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.

Wednesday 28 April 2021

28th Apr 2021: Whinchat and Hobby

This morning Ian, John and I were all out early. The conditions looked great and hopes were high, especially for the likes of Arctic Tern. Unfortunately it wasn't to be, but it was a good day nonetheless.

It was a bit quiet to start off with and we'd only seen two Common Sandpipers and eleven (min.) Yellow Wagtails. However, there was obviously a fair few new warblers around, including three Lesser Whitethroats - one of which John actually saw come in from quite high up!

At approximately 7:40 (and unfortunately after Ian and John had left) I found a Whinchat on the fence of the cattle field to the NW of the reservoir before it moved to the fence along the ditch in the cattle field. Where I also saw a Wheatear briefly, with both birds moving along. Mike Pollard arrived and found another two Wheatears in the cattle field. These were all fresh in and in locations people had already looked. By this time the number of hirundines had really built up and there continued to be good numbers all day - mostly House Martins in the evening.

At lunch time there were two Swifts and the peak count of fourteen Yellow Wagtails for the day. In the evening Mike Pollard had our first Hobby of the year, taking the year list to 100 species!

Tuesday 27 April 2021

27th Apr 2021

Mike Pollard was out yesterday morning and had a Common Sandpiper and two Yellow Wagtails.

This morning there was three Yellow Wagtails, but not much else. This evening there was six Swifts and a minimum of 18 Yellow Wagtails (I saw 14 together along the west bank and there was 4+ in or flying over the cattle field). Quite the spectacle when I first saw c.15 in flight - I almost didn't believe it! 

Sunday 25 April 2021

25th Apr 2021: Sanderling and Garden Warbler

This morning John and I headed out early. We recorded six (min.) Yellow Wagtails, Common Sandpiper, Lesser Whitethroat and several each of Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler. I stayed later hoping (desperately) for some terns or Little Gulls but they didn't arrive. Mid-morning a Swift arrived and then another two and shortly after a Sanderling appeared on the western shoreline. Clive had also seen a Little Egret up the valley.

A few people came to see the Sanderling but unfortunately it didn't stay long with a high level of human recreational activity. However, John (and Luca!) did record our first Garden Warbler of the year along the river.

A proper photo... courtesy and copyright of Kyle Smith

Swift and Starling courtesy and copyright of JFT

Saturday 24 April 2021

24th Apr 2021: Swifts

Mike was out this morning and it was very quiet, just three Yellow Wagtails of note.

This evening I had our first two Swifts of the year.

Friday 23 April 2021

23rd Apr 2021: Little Egret

Ian was out very early this morning (just after 5am!) but unfortunately did not get a big reward for his efforts, although he did record our first Little Egret of the year. Other sightings were singles of Yellow Wagtail and Little Ringed Plover.

Thursday 22 April 2021

22nd Apr 2021: BAR-TAILED GODWITS!!

John was out early this morning and saw two BAR-TAILED GODWITS for a short time before they were flushed and flew north-east. This is an incredible sighting and appears to be the first record for the site since August 1974!!

There was also three Yellow Wagtails and a Little Ringed Plover.

Photos courtesy and copyright of JFT

Wednesday 21 April 2021

21st Apr 2021: Lesser Whitethroat

John had our first Lesser Whitethroat of the year this morning, as well as two Common Sandpipers, Whitethroat and three Sedge Warblers.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

20th Apr 2021: Whitethroats

This morning Ian had our first Whitethroat of the year and two Common Sandpipers at the reservoir.

In the evening Adrian B also had two Whitethroats at the Borrow Pit pool and three Sedge Warblers and at the reservoir a Common Tern and three Common Sandpipers.

Monday 19 April 2021

19th Apr 2021

Fairly quiet this morning, with the only notable sighting being a flyover Little Ringed Plover.

Sunday 18 April 2021

18th Apr 2021: Green Sandpiper

Being out early this morning Adrian T was rewarded with a Green Sandpiper at the reservoir. An unusual species to have actually grounded here and other sightings in the past have been flyovers or up the valley, but there has been birds nearby on 'pools' by the M40 junction so could have been one of the those birds. 

Unfortunately it was not present by the time I got there and a Common Sandpiper was the consolation prize, but otherwise generally quiet. The Marsh Tit was singing in the wood, a Sedge Warbler at the Borrow Pit pool and Mike C had a Yellow Wagtail at the reservoir.

Saturday 17 April 2021

17th Apr 2021

Today there was obviously a bit of a clear out, with only one Yellow Wagtail present. However, a new Sedge Warbler had arrived at the Borrow Pit pool in the U.C.V. 

Mike P also had ten Greylag Geese up the valley which is a great number for here.

Friday 16 April 2021

16th Apr 2021: Common Tern

This morning our first Common Tern of the year was present when I arrived, hawking over the water with some Black-headed Gulls, but left shortly after.  There was also three Little Ringed Plovers, a minimum of five Yellow Wagtails and a few Swallows.

In the evening Sandra had seven Yellow Wagtails.

Thursday 15 April 2021

15th Apr 2021

This evening Sue Veitch had two Little Ringed Plovers, six Yellow Wagtails and Sedge Warbler at the reservoir.

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