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.

Friday, 28 April 2017

28th Apr 2017: Curlew and Hobby

Thanks to a heads up from Dan of a Curlew flying south east away from Balscote, John was able to add it to the patch list. It didn't actually go to the reservoir but he could see it from there circling over the eastern edge of town.

This evening John also added Hobby, the 100th bird to go on to the patch year list, seeing one fly over north. Otherwise I believe it was a fairly quiet day.

The fox from yesterday, courtesy and copyright of JFT

Thursday, 27 April 2017

27th Apr 2017: Reed Warbler and Swift

News from Colin and John today, including two new birds for the year.

Colin started out early and had a Reed Warbler along the river channel in the valley. At the reservoir there was one Little Ringed Plover and a very bold Fox in the morning and in the evening John had the first Swift of the year.

At the Borrow Pit Colin saw a Common Sandpiper and Yellow Wagtail. He also noted that generally there seem to be many more Whitethroats around with at least 10 singing males.

Interest off patch

The Wood Warbler was still in Spiceball Park today singing and showing well for many more visitors. There are lot's of very nice photo's of it on Ewan's blog here.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

26th Apr 2016

This morning Colin had a Common Sandpiper at the reservoir and Steve saw three this afternoon. Late evening there was only one but another up the valley at the Borrow Pit pool. Steve also saw three Little Ringed Plovers and John saw a Yellow Wagtail. Late evening there were three Yellow Wagtails at the Borrow Pit pool.

Interest off patch

On his way to the reservoir this morning Colin found a singing Wood Warbler in Spiceball Park. Amazingly it was in the same area as the bird he found last year. Unlike last years bird though, this one stayed around all day and although it went quiet at times it sang frequently through the day. 

Courtesy and copyright of Colin Wilkinson

Monday, 24 April 2017

24th Apr 2017

Steve had a Garden Warbler at the reservoir this afternoon. At the reservoir Steve and John saw two Common Sandpipers and two Little Ringed Plovers.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

23rd Apr 2017: Garden Warbler

Mark had the first Garden Warbler of the year this morning. It was in the Upper Cherwell Valley just north of the woodland reserve. This brings the count of warblers for the year up to seven. Hopefully will will also get Reed Warbler and possibly Grasshopper Warbler to complete the set.

Colin and Steve were out too and also had a Coot with seven chicks in the valley.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

22nd Apr 2017: Redstart

I was out again this morning and had three Common Sandpipers at the reservoir and there were at least four Whitethroats around. So there are obviously new arrivals and birds moving against the wind. Otherwise, there were two Little Ringed Plovers, several Sand Martins through and everything else was fairly unchanged.

However, later in the afternoon Colin found a male Redstart in the hedge between the water treatments works and the cattle field. It wasn't present in the evening but is another new bird for the year.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Friday, 21 April 2017

21st Apr 2017

This morning I was awake and out early. I was a little surprised, given the conditions, that there were a few new birds in. A Wheatear was around the reservoir briefly, but soon flushed and disappeared and there was Whitethroat was in a bramble patch along the western bank next to the path. There was a steady trickle of hirundines going through, mostly Sand Martins but there was also the odd Swallow. I was pleased to see a female Bullfinch carrying nest material near the entrance to the wood too. It is a species we assume breeds here but it is the first time I have seen any evidence of nesting.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

20th Apr 2017

This morning John was out for a good walk and covered most of the patch. He saw the Channel Wagtail, a Whitethroat and a Snipe over. He had a White Wagtail at the reservoir and had three separate Yellow Wagtails over, a Little Ringed Plover and a few hirundines.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

19th Apr 2017: Channel Wagtail

Mark was out late afternoon/early evening and up at the Borrow Pit there were five Yellow Wagtails. One of these birds was a Channel Wagtail and could be the same bird that was around last year.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT (taken on the 20th)

Monday, 17 April 2017

17th Apr 2017: Common Whitethroat

There have been no new species has been one new species recorded over the Easter weekend but we are at least getting more birds in and finally some good numbers of hirundines. Yesterday afternoon Tony Crisp saw c12 swallows, c3 House Martins, a Common Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover and our first White Wagtail of the year.

This morning I saw a flock of hirundines gather up early morning which included over 20 Swallows, several Sand Martins and at least three House Martins. There were two Common Sandpipers, three Little Ringed Plovers and what I assume was the same White Wagtail. Clive saw one (possibly two) Yellow Wagtails just as I left but they were gone again by the time I walked back. In the Upper Cherwell Valley there were at least two Lesser Whitethroats and six Sedge Warblers and across the whole site there were at least five Willow Warblers.

Late update:
Colin was out this afternoon and had a very good afternoon. Top of the list is the first Common Whitethroat record of the year, singing from scrub along the railway embankment west of the canal. At the reservoir there were more hirundines with 80-90 Swallows and 20 House Martins and a third Long-tailed Tit nest under construction near the sailing club. A Great Spotted Woodpecker nest was confimed. The Mallard that was nesting near the reservoir entrance has left and hopefully the chicks fledged successfully. Another brood of five have fledged at the Borrow Pit.

All photos courtesy and copyright of Colin Wilkinson

Friday, 14 April 2017

14th Apr 2017

After Monday this week has gone by with very little change. John had three Sedge Warblers up at the Borrow Pit pool on Tuesday, a Yellow Wagtail flew over on Wednesday morning and a Peregrine over yesterday. Otherwise it has been the regular Little Ringed Plovers (up to four), Common Sandpiper and a trickle of hirundines passing through.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Monday, 10 April 2017

10th Apr 2017: Wheatear

John and Mike were out this morning and had a Wheatear (new for the year) and a Common Sandpiper and there was a couple of Sand Martins. At lunch time also had a Little Ringed Plover and seven Sand Martins.

This evening John had two Little Egrets fly over very high going south west, four Swallows, a House Martin and four Little Ringed Plovers.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 9 April 2017

9th Apr 2017

A very good day today with a few new birds. I was out a little later this morning and there were at least three Willow Warblers singing along the river. I sat on the bench at the northern end just watching (not much too be honest) and Clive joined me. Interestingly there was a couple of very high flying Cormorants. I was just saying how it seemed a little quiet given the conditions when our first Common Sandpiper of the year dropped in. It didn't stay long and we assume it is the same one we saw a little later at the Borrow Pit pool. We had two Sedge Warblers in the canal hedge and our first Lesser Whitethroat too.

Colin was out this afternoon and had a Sedge Warbler singing up the valley still and later a Yellow Wagtail in the cattle field by the reservoir. Today's third new bird of the year. Mike was out this evening and saw three Little Ringed Plovers but said it was quiet otherwise.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

8th Apr 2017: Sedge Warbler

A very cold start to the day but within a couple of hours of sunrise it was rather warm and very pleasant. Two Little Ringed Plovers were at the reservoir and a Willow Warbler was singing from trees by the river near the sailing club. Two Sand Martins dropped in but only for around 30 seconds before moving on again. Although there were several Blackcaps singing strongly there seemed to be far fewer Chiffchaffs around. Despite that, I did find a pair of Chiffchaffs nest building near the entrance of the wood. There were also at least seven Orange Tip and a few Peacock butterflies around.

Up the valley there were two Sedge Warblers singing from the canal hedge near the Borrow Pit pool, apparently fresh in today.

Friday, 7 April 2017

7th Apr 2017

It has been a fairly quiet week so far. Little Ringed Plovers were present most days with a peak count of four this evening. On Monday there were three Sand Martins and on Wednesday there was a pair of Tufted Ducks and a Willow Warbler.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

2nd Apr 2017: Redpoll

Clive and Jim were out this morning and had a Swallow with Sand Martins passing through north. I was out a bit later and saw the Sparrowhawks displaying over the wood and some very high soaring Buzzards mid morning. In the wood the Willow Tit (possibly two) and Marsh Tits were busy feeding around the large willows east of the wood and the other side of the river. A Lesser Redpoll flew over calling as I watched them, the first one of the year as there were none over the winter period.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

1st Apr 2017: House Martin

John and I were out early today. We had to wait a little while for any birds of any note to arrive but just before 7 we had a few Sand Martins arrive and then a Swallow. More Sand Martins arrived and a House Martin appeared amongst them. A little later we had another Swallow. There was at least four Blackcaps around today, singing away quite happily as if they are already settled on territories.