter Law made a lunchtime visit to the reservoir finding a couple of Spotted Flycatcher along the eastern side of the reservoir. He all noted a Little Egret and 3 Grey Wagtails.
I visited as usual in the evening and managed to see presumably the same Little Egret, together with Mike Pollard. It flew a couple of circuits of the reservoir before rather surprisingly going to roost in the pines at the northern end! There was also the odd group of both House Martins and Swallows heading through without stopping. Canada Geese numbers were up with 73 present, while the single Tufted Duck remained and the first Great Crested Grebe for a while was also about.
Today (09/09), I dragged myself up for a pre-work visit. It was pretty chilly and gloomy and seemingly good for something new to arrive. Overall, it was fairly quiet although the scrub and trees alongside the river were pretty productive with 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Garden Warbler feeding on blackberries, a young Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler and a couple of Chiffchaff. There were also a couple more Chiffchaff on the edge of the wood, one in song. A young Common Gull was with several Black Headed and Lesser Black Backed Gulls.
I paid a brief visit down to the Borrow Pit this evening. The 3 Whinchat remained, while a single Wigeon was present together with 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe, a Coot, 3 Mute Swan and 2 Swallows passed through. The reservoir held 4 Tufted Duck plus the continued presence of a lovely, very vocal family party of Goldfinches that have been along the western edge of the reservoir for at least a week.
Colin Wilkinson also visited at dusk and saw 4 Yellow Wagtails heading south. He also had a look for some bats along by the river and the area east of the reservoir. With the aid of his basic detector, he was fairly sure he picked up 10-20 Common Pipistrelles, 2-3 Serotine and 1 Brown Long-Eared Bat.
The area may seem fairly normal to most but, with a bit of effort some really interesting wildlife can be found at Grimsbury!
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.