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

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Sunday, 20 December 2015

20th Dec 2015

I was out with a good friend today, Allan Jones. He hasn't been out to Grimsbury few a few months at least. He must be a good omen as we had quite a good day, either that or the good weather meant there were more birds around.

Virtually as soon as we got to the reservoir a Red Kite drifted over and departed to the south west. As it went over it put most of the gulls up and later the sailing boats ensured the rest disappeared. Soon after the Red Kite had gone a flock of 19 Lapwings flew over and we saw the three Goosanders near the northern end of the reservoir.

Two Kingfishers were active along the river and one perched up and showed really well in the sunlight. An Otter spraint was under the railway bridge, which was new since yesterday and shows they are still quite active in the area. There was no sign of the Willow Tits today but there was a Chiffchaff calling near the river.

In the wood we saw at least six Siskins and heard at least one Lesser Redpoll, but all were flighty and and we weren't sure of exact numbers. Searching for the Willow Tits again a flock of around 300 Golden Plover wheeled around above us. I assume they had been flushed from one of the nearby fields and were searching for somewhere else to settle.

Oxfordshire birders Ian Smith and Ben Carpenter visited today too, in search of Willow Tits. Unfortunately they didn't see them but they did see the Danish ringed Black-headed Gull, VK40. Ian emailed the ringer and so we now have details for this bird. It was ringed as a pullus in 2011 on the Hirsholm island. It has only been recorded three times since, all at Grimsbury and it seems to be settled in the area for the winter.

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