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, 10 September 2023

10th Sep 2023

Tuesday morning 3 Common Sandpipers were present and it seems the easterly wind prompted a bit of overhead passage with 31+ Yellow Wagtails (mostly heard only but included a group of 8 birds) and the first 4 Meadow Pipits of the autumn. A Raven went over very high - there's been a few sightings this week/recently. There was also a Wheatear in the Upper Cherwell Valley, on the Northants side of the river. A colour ringed Black-headed Gull on the railings, I think it's Polish (blue TOT4?) but I need to send it off to confirm. 

On Wednesday Steve H and I headed out to look for odonata, the main aim being to try and record Willow Emerald again. Steve found one pretty quickly in a Alder near the entrance but then no more were seen until later (2 there later). In the heat of the day they seemed to liven up and 20+ were seen in one area, mostly pairs gathered around an Ash overhanging the river and mostly egg laying. I counted 9 pairs and a single female egg laying and a lone male (probably more) all in one small area. There is older scarring too, so they have been egg laying here in previous years.

Thursday early morning there was 4 Yellow-legged Gulls (1 ad, 1 2cy and 2x juv) and an adult Common Gull with the early morning gull gathering. Also 4 Common Sandpipers, a Great Crested Grebe again and 17+ Meadow Pipits over. 

Sunday, 3 September 2023

3rd Sep 2023: Gulls and a Great White

On Monday Sandra had 2 Common Sandpipers and John Beak had a Redstart. Wednesday John had 4 Common Sandpipers and a Hobby hunting over town. 

Friday afternoon there was a big gathering of gulls (mostly Lesser Black-backed) and amongst them  our first Caspian Gull and Mediterranean Gull of the year and 2 Yellow-legged Gulls (all juveniles). There was also the 4 Common Sandpipers and 2 Yellow Wagtails. As good as the gulls were, the icing on the cake was an Otter along the river. It looked pretty small so maybe a young one. I'm not sure who was more shocked when it popped up right in front of me and it certainly wasn't in the mood to hang around for a photo!

Yesterday morning there were 2 Sandwich Terns when John arrived but already on the way out unfortunately. He also had a Great White Egret over for another year tick this week. A Green Sandpiper on the deck, as well as 2 Common Sandpipers, is unusual here. Later in the afternoon Mike P had a Peregrine over.

Great Egret courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 27 August 2023

27th Aug 2023

Quiet again this week. There's been 2-3 Common Sandpipers and a few Yellow Wagtails seen either over or down at the reservoir.

Clive had a Little Egret on Monday and on Wednesday I had a flock of c.170 House Martin move through

Sunday, 20 August 2023

20th Aug 2023: Nuthatch

Highlight of the week was a Nuthatch on Friday, with a tit flock in the trees around the car park. I assume one of the Spiceball Park birds and nice to get on the year list. 

Yesterday there was 4 Swift at the reservoir and 2 Yellow Wagtails over. 

This evening a fem/juv type Redstart was along the ditch/hedge in the cattle field. There was also 2 Common Sandpiper at the reservoir and Kingfisher along the river.

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 13 August 2023

13th Aug 2023

Not a terribly exciting week, but there's been a few nice bits. 

On Wednesday Mike P had a Little Egret, Common Sandpiper and 5 Swift.

Thursday evening I had a Hobby, Yellow-legged Gull and 2 Common Sandpipers.

Today Clive had a Yellow Wagtail, Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover.

A pair of Sparrowhawk have also successfully nested in the trees around the water treatment works, and the juveniles are calling regularly.

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 6 August 2023

6th Aug 2023

Mike P had a Peregrine at the reservoir on the 1st, harassing a Cormorant! There was a Wheatear and 3 Common Sandpipers on the 4th and this morning John had 4 Yellow Wagtails over.

Sunday, 30 July 2023

30th Jul 2023: another Sanderling

Not much to report this week but another Sanderling was at the reservoir on the 27th with 2-3 Common Sandpipers. Later in the day John also had a Yellow-legged Gull.

My distant record shot

John's much better shot!

Sunday, 23 July 2023

23rd Jul 2023: Spotted Flycatcher

On the 17th Mike P  found a juvenile Redstart again and a Dunlin. It may be the same Redstart but has been elusive/not see for several days or a new one maybe. Either way it was still around on the 18th as well.

On the 20th Adrian T found our first Spotted Flycatcher of the year and there was also a Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover and Common Gull on the same day.

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 16 July 2023

16th Jul 2023: Shoveler

Another fairly slow few weeks, but things are looking up with a few bits on the move. 

John Beak had 2 Oystercatchers on the 5th. Mike found a juvenile Redstart and 3 Common Sandpipers on the 12th. The Redstart showed incredibly well for Mike but was not seen the next day, but 4 Shovelers were present and were surprisingly new for the year. There was also the 3 Common Sandpipers still and a Little Ringed Plover later in the day.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 25 June 2023

25th Jun 2023

It's been a very quiet few weeks with very little bird news of any note. One or two Little Ringed Plovers have been seen occasionally and two Common Terns were at the reservoir on the 18th and one was there again today. The only other notable bird has been a Yellow-legged Gull that dropped in to the Borrow Pit pool for a few minutes on the 18th.

Dragonflies and damselflies are my main interest at the moment, with Southern and Brown Hawkers new for the year today. There's been a lot of Marbled White butterflies up around the Borrow Pit and on the 18th Clive and I saw a Small Heath too, which neither of us remember seeing there before (Clive maybe has, but not for several years). There's also a good number of Common Spotted Orchids and several Pyramidal Orchids again this year, but I haven't seen any Bee Orchids yet.

Sunday, 4 June 2023

4th Jun 2023: Sanderling

Just recently, it seems to be there's nothing around for days (John has been up most days this week checking for Black Terns) and then a few good birds all turn up at once for no apparent reason. 

This week there was nothing of particular note all week until John found a Sanderling late afternoon on Friday. Then in the evening Sandra and Adrian B also found a Dunlin and we had a Hobby fly through and later in the evening Mike P had a Little Egret fly over. This morning John also had 2 Lapwing at the reservoir, which is pretty unusual.  

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 28 May 2023

28th May 2023: Sandwich Tern

Generally another quiet week, but it picked up again over the weekend. A Sandwich Tern was present yesterday morning witch seemed settled and remained present well into the afternoon and a Greenshank early this morning that unfortunately did not perform as well and had left by 06:30 in the morning! There was also a Little Ringed Plover and 2 Common Sandpipers.

Courtesy and copyright of JFT

Courtesy and copyright of Ed Barson

Sunday, 21 May 2023

21st May 2023

Not much bird news this week, but there was another Grasshopper Warbler singing just into the U.C.V. yesterday, which I thought may be a male on territory but now appears to have been another bird passing through. Otherwise, a Yellow Wagtail on Friday afternoon and Common Sandpiper yesterday being the only birds of note. 
However, the first dragonflies and damselflies of the season were out and, in particular, a lot of demoiselles.

Sunday, 14 May 2023

14th May 2023

It was a fairly quiet and settled week. The 2 Common Terns have been around most of the week and there was a late Common Gull on the 10th. There has been a Common Sandpiper and a male Little Ringed Plover around most days. I expect the plover is actually one of a nesting pair somewhere nearby. 

Lots of Swifts in now and most days all three hirundines are around. A few more Yellow Wagtails have been through and there are more warblers, with 6 Reed Warblers across the whole patch on Saturday morning which is a really good number for here. The Mute Swans have hatched 3 cygnets. There was a Otter along the river on the Friday morning. 

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Sunday, 7 May 2023

7th May 2023

Last week Edwin had a colour ringed Common Tern with the code C33, which seems most likely to be one ringed at Marsh Lane Nature Reserve, by the West Midlands Ringing Group, and has also been seen at Draycote Reservoir in 2020.

Tuesday was a fairly quiet visit for Ian today with only 1 Willow Warbler and 4 Sedge Warblers of note.

On Thursday Ian, John and Mike had 1 Common Tern, 2 Common Sandpipers, 20+ Swifts, 1 singing Reed Warbler, 1 singing Garden Warbler, 5 Sedge Warblers, 1 Willow Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Hobby.

Mike had another Whinchat on Friday as well as Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper. Sandra had a Lesser Whitethroat and in the afternoon I had 2 Garden Warblers.

Yesterday morning Adrian T had a Common Sandpiper and 2 Little Ringed Plovers. A little later I also had 2 Common Terns and a female Wheatear in the cattle field.

This morning there was 2 each of Common Tern, Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover at the reservoir. Just north of the M40 into the U.C.V. there was a Reed Warbler singing in the reedy stretch along the River Cherwell and a Grasshopper Warbler in the scrub in the same area.

Courtesy and copyright of Mike Pollard

Courtesy and copyright of Mike Pollard

Courtesy and copyright of Ed Barson

Courtesy and copyright of Ed Barson