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.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

13th Apr 2021

This morning Ian had 2 Common Sandpipers and a Yellow Wagtail.
In the evening there was still a Yellow Wagtail with at least 12 Pied Wagtails and later 2 Little Ringed Plovers. A Sedge Warbler was singing along the river and there was several Willow Warblers around. 
Up at the Borrow Pit several Sand Martins were foraging.

Monday, 12 April 2021

12th Apr 2021

A Redstart was still present this morning seen foraging in the snow (!) by Ian and Mike found six Yellow Wagtails at the southern end of the reservoir.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

11th Apr 2021

The early birders confirmed at least one Redstart still around on site and I don't think more than one was confirmed all day (although there was another two nearby at Hanwell Fields). A Common Sandpiper still present and minimums of four Yellow Wagtails and five White Wagtails. There was also a flythrough Little Ringed Plover.

In the evening there was two Little Ringed Plovers, two White Wagtails still and a Herring Gull settled on a buoy for a little while before flying north.

Photos courtesy and copyright of Kyle Smith

Saturday, 10 April 2021

10th Apr 2021: Redstart

A Yellow Wagtail was seen by Kirsty mid morning and through the day various observers noted a minimum of three birds. An obvious arrival of wagtails included our first White Wagtail of the year spotted by Ian and at least two present.

At lunch time Mark found a Redstart at the northern end of the reservoir, being very elusive in the brambles and sometimes perching on the fence separating the reservoir from the meadow and woodland. The Redstart drew the attention of several people and JFT confirmed there were two birds on site, with the second bird mostly observed in the scrub along the western side of the reservoir.

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Friday, 9 April 2021

9th Apr 2021: Wheatear and Common Sandpiper

Adrian T found our first Wheatear of the year this morning, which felt very overdue, and there was also the or another Sedge Warbler along the river. Our first Common Sandpiper  of the year was found later in the day by Mike Prentice.

Courtesy and copyright of Mike Pollard

Thursday, 8 April 2021

8th Apr 2021: Sedge Warbler

John was out early this morning and had our first Sedge Warbler of the year along the river. Also of note, one Little Ringed Plover and a flyover Mistle Thrush carrying something (possibly food or a faecal sac).

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

6th Apr 2021

Ian had two Little Ringed Plovers this morning along with a few Willow Warblers and good numbers of hirundines.

Monday, 5 April 2021

5th Apr 2021: Osprey!

A very dull and dreary morning with little around early on but at least four House Martins and 20+ each of Swallow and Sand Martin later in the morning. I'd just done my full walk around the patch and was on my way out when some very vocal gulls drew my attention to an Osprey flying over the buildings to the west of the reservoir, apparently following the canal northwards. It turned to fly towards the reservoir and fortunately right over my head! By now though it had at least eight Lesser Black-backed Gulls, four Crows and about 15 Rooks on its tail so it didn't hang around at all and the last I saw of it it went back towards the canal and generally north up the Cherwell Valley. 

A few other bits of note were at least one Siskin still around and two Willow Warblers.

Mike P was out in the evening and had an incredible sighting of six Little Ringed Plovers! Apparently this is the joint largest flock recorded in the B.O.S. area (excluding groups of adults with chicks) alongside the previous record in 1996. 

5 of the 6
Photos courtesy and copyright of Mike Pollard

Saturday, 3 April 2021

3rd Apr 2021: Crossbills

This morning John was out and had a few good bits, the best being six Crossbills flying over north. Other notable birds were Yellow Wagtail, 3-4 Willow Warblers, House Martin, 10 Swallow and 15 Sand Martin. 
This morning I had seven Fieldfares go over high north-west, but otherwise it was fairly quiet and the only other notable birds were two Willow Warblers.
Courtesy and copyright of Mike Pollard

Thursday, 1 April 2021

1st Apr 2021: Swallow, Yellow Wagtail and House Martin

A bit of a bumper day of new arrivals today. Mike and I arrived at pretty much the same time and walked up both sides of the reservoir. A single Swallow appeared as we did and then as we stood talking more arrived and Mike counted ten (as well as several Sand Martins) on his way out. 

I went off up the valley and on my return I found two Yellow Wagtials alnong the western shore. Sandra later found our first House Martin of the year too. 

Photo courtesy and copyright of Edwin Barson

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

31st Mar 2021: Willow Warbler

On Monday I was a bit later up to the resevoir and on arrival mid morning there was a big group (big for here) of Common Gulls fly-catching over the water. Constantly wheeling around and altering height they were hard to count with any accuracy but I estimated 150. There had obviously been a good fly emergence in the morning and they were making the most of it. Smaller flocks passed through later too, so they were well and truly on the move that day. Other bits of note were a single Sand Martin, two singing Blackcaps and a Mistle Thrush. I also spotted two Brimstone butterflies and six Small Tortoiseshells. 

Tuesday Morning John had a Little Ringed Plover, but again it left fairly early. There had been an arrival of Blackcaps with at least seven and possibly nine singing birds around the patch. The only other bird of note was a drake Gadwall on the Borrow Pit pool.

This morning John had our first Willow Warbler of the year and a flyover Lesser Redpoll. 

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 28 March 2021

28th Mar 2021: Little Plover and Blackcap

On Monday Adrian T had two Mistle Thrushes singing near the Water Treatment Works. I was out late up the valley looking for owls but with no joy, although there was several Snipe that I heard coming out of their roosts at dusk.

On Thursday Adrian T found our first Little Ringed Plover of the year. A highly anticipated sighting, but unfortunately it didn't stay very long.

Friday morning John recorded our first Blackcap of the year with a singing male along the river.

The Marsh Tit was recorded singing on a few days but ranged widely aross the site from the wood, to scrub east of the river and at the Water Treatment Works.

Sand Martins passed through in small numbers most days this week, with a group of 20 seen by Mike P on Friday during a rain shower.

Photos courtesy and copyright of Kyle Smith

Sunday, 21 March 2021

21st Mar 2021: Marsh Tit

After a possible Marsh or Willow Tit was reported by Sue Veitch on 21st January, it was nice to see photos today from Edwin that confirms that at least one Marsh Tit is around and likely to have been the bird Sue saw.
There was also two Mistle Thrushes seen this week by Ian Rowe on the grass near the Water Treatment Works.
Photos courtesy and copyright of Edwin Barson

Friday, 19 March 2021

19th Mar 2021: Sand Martins

I spotted our first Sand Martins of the year this morning, with three lingering for c.10 mins before carrying on with their migration north.

Photos courtesy and copyright of Dave Fuller

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

16th Mar 2021: Oystercatcher

Yesterday, Steve had a Peregrine flyover. Although they have been regularly present in town for several weeks there has been surprisingly few sightings from the reservoir. 
This morning Ian Rowe found an Oystercatcher on pontoon at the reservoir.