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 31 July 2018

20th to 31st Jul 2018

The end of the month was a bit quieter, highlights below:

25th (John): 3 Common Terns - one juvenile (a ringed juvenile bird was pictured)
27th (John) 5 Common Sandpipers

29th (John): 3 Whimbrel over south

All photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Friday 20 July 2018

20th July 2018: Mediterranean Gull

John: With increasing numbers of gulls around the reservoir, it perhaps wasn't too surprising that it would draw in something a bit different. Still, the discovery of 2 juvenile Mediterranean Gulls this lunchtime was a very notable sighting and a very welcome year-tick. Last year in particular Med Gulls were very thin on the ground. I watched them for around 15 minutes before they flew to the nearby warehouse roofs, but there is every chance they're still about so worth keeping an eye out for.

Also present was presumably the same Common Gull that's been around for sometime, as was the eclipse drake Mandarin Duck.

There has been further interest on the butterfly front this week. Today a very smart, fresh Painted Lady was nectaring on the thistles towards the northern end of the reservoir.

The small meadow, just beyond the style at the northern end has also produced a really nice selection of species too, with at least 4 Brown Argus, 2 Small Copper, 5 Common Blues, 1+ Essex Skipper and a couple of Small Skippers. This in addition to a number of more commoner species.

Monday 16 July 2018

16th July 2018: Mandarin & July update

John: So we're gradually inching through the summer doldrums and some early breeding or non-breeding birds are beginning to move. We've had one new bird for 2018 in the last couple of weeks with an eclipse drake Mandarin, which has been with us now since 02/07 and continues to loaf around with the local Mallards.

Gull numbers are beginning to build up. This has included the first few juvenile Black Headed Gulls. Common Gulls are scarce here during the summer months, however I've seen 1-2 loafing about in the last 2 weeks or so. Our first Yellow-Legged Gull of the summer, an adult, also appeared on 09/07.

On my Friday lunch break, I came across another slightly abnormal Common / Arctic Tern that lingered for only 15 minutes or so before heading off north. I think on this occasion, based on it's longer legged posture when at rest, together with the dark-tipped orangey bill, it is a Common Tern. However, the rather uniform colour of the wings are confusing me a bit as I would've expected the primaries to show a more darker colour.

Of course it's not all about the birds and in fact I've seen a great variety of butterflies around the reservoir. The highlight was yesterday, with the discovery of several Purple Hairstreaks in the oaks along the river. There has also been the odd Marbled White, and a small number of Essex & Small Skipper in the grassland on the south side of the wood. The first 2nd brood Common Blue & Brimstone have appeared too in the last few days.