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

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Saturday, 31 October 2015

31st Oct 2015: Black Redstart

Well, today went from being a rather disappointing to something rather different. I had been all around the patch with barely anything of note to speak of. This was the last chance of October to try and find something new. There were some small flocks of Redwings blogging around, a Kingfisher flew through from the river and I'd heard a Fieldfare. Fieldfare was not new for the year but the first one I had recorded here this Autumn/Winter. There were seven Great Crested Grebes present and eight Cormorants moving between the reservoir and the valley.

In the wood it was a stunning autumn scene, but the birds were quiet and a small tit flock by the canal didn't have any unusual guests tagging along.

In the Upper Cherwell Valley some more Redwings were foraging in the scrub and a flock of c.30 Fieldfares went over west. A few Meadow Pipits were feeding in the grass and I assume these birds will now be settled here for a while. There was a few bits at the Borrow Pit pool but it was the gulls that drew my attention, nothing uncommon but there is obviously a lot around in the area again. Walking back to the reservoir I found a few Otter spraints along the canal.

Round the western side of the reservoir there was a noticeable increase in thrushes around, so I had a good look through them. A few of the Blackbirds were first winter birds with black bills and I was wondering if they were continental birds and how far they had travelled. As I got to the water treatment works I noticed a bird flutter around the roof, but it was gone before I saw it properly. A Grey Wagtail called so I assumed that was my bird. I was checking through some more thrushes when a bird flew over the roof of the buidings again and perched on the girder that sticks out the side. A Black Redstart! Almost in exactly the same place as last years bird. Very nice! It stayed distant but showed well through the day. This is species number 123 for the year and another step closer to that target of 130.

Early afternoon there was a gathering of around 80 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Lapwings flew over south. 

Courtesy and copyright of Jason Coppock
Courtesy and copyright of Kyle Smith

Courtesy and copyright of Jason Coppock. Please view at 720p HD 

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