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.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

31st Aug 2016: Black Tern

John and I headed out for a look around this evening. As I got to the reservoir Colin called to say there was a Black Tern present and a good gathering of gulls. Looking over I picked out the tern at the far end and soon after got John on to it. Unfortunately it left to the north at 18:10 before many locals had a chance to get to the reservoir, but Kyle did manage to pop in quickly to see it.

Courtesy and copyright of Colin

There were loads of gulls around this evening. Many had gathered and perched on the warehouse roof to the north when we got there, with some coming down to the reservoir to bath. We watched them while the tern was around and found one (possibly two) juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls. When we were up in the valley and back at the reservoir many more flew over but few stopped on the water. Most going straight over but some did land in the middle of the warehouse roof out of sight.

Up in the valley at least two Whinchat were still present at the Borrow Pit pool.

Monday, 29 August 2016

29th Aug 2016: More Whinchats!

I had a walk up this morning, which was nice as it is a pretty rare occurrence at the moment! As I approached the reservoir at least two Yellow Wagtails flew over heard but not seen. There were gulls gathered on the warehouse roof to the north and a few coming and going from the reservoir but nothing particularly notable. I found a Whinchat along the ditch in the cattle field with what I assume is the same long staying Wheatear.

Into the valley there was not a lot going on but it is very noticeable how many warblers are around. There were five Little Grebes at the Borrow Pit pool, including two well grown chicks. The Coots appear to be nesting again with the very well grown juveniles still around on the pool now looking after themselves. There were four Whinchats in the tall herb vegetation beyond the pool. Mostly perched up on the dead dock flower spikes but also often low down and out of sight. I believe five Whinchats on patch at the same time is the most I have ever seen and possibly a patch record?

Colin went around a little after me and found a Willow Tit in amongst one of the roving tit flocks in the wood. He was also treated to a display of aerial excellence as two Hobbies hunted over the Borrow Pit pool for around ten minutes.

Hobby and grebes courtesy and copyright of Colin Wilkinson

Sunday, 28 August 2016

28th Aug 2016: Whinchats

After John's Tree Pipit it has been a reasonably quiet few days without anything too exciting, until this evening. On Friday John and Tim Clark were out and between them saw one Wheatear, two Spotted Flycatchers two Common Sandpipers and a Yellow Wagtail. Later in the evening John, Dan and I tried the gull roost, but little came in. We had one Yellow-legged Gull early on but it didn't stay long.

Yellow-legged Gull, it was showing well but flew off before I could get better!
Yesterday Colin had five common Sandpipers (two at the reservoir and three at the Borrow Pit pool) three Yellow Wagtails over and there were two Little Grebe chicks still at the Borrow Pit. In the afternoon, after the huge thunderstorm, John and I were disappointed that the best birds were a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher....

Today John and Kirsty have been out and John found a new Redstart. There was also two Raven, a Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail one Common Sandpiper and a female Shoveler at the Borrow Pit. Late afternoon Mark found three Whinchat in the Upper Cherwell Valley. I was wondering if we were going to get some again this autumn as they have been regular for a few yews now. True to form, today Mark found them perched up on the dead dock flower spikes.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

25th Aug 2016: Tree Pipit

Yesterday evening John had a female Redstart still around and four Common Sandpipers. Little else of note though.

This morning a Tree Pipit was found by John, but it flushed when a dog walker passed by and wasn't seen again. A Spotted Flycatcher was flycatching from the water treatment works roof and a Yellow-legged Gull dropped in briefly. Also, four Yellow Wagtails (2x2) went over south.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT
In the evening Colin found one Wheatear still present and two Common Sandpipers.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

23rd Aug 2016

Several days to catch up on so only a brief update today!

On the 18th Mike and John had a male Redstart to the south west of the reservoir and a  Common Sandpiper. Three Yellow Wagtails went over south. In the evening John confirmed two Redstarts one male and one female. I went up later evening and there were really good numbers of gulls building up including at least two Yellow-legged Gulls,

At lunch time on the 19th John had two Common Sandpiper, the female Redstart still and a Yellow Wagtail. Colin also found a Wheatear in the afternoon.

Both pictures courtesy and copyright of JFT

On the 21st Steve had one Common Sandpiper and Reg had a Peregrine fly over carrying prey, which turned out to be a Woodpigeon.

In the morning on the 22nd John had four Common Sandpiper, the Wheatear still and one Yellow Wagtail over and at lunch time saw that a female Redstart was still around.

This evening John had a Redstart calling that went unseen, two Common Sandpipers and three Yellow Wagtails over high to the south.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

17th Aug 2016

Sorry for the slow updates so far this week, I haven't had the time to digest the sightings let alone blog about them! Autumn migration is well and truly here now and a visit at anytime could through up a surprise or two.

On Monday morning Colin and Steve were out and found our first Common Redstart of the autumn, an adult male, in the hedge between the water treatment works and the cattle field. An area John and I now refer to as 'Redstart corner'. They also had the first Yellow Wagtail of the autumn on the pontoon. The number of warblers around is becoming more obvious and I'm sure many are migrants. The numbers of Canada Geese are steadily building and the reservoir banks are getting covered in feathers.

Warblers courtesy and copyright of Mike Pollard

Monday lunchtime John had a big gathering of gulls including a near adult Yellow-legged Gull, adult Herring Gull and adult Common Gull. A couple of Swifts went over too. In the evening he had an adult Yellow-legged Gull and almost certainly two Redstarts. A Painted Lady and a Fox cub were also seen.

Above and below Courtesy and copyright of John Friendship-Taylor

Steve had another Yellow Wagtail on Tuesday morning. In the afternoon Colin found an adult Black-tailed Godwit at the reservoir, which was around till early evening when Mike saw it. Colin also later had a Green Sandpiper circle around twice which left to the north. Three Common Gulls graced the reservoir but there was not a lot more gull wise today.

Godwit pictures courtesy and copyright of Mike Pollard

Wednesday lunchtime John had a juvenile Med Gull drop in briefly, which is definitely a different individual from the last few times. In the evening John and I walked up and found Colin already there. Huge numbers of gulls were coming through and an adult Yellow-legged left as we got there and an adult Common came in briefly. John picked out a Hobby feeding really high over the reservoir too. A Yellow Wagtail was around but went away heard and not seen.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 14 August 2016

14th Aug 2016

Jon Bowley was out at lunch time and had a juvenile Med Gull. I'm not sure if this is still the same one but it seems likely. There was also a Red Kite flying over.

Later in the afternoon I called in. Colin was already there and John, Dan and Steve all turned up. There was lots of gull activity, with birds circling round catching flying ants, but there was not much more of interest dropping in apart from an adult Common Gull. After I left Dan had another (or the same?) Red Kite and a Hobby go over.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

13th Aug 2016

John called in this morning and there was a Common Sandpiper. Steve was out late morning and found the juvenile Med Gull present again and there was also a juvenile Common Tern. The Med Gull was still present at lunch time when John visited again.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT
This evening there was a much smaller gathering of gulls and the most interesting present were two juvenile Herring Gulls. The Common Sandpiper, or possibly another, was present too.

Friday, 12 August 2016

12th Aug 2016

A Peregrine was seen high over the reservoir at lunch time by John and Steve. In the evening John and I met our friend Dan to see what gulls drifted in through the evening. A Yellow-legged Gull (3CY?) was around from before I got there and eventually drifted off north. There was also a very odd gull we can't come to a conclusion on. Other than that though, it was quite quiet.

Both pics Courtesy and copyright of Dan Watson

Thursday, 11 August 2016

11th Aug 2016: Juvenile Med Gull

Following the adult yesterday, Steve had a juvenile Med Gull on the pontoon at 11:40 with 315 Black-headed Gulls. Juveniles are very infrequent here. It, and the other gulls, did not stay though and by the evening there were very few gulls at all. Possibly due to being disturbed.

Other than that, John had a Willow Warbler in sub-song and a couple of Swifts over at lunch time. It won't be long before the Swifts have left all together for another year.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

10th April 2016: Med Gull

John visited yesterday morning and the Ringed Plover was still present but flew off high west. It can't have gone far though as it was back at lunch time and stayed through to the evening.

Reg and the volunteer work party continue their hard work and have started on a wild flower meadow on the southern edge of the woodland. The already partially clear areas have been extended and thick bramble scrub has been reduced. To create the meadow BBOWT volunteers have cleared vegetation and exposed patches of bare earth upon which they spread wild flower hay that was collected from another local BBOWT reserve that they work on. Once this area becomes established it will add another bit of important wildlife habitat to the reserve. It will be known as the "Pensioner's Patch". Thanks to everyone for your hard work.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT
This morning Mike saw the Ringed Plover again but it flew south and I don't think it returned this time. A very interesting report was of a Whimbrel seen over Spiceball Park by Michael Hunt. It appeared to fly towards the reservoir but it was just at the time Mike was getting there and it obviously didn't hang around. Whimbrel is a very rarely seen bird here!

Late afternoon John found an adult Med Gull on the pontoon that flew off south west. It was ringed but with only a metal ring so unfortunately it's not possible to read the details. John also thinks there was probably two Sparrowhawk nests. There has been a lot of activity at the rear of the water treatment works and there is still activity of the known family in the wood.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT
Later in the evening Mike had the Med Gull again on the roof of the water treatment works. Mike said there was good number of gulls present this evening which included at least three adult Yellow-legged Gulls, two on the water treatment works roof and one on the water. Also, a very large roost of gulls hidden from view on the new warehouse roofs north of the reservoir.  There was also a big roost of Jackdaws gathering in the wood, numbering several hundred.

Courtesy and copyright of Mike

Monday, 8 August 2016

08th Aug 2016: Ringo and Blackwit

At Lunch time John had a Common Sandpiper fly over as he was leaving the reservoir. Late this afternoon John called in again after finishing work. He was waiting for me before we left for a trip to Otmoor in search of the Purple Heron. Using up 30 minutes was the main aim but he ended up finding two new birds for the year list.

A Ringed Plover flew across the reservoir calling and settled on the eastern bank and there were two Black-tailed Godwits on the western bank. All juveniles. They stayed long enough for me to have a quick look and then we were off.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 7 August 2016

07th Aug 2016: Osprey

Yesterday Steve visited in the afternoon. It was fairly quiet but six Greylag Geese and two Herring Gulls were of note.

Today though there was quite a lot more happening. Steve and Colin were out in the morning and had Common Sandpipers at the Reservoir, along the canal and two at the Borrow Pit pool. At the Borrow Pit they had an Osprey fly over south east at 08:22, which continued over the M40 and out of view so it probably didn't stop. A Spotted Flycatcher was also at the back of the Borrow Pit, perched up on the deer fence briefly.

Osprey and Grebe pictures
Courtesy and copyright of Colin Wilkinson

This evening John had a look at the gathering gulls and managed to pick out a second calendar year Yellow-legged Gull.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Friday, 5 August 2016

05th Aug 2016

On Monday Adrian and Sandra Bletchly had two juvenile Little Grebes at the Borrow Pit pool in the Upper Cherwell Valley. I was a little unsure if it was meant they were hatched here as John also had one at the reservoir later in the week but this was an older individual that was obviously this years young but was not hatched here. However, Colin confirmed a brood of four today. This is good news for this little pool and what the area might become.

Grebe pics courtesy and copyright of Colin

I was sure someone had emailed me to say they had seen a Common Sandpiper this week, but I can't find the email now so I may have made that up! There has been individual Yellow-legged Gulls on a few evenings and we had a juvenile on Thursday. John and I believe this is the first juvenile we have had here. Otherwise it has been fairly quiet, with just a ringed Mute Swan of minor note.