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.

Sunday 26 May 2024

26th May 2024: Oystercatchers

It's really quietened down now as we move into late spring and summer. I haven't been out on patch much to be honest and I don't think others have, but we're not expecting a lot more this spring anyway.

A local birder saw two Oystercatchers go over on the 17th, which were new for the year, and JFT was out on the 21st and saw a Common Sandpiper and 2 Little Ringed Plovers.

Sunday 12 May 2024

12th May 2024: Common Tern

A fairly quiet week again but a few bits around. Common Sandpipers and Little Ringed Plovers on some days and the Cetti's Warbler very settled and singing regularly. 

John had Yellow Wagtail and Little Egret again on Monday morning and our first Common Tern of the year in the afternoon.

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday 5 May 2024

5th May 2024: Last of the warblers and Little Egret

On Monday morning Ian had 3 Common Sandpipers and 2 Little Ringed Plovers. Wednesday morning Ian also had our first Garden Warbler of the year. 

Thursday in the rain there were 2 Garden Warblers, a Wheatear in the cattle field and another (fairly late) Redstart.

John was out early Friday and had 2 separate Arctic Terns go through and another Common/Arctic not identified and Ian had 2 Shelducks over a little later.

Today Clive and I did the B.O.S. Long Day Count with the Grimsbury patch being the core of our day. We added Reed Warbler new for the year, which was the first time I've ever recorded 10 warbler species on the same day on patch. The Grey Partridge was in the cattle field again and a Little Egret flying through in the evening was also new for the year, were the highlights.

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday 28 April 2024

28th Apr 2024: Swift and Whinchat

Another slightly quieter week and a bitterly cold and wet end to the week, but a few good birds to keep the interest up.

On Monday John saw our first Swift of the year and possibly a few more passing through the day with 2 and 4 seen at different times later in the day. There was also 3 Yellow Wagtails, White Wagtail, Peregrine and a Common Sandpiper.

Ian found another Wheatear on Tuesday, with 2 Little Ringed Plovers, Common Sandpiper and Swift.

Wednesday morning I was lucky enough to see what I assume is the same Grey Partridge John found last week. Difficult to spot by the troughs in the cattle field and disappearing into the ditch. There was also 3-4 Lesser Whitethroats that day. 

A Whinchat was found by Kirsty yesterday and there was also 2 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Little Ringed Plovers.

This morning there was a very brief (few minute) visit from another Arctic Tern. There was also the Whinchat still, Swift and a White Wagtail (Clive), Yellow Wagtail (Adrian T), 2 Common Sandpipers, c.60 Sand Marin, c.80 Swallow and smaller number of House Martins.

Sunday 21 April 2024

21st Mar 2024: GREY PARTRIDGE?!

The start of the week delivered some more good quality birds, but with the wind switching to mostly northerlies and (mostly) clear skies this week was a bit quieter.

Monday started off with Ian finding a Sandwich Tern, which like the previous weeks' Kittiwakes and Arctic Terns it didn't hang around long. There was also Common Sandpiper and 2 Little Ringed Plovers.

I had an Osprey fly through Tuesday morning that, being harassed by gulls and corvids, flew north-west pretty quickly. There was also another Redstart along the river, a singing male this time. In the evening John found an absolute patch mega, a Grey Partridge! in the cattle field. This is such a scarce bird locally now and a very odd record for the reservoir, with the last one (that I know of) being from February 1995. 

From the middle to the end of the week it was much quieter but there were 2 Common Sandpipers most days, hirundines around, and a few Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats. Today there was a Lesser Whitethroat up by the Borrow Pit pool and a Siskin over the wood.

Partridge courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday 14 April 2024

14th Apr 2024: Kittiwakes and Arctic Terns

A really good week on patch with the outstanding highlights being 2 Kittiwakes found by Ian on Tuesday morning and 2 Arctic Terns found by JFT in the evening on the same day. This is possibly the first record of multiple Kittiwakes for the patch. 

Other highlights were Mistle Thrush, Sedge Warbler, and Wheatear all new for the year on Monday, as well as a male Redstart and Common Sandpiper still. 

On Tuesday there was a male Redstart still, a Peregrine over, a Yellow Wagtail, Sedge Warbler and 2 Little Ringed Plovers.

On Wednesday Ian had a Curlew over and there was 2 Common Sandpipers, Redstart, Yellow Wagtail, and several Willow Warblers.

Thursday the first Whitethroat of the year was seen, a Redstart still, a Yellow Wagtail over, Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper. 

A Grasshopper Warbler just to the north of the woodland (heard from the canal towpath) was new for the year on Saturday, but otherwise quiet except for a good number of butterflies.

Today Mark had the same, or another, Grasshopper Warbler in one of the fields between the reservoir and the M40, and the first Lesser Whitethroat of the year. There was also 4 Lesser Redpolls over, Siskin over, and at least 4 Sedge Warblers and 2 Whitethroats.

Kittiwakes to Common Sandpiper courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday 7 April 2024

7th Apr 2024: Full spring ahead

This week was the start of quite a busy few weeks, with more spring migrants coming in and generally a lot more observers and reports than normal. 
On the bank holiday Monday an Egyptian Goose flew through low to the south and later a Curlew flew over west. There was also a report of 2 Shelduck flying through. There was 2-3 Willow Warblers and several each of Sand Martin and Swallow.
On Wednesday 3rd Ian Rowe saw our first House Martin of the year and later in the day Sandra saw the first Yellow Wagtail of the year. 
On the Friday there were 2 Little Ringed Plovers, House Martin, 3-4 Willow Warblers, Swallow and few Sand Martins. 
Today another Shelduck flew through north, at least 7-8 Willow Warblers and a good number of hirundines including 6+ House Martins. John saw the first Redstart of the year (a female) and later in the day 2 males were also seen. Also the first Common Sandpiper of the year found by Adrian T, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and another Yellow Wagtail.

Raven to Redstarts courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday 31 March 2024

31st Mar 2024

Quite a lot of visitors and news this week and I think I've got everything, but I apologise if I've missed anything. 

On Tuesday Bruce Hendrie saw our first Shoveler of the year, with five birds present (4 drakes). Ian also saw a Little Ringed Plover, 2 White Wagtails and a Willow Warbler.

The next morning there were 2 Shoveler and a Little Ringed Plover still and 1 Swallow and 7 Sand Martin later in the day.

John recorded our first (?) Blackcap of the year as well as Willow Warbler and c.9 Chiffchaffs, and later in the day Ian had a Swallow and 3 sand Martin and Sandra had a Little Ringed Plover. 

On Saturday John and I had our first Heron of the year, believe it or not! and today Clive had 12 Swallow, 6 Sand Martin, Little Ringed Plover and a Willow Warbler.

Sunday 24 March 2024

24th Mar 2024: early spring arrivals

There was a nice flurry of early spring migrant arrivals this week. 
Ian Rowe found our first Little Ringed Plover of the year on Friday and on Saturday John Beak saw the first Sand Martin. This morning JFT also had a Willow Warbler and Swallow.

Sunday 17 March 2024

17th Mar 2024: Rock Pipit

Tuesday afternoon there was a Peregrine over, mobbing the Buzzards, and 5+ Chiffchaffs with a few singing birds.

Wednesday morning I found a Rock Pipit (Scandinavian littoralis) on the eastern shore which was good as we tend to get autumn birds instead of spring birds. There was also several Chiffchaffs. John also spotted a ringed Black-headed Gull (EMK1) which we've had here a few times before.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday 10 March 2024

10th Mar 2024: Red-legged patch rarity!

This week I managed to get out a few times and there's definitely more signs of spring being close. On Wednesday there were 12 Siskins in the Alders near the entrance with constant singing. There was also a Chiffchaff singing further along the river. On Thursday there were 5 Gadwall on the reservoir.

Saturday morning JFT had 2 Chiffchaffs and later I had singles of Yellowhammer, Raven and Lapwing over.

Today JFT was out early before the rain started and was rewarded with a Red-legged Partridge in the the cattle field. This is a big rarity for the patch!

Sunday 3 March 2024

3rd Mar 2024

Pretty quiet week again. Clive had 25 Siskins this morning. Also a Stonechat in the cattle field, which is likely a bird moving through.

Sunday 25 February 2024

25th Feb 2024: winter bits and bobs

The lack of recent blog posts is mostly down to lack of visits but there's not been much news generally, it's fair to say it's been a bit slow.

There's been more flooding... 

Monday 22nd Jan, there was another Pintail (a duck this time) on the reservoir.

Monday 29th Jan, John Beak had 4 Shelduck on the reservoir that didn't stay long before flying off again.

Sunday 4th, Clive had a Peregrine over. 

Today, JFT had a Yellowhammer over.

Some winter sun has meant that Brimstone, Peacock and Red Admiral butterflies have all been seen in these weeks too.

Sunday 21 January 2024

21st Jan 2024

Quite a cold week with most of the reservoir being frozen over by Friday but thawing out again over the weekend. 
Friday afternoon there were 52 Tufted Duck and a single drake Gadwall on the reservoir making use of the small area of ice free water. Up the valley I heard the (I assume the same) Cetti's Warbler singing by the river and there was at least 7 Snipe along the river.
Mark found a Yellow-legged Gull stood on the ice at the reservoir on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday our first Greenfinch of the year was along the river.

Sunday 14 January 2024

14th Jan 2024

Following the flooding last week the river level has gone very low again, even lower than it was at the end of last year. The freshly exposed mud under the railway bridge had fresh signs of Otter.

On Wednesday there was a little bit of activity and a couple of new birds with Kingfisher, Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk, Raven and 13+ Siskins. Typically, some of these were birds we couldn't find last Sunday on the short day count!

John had a/the Goosander on Thursday and it was around again today. Also seen today were 64 Greylag Geese at the reservoir and then up the valley, Pheasant, Woodcock, 22 Snipe, 5 Gadwall at the Borrow Pit pool and 5 Lapwing up the valley.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Courtesy and copyright of JFT