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

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Sunday, 12 May 2019

12th May 2019: Red-rumped Swallow, back again!

The headline news for the week was that the Red-rumped Swallow was back, or possibly didn't even leave? Following the last definite report of it being last seen on Sunday morning leaving the reservoir at around 10 am and then not being seen on Sunday evening or early Monday morning, we had assumed it had left in the clearer weather. However, it was reported by two people late Monday morning. I have to admit (apologies if rather harshly) that I assumed these reports were erroneous.

Roll on to Wednesday morning and some poor weather again and there, in all of it's glory, was the swallow again! Re-found by John on the western fence. It was seen through most of the day Wednesday to Friday, often foraging high over the river or the cattle field, and was last seen at around 08:30 on Saturday morning. It seems like it was the same bird comparing pictures from last week and this week, so where it went to between Sunday/Monday and Wednesday no one knows!

There are more fantastic photos of the swallow on and

Courtesy and copyright of JFT
On Monday morning when John and I went up three waders flew off just as we got there. One was definitely a Little Ringed Plover, but the other two we did not see well enough to identify. A second LRP was around later, so the earlier two could also have been LRP. An Oystercather also flew around for a little bit, but chose not to stay. The Whooper Swan was also still up the valley on the Borrow Pit pool (Clive Payne).

On Tuesday there were two Common Sandpipers and John confirmed that Grey Wagtails had fledged - possibly three different nests.

Courtesy and copyright of Dave Fuller
On Wednesday morning there was rain that started in the early hours and a gentle ENE breeze. As hoped for this delivered some birds with Greenshank seen flying through early (Mike Pollard) and a little later a Black Tern, two Arctic Terns and and a Common Tern dropping in (GB and Ian Rowe). There was possibly another two Commic Terns seen flying away later by Clive.

Black Tern and all following photos courtesy and copyright of Mike Pollard

On Thursday there was another three Common Terns early on (JFT) and three Dunlin were seen late morning during the rain but they didn't stay long (Stephen Burch). A fine Whinchat was seen on the 10th, which also didn't stay long (JFT et al), six Common Sandpipers and two Little Egrets.

The weekend was fairly quiet but on Saturday the Whooper Swan was still up at the reservoir and another Grass Snake was seen (Dylan), as well as a few Yellow Wagtails and Little ringed Plovers etc.

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