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.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

30th July 2016

A fairly quiet end to the month really. I had a walk around on Friday mid-morning and the best I could find was a pair of Gadwalls in amongst the Mallards. A large white headed gull flew over that was either a Herring or Yellow-legged Gull but I didn't get enough detail to confirm species. In the evening John had a juvenile Common Gull.

Today Steve walked around reservoir and on to the Borrow Pit pool. On reservoir the gull numbers are picking up with lots of Black-headed Gull, eight Lesser Black-backs and the re was a 1st summer 
Common Gull with them.  There was also 1 Common Tern.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

27th July 2016

Another flurry of activity yesterday with slightly less today. Yesterday morning Mike had a single Common Sandpiper but by mid-day John had eight and they had been joined by a Dunlin. This seems to have coincided with a general wader movement throughout the area.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT
Yesterday evening John and Mike visited and all the waders were still present and they had a Yellow-legged Gull. It had a deformed beak so it will be easy to see if it remains here or if it gets seen in the wider area.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT
Above and below courtesy and copyright of Mike Pollard

This morning Steve visited and there was only two Common Sandpipers remaining from yesterdays fall.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

24th July 2016

It seems that after a slow mid-summer break I now cannot find the time to update the blog regularly enough. As we see more birds in the Autumn I will try to keep up!

On Thursday 21st Steve had a Herring Gull and on Friday 22nd a Common Tern. Later on Friday evening John was out with our friend Dan and they saw a Willow Tit in the wood and a Common Sandpiper at the reservoir. Up around the Borrow Pit they also saw several Six Spot Burnett moths.

Both pictures courtesy and copyright of JFT

On Saturday 23rd I had a walk up from town through Spiceball Park. There were at least two Reed Warblers still singing in small reedbed in the river and two Kingfishers, one of which was later along the river by the reservoir. There was very little of note around the reservoir and wood, but I was happy to find at least one of the juvenile Sparrohawks still there.

This afternoon Tony Crisp had a Yellow-legged Gull at the reservoir sat on a buoy. It would seem they are well and truly back in the area and hopefully we see more like last year.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

20th Jul 2016: Yellow-legged Gulls

Things are starting to look up. There has been enough interesting things this week to enable me to do a mid-week update. To be honest I meant to do a post on Monday but work is so busy I completely forgot!

Steve Holliday had an adult Yellow-legged Gull on Monday morning. It flew off to the west. This is the time birds will really start coming in from the continent and we may see birds passing through but last year it was only when Lesser Black-backed Gulls started roosting in larger numbers that we regularly saw the Yellow-legs.

Tuesday John had an Oystercatcher at the reservoir and this morning Steve had a Lapwing briefly. So more waders are on the move. Steve saw another Yellow-legged Gull this evening too. So it may be worth watching the reservoir for birds moving through or coming in to bath.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

17th Jul 2016

Monday morning Steve saw three Common Sandpipers, which was the peak for the week but there were generally one or two around all week. Several Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew through in the evening but they didn't roost. A couple of them lingered to feed on a dead Pike though.

Tuesday lunchtime John had a very obliging Comma just inside the reservoir entrance. It could be used in a wildlife promo of the reservoir to help convince Thames Water not to keep mowing and cutting all the vegetation!

Both photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Wednesday evening there was little of note around and the reservoir was quite disturbed by other recreational activities.

Saturday morning there was the one Common Sandpiper and two Common Terns at the reservoir. The Sparowhawk chicks hadn't fledged but are branch walking and I could only see one but a second (or possibly an adult) called from a nearby tree. There was also a family group of Kestrels practising their flying skills on the southern edge of the wood by the cattle field. I don't think that they bred here but had possibly done so nearby. There was also a few new fresh Otter spraints along the river, one next to Signal Crayfish remains, so at least one is still active in the area.

On Sunday Tony Crisp had a Common Sandpiper at the Borrow Pit pool and saw several Six-spot Burnett moths. Something I haven't seen here before and possibly a new coloniser. Steve said the reservoir was quiet though with recreational disturbance again.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

10th Jul 2016: Tigers!

Still quiet in the summer doldrums!

News from Steve on Wednesday included a Common Sandpiper and there was two today, one at the reservoir and one at the Borrow Pit pool.

John found several Scarlet Tigers on Thursday and it is great to finally confirm this species live and present. They are in the area on the left inside the reservoir entrance but before the sailing club, where there is a lot of Comfrey and Nettle plants.

Both photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

There has been a steady build up of Black-headed gulls over the last couple of weeks and on Friday evening there was 20 including four juveniles. The only other bird news of interest is of the Sparrowhawks. They are growing rapidly and they are even venturing away from the nest and walking out along the branches.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

3rd Jul 2016

Another fairly quiet week overall but with a few highlights towards the end. John thought he had a Scarlet Tiger moth fly past him on Monday, but it was too quick to confirm. Following the dead one found last year it would be good if we could confirm presence of live ones.

On Thursday evening John and I had a walk around and although there was very few birds around we had a Marbled White and a few Ringlets, the first we have noted here this year. By Sunday there were several Marbled Whites around.

On Saturday I had a walk up the valley with the main intention of seeing Hobby, but didn't find one. I did finally mange to confirm three Sparrowhawk chicks in the nest though, which was very nice to see. Up at the Borrow Pit pool there was two Emperor Dragonflies, one of which was egg laying, and numerous Common Blue damselflies.

Sunday morning John and I were out early for the last of the breeding bird surveys in the Upper Cherwell Valley. Walking up past the reservoir there was a Common Sandpiper, our first wader returning on autumn migration. Later in the morning there were four Common Terns. Generally there has been two Common Terns around on and off, so I wonder if these extra birds are also on return migration already.

The breeding bird survey was fairly standard but it was good to see so many juveniles, especially Whitethroats. We also had Reed and Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting juveniles. Possibly the best finds of the morning were not birds though. John found a single Pyramidal Orchid and 18 Bee Orchids and I saw a Common Lizard.