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.

Saturday 31 March 2018

30th Mar 2018: Sand Martin

John: This week has seen some very wet weather, however as yet, this hasn't dragged down too much in the way of migrants. Chiffchaffs in particular seem very thin on the ground at the moment

Still, I did manage to clap eyes on a group of 3 Sand Martin on Tuesday. They didn't hang around for long at all, as they headed off up into the clouds and away to the north.

There's been quite a lot of Peregrine activity this week and most days I've seen 1, sometimes 2 drifting about. On Tuesday, the pair drifted relatively low, NE over the reservoir, with the female carrying a half eaten Feral Pigeon!

On Saturday, during a brief visit 4 Greylag Geese circled the reservoir and a Muntjac showed amazingly well by the entrance gate, feeding along the river.

Monday 26 March 2018

26th Mar 2018: Redshank

John: A new bird to add to the year list appeared on Friday evening, with a surprisingly mute Redshank, which lingered to dusk. While I was watching it, a very vocal Snipe also zipped over. Both are less than frequent at the reservoir, although Snipe are relatively easy to encounter in the Upper Cherwell during the winter.

Mark located a Little Ringed Plover at the reservoir on Sunday and today, it or another was foraging along the western shore. I also heard a singing Chiffchaff in the rain on Saturday morning, while Mark had one or the same on Sunday afternoon too.

Other sightings of note in recent days have included a pair of Shoveler on Friday morning, Peregrine, the regular pair of Wigeon, up to 3 Lesser Redpoll and several Siskins in the wood.

Thursday 22 March 2018

22nd Mar 2018: Little Ringed Plover

John: Well a bit of a shock coming back to the snow having been with Gareth, birding in Morocco! However, at least the last couple of days haven't been quite so bracing.

So to the birds...well this week has seen a little bit of interest. The undoubted highlight to date, has been our first Little Ringed Plover of the season, a lovely male on a freezing cold Monday evening (19/03). Grimsbury seems to have a knack of producing Oxfordshire's first LRP of the year and I may be wrong but I think we've gained that accolade once again!

This morning (22/03) was very pleasant and sunny, bringing about a lot of bird activity. A pair of Sparrowhawks were displaying overhead, a couple of male Bullfinches were singing well from perches and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming in the wood. So some positive signs of spring!

Other birds of note included both Marsh & Willow Tit (having a right old squabble at one point!) & c20 Siskins in the wood plus a / the pair of Wigeon on the reservoir which I've been seeing daily since Tuesday. Willow, Marsh & Coal Tit from this morning below.

Sunday 18 March 2018

18th Mar 2018: Chiffchaff

Nice to be home to such beautiful spring weather...!

On Friday 9th Tim Clark had two Wigeon at the reservoir and twelve Tufted Ducks at the Borrow Pit pool. He also noted at least four Stonechats in the field to the south of the motorway and west of the canal. That is a very good number for here in recent years. Mark also had two Redpoll in the wood.

Saturday 10th, late morning, Tim recorded c.20 Siskin feeding in the alders along the edge of 
the reservoir and on the reservoir there just a single Little Grebe of note. A male Goosander flew in but did not stop. One Stonechat remained in the field along the canal and ten Tufted Duck and three Little Grebe were at the Borrow Pit.

Jon Bowley visited on the 11th and found our first singing Chiffchaff of the year. It was along the river and had later moved along to the edge of the woodland. The Willow Tit was in song and the Marsh Tit was also still in the woodland. The number of Tufted Duck at the Borrow Pit had increased to fifteen and there were sixteen Teal on the floodwater by the river in the valley. Two each of Skylark and Meadow Pipit flew over east / north-east.

On Wednesday 14th Mike found fourteen Black-tailed Godwits on the floodwater in the Upper Cherwell Valley. This is a fantastic find for the area! The area was also holding lots of gulls, corvids and Starlings. 

Today Mark was out and about and saw four Yellow-legged Gulls at the Borrow Pit and one at the reservoir. There was also twenty-five Tufted Ducks (20M/5F) at the Borrow Pit pool, which must be the highest count there to date and a very good count for the area now. Amongst the rest were three Redpoll in the woodland and six Song Thrush seen together along the reservoir path. 

I'll be away for work for two weeks now, so John will keep the blog updated as and when he can. See you in the Spring!

Thursday 8 March 2018

8th Mar 2018

There was just the one Dunlin remaining on Monday when John visited. There was also three Coots, which have stayed up until today. This morning I was hoping to catch up with the Marsh Tit seen recently, but the best I saw in the wood was three Redpolls and I heard a Jay.

John and I are off to Morocco tomorrow morning for a week. Please still send through any sightings and I will update when we are back. Hopefully there will be some Chiffchaffs singing by then!

Sunday 4 March 2018

4th Mar 2018: Dunlin and Gadwall

Friday afternoon Mark braved the snow to visit the reservoir and there were four Coot, five Tufted Ducks, two Wigeon and a Yellow-legged Gull. 

Snow pictures courtesy and copyright of Mark Ribbons

Colin was out Saturday morning and found a Dunlin, still four Coot, a pair of Wigeon, three Tufted Ducks and two Great Crested Grebes at the reservoir. There was also six Tufted Ducks and four Coot at the Borrow Pit pool. 

Later in the afternoon Mark had two Dunlin, three Wigeon, two Gadwall at the reservoir and two Wigeon, seven Tufted Ducks and five Little Grebes at the Borrow Pit pool. 

Picture (and ones below) courtesy and copyright of JFT
Sunday morning John had three Dunlin, two Gadwall, four Wigeon (two at the reservoir and two at the Borrow Pit pool), a Snipe in the channel by waterworks, Willow Tit in the wood and four Coot, a dead lapwing and five Little Grebe at the Borrow Pit pool.

Philip Walker visited in the afternoon and had a Red Kite circling over over to the west of the reservoir, eight Little Grebe and eight Tufted Ducks. He also had a sighting of a possible Woodcock up the valley but it flew behind trees before he could get a definitive identification, but the size, colour and flight were correct.