Sightings and Photos

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To Submit Photos or Video to this blog please email jasoncppk 'at' or adamchartley 'at'

Dec 5th Cattle Egret Standlake...2nd White-fronted Goose Cote...Nov 30th 19 White-fronted Geese Farmoor Reservoir...7 Whooper Swan Otmoor rspb...23rd Brent Goose Farmoor Reservoir...14th Grey Plover Otmoor rspb...11th Brent Goose Farmoor Res...10th Black Redstart Harwell...2 Whooper Swan Thame...8th Iceland Gull Appleford GPs...Great northern Diver...2 Little Gulls Farmoor Reservoir...1st Cattle Egret Balscote Quarry...Oct 30th Yellow-browed Warbler Farmoor Reservoir...25th GLOSSY IBIS Port Meadow...

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Standlake: 3T Pit: 5th December

Standlake: 3T Pit
18 Goosander: 10 drakes; 8 ducks.
2 Egyptian Goose

Standlake Pit 60
Great White Egret
2 Little Egret: No sign of the Cattle Egret late afternoon.
2 Pintail: pair.
2 Peregrine
21 Magpie: Single flock. Never seen so many here.

72 Red-crested Pochard: On Pit 28. SP388021.

Ian Elkins

: 5th December

6 Woodcock: Flushed from spinneys and woods in area. SP618160. 13:00.

Colin Oram

Water Eaton: 5th December


Immature bird (probably male) in the field opposite the manor. 

Cornbury Park: 5th December

Cornbury Park
8 Common Crossbill: Four males candidates up to five female birds and juveniles feeding in conifer trees near Knights Copse on circular walk off Leafield to Chadlington Road. 13:00.
2 Raven: ad pair. 13:00.
Great Spotted Woodpecker: ad fem. 13:00.
6 Goldcrest 13:00.
12 Redwing 13:00.

Steve Akers

Marsh Harrier Pit 60 (last video)


Three Egret sp Pit 60 this am (by jizz given quality footage)


In addition to earlier post also present at Farmoor were

Water Rail 1
Common Sandpiper 1

Wigeon 7
Teal 2
Gadwall 8

Sparrowhawk 1m
Fieldfare 200+
Redwing 50+

Cattle Egret Pit 60 this am (hazy vid. There are worse ones!)


Linky Down: 5th December

Linky Down
6 Fieldfare: Interspersed between the Redwings. SU719968. 15:49.
2 Raven: Others heard close by. SU719968. 15:49.

Jez March

Gramp's Hill 5th Dec.

Ring Ouzel
2 Stonechat
2 Raven
76 Corn Bunting
c. 130 Linnet
c. 400 Fieldfare


New Marston: 5th December

New Marston
2 Ring-necked Parakeet: pair. In trees just East of Bridge. SP520075. 12:00.

Dave Horton

Bicester Wetlands Reserve 5th December

Snipe courtesy of Nick Truby.

Snipe c100
 Jack Snipe 3

(per Nick Truby)

Key holder reserve.

Farmoor Reservoir 5th December

Great northern Diver (juv) on F2 off of eastern bank
Scaup 3 + Aythya hybrid 
Golden Plover over

Standlake Pit 60: 5th December

Cattle Egret on north shore 11:16. 
Great white Egret
Little Egret
2 Marsh Harrier: 2 in air together. Both CC. 09:59. 

Stonechat: m. Remains on village outskirts on track to SW off the straight mile. 16:10.
2 Blackcap: m + f. Male remains in my Rack End front garden. A female now in back garden. Presume avoiding the male who drives other birds away from the Purple Beauty Berry Bush. 16:10.

(per Mick Cunningham)

Chimney: Chimney Meadows: 5th December

Chimney: Chimney Meadows
Hen Harrier: fem. Ring tail quartering field next to Chimney Meadows. 09:31.
2 Raven 09:31.

George Best

Gramps Hill Letcombe Bassett December 5th

Ring Ouzel 09:26 (per Mark Merritt).

Friday, 4 December 2020

Lower Windrush Valley GPs: 4th December

Lower Windrush Valley GPs
3 Goldeneye: male. 22:39.
44 Red-crested Pochard: male and fem. 22:39.

Thomas Stevens

Appleford 4th December

                                                                    Iceland Gull juv

Port Meadow: 4th December

Port Meadow
2 Yellow-legged Gull: ad.
7 Pintail
6 Goosander: 3m 3r/h.

Adam Hartley, Will Langdon, Matthew Lloyd

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Port Meadow: 3rd December

Port Meadow
10 Pintail
5 Goosander
2 Yellow-legged Gull

Adam Hartley, Giles Moon

Standlake 3rd December

Great white Egret Pit 60 at 11:00 (per RBA)

Otmoor rspb The Wetlands Watch Hide.

Now Oxfordshire has gone into tier 2, the Otmoor Wetland Watch Hide is now open once again. Social distancing, hand sanitising and cleaning measures are in place and you must be wearing a mask at all times when using the hide.

Due to the limited viewing space and in line with government guidance, we do still ask that people do not attend the site for the starling murmuration. There is lots to see on the reserve away from the murmuration time and we encourage you to enjoy the site while not increasing the number of people around the murmuration so as to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the site.

Thanks for your co-operation, 

The Otmoor Team

LWV Pit 27: 3rd December

LWV Pit 27
9 Goosander: Including 4 males. SP385021. 12:30.

Stephen Burch

Oxford: Five Mile Drive: 3rd December

Oxford: Five Mile Drive
Redwing: Single redwing in "full" spring song on a treetop by the railway line, a little separated from a feeding flock noisily calling and sub-singing. Clearest rendition I've heard on wintering grounds. SP496109. 14:22.

Nicholas Boyd

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Farmoor Reservoir 2nd December

Imm male Greater Scaup courtesy of Ewan Urquhart

Great northern Diver (juv) still on F2 off of the eastern bank c10:40 
Short-eared Owl Buckthorn Meadow 
Grey Plover over
Common Sandpiper
Yellow-legged Gull ad
Scaup 3 on F2 + Aythya hybrid 
Wigeon 4
Teal 9
Goldeneye 2
Water Rail
Siskin 2
Stonechat 3

(per Ewan Urquhart).

Baulking Pit: 2nd Dec.



3 Yellow-legged Gulls

Otmoor: 2nd December (pm)

Great White Egret  (Picture taken 1/12/20)

1 Great White Egret
2 Merlin (different birds - Male + Fem/Juv type)
1 Peregrine (adult)
1 Leucistic Pochard

Cote 2nd December

Courtesy of Thomas Miller.

White-fronted Goose with the Mute Swans along the approach road to Chimney Meadows 11:20 
(per Thomas Miller).

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Otmoor: 1st December

Great White Egret: Flew into Barn field. 15:30.
Hen Harrier: Ringtail flying east across reedbed onto Greenaways. 15:30.

Jeremy Dexter

Otmoor rspb 1st December

Courtesy of Terry Sherlock

Whooper Swan 7 on the Closes 09:47 then flew north west over Big Otmoor (per Tezzer, Steve Roby).

Courtesy of Terry Sherlock

Courtesy of Terry Sherlock

A329 near Moulsford: 1st December

A329 near Moulsford
2 Stonechat: Perched, on fence-line running S from Silly Bridge, occasionally flitting into weedy edges. SU5885. 15:00.

Mike Amphlett

Farmoor Reservoir: 1st December

1st December

Farmoor Reservoir
Great Northern Diver: F2 West about 30 yards out. 11:15.
4 Little Grebe: F2 West. 11:15.
Goldeneye: F1 West 5 females. 11:45.
Wigeon: F1 Male and female amongst flock of Tufted Duck. 11:45.
Scaup: F1 Adult female. 11:45.
Caspian Gull: F1 West Adult off western bank. 11:45.

Simon Cousins


Marsh Harrier Otmoor rspb courtesy of Andrew Marshall.

South Leigh: 1st December

South Leigh
Peregrine: fem. SP3909. 11:00.
Stonechat: SP3909. 11:00.

Peter Law

Worton: 1st December

1st December

2 Stonechat: 1m,1f. By footpath between Worton and Yarnton sitting on fence and scrubby shrubs. SU466114. 10:00.

Yarnton Mead
2 Stonechat: 1m,1f. In reeds and shrubs by the river. The site is about 1.5 km as the stonechat flies from site in Worton so I think these are 2 different individuals. 11:00.

Andrew Siantonas

: 1st December

Didcot Moor Ditch
2 Stonechat: m f. SU524923. 12:00.

William Lester

Chipping Norton: 1st December

Chipping Norton
3 Stonechat: ad male and fem. Three birds seen on the marsh near Cornwell this morning - adult pair perched in sunshine on thistles near the small lake; and a male at far end the marsh perched on low hawthorn scrub preening - superb views - Stonechat now a consistent presence here. 

Steve Akers

November Review

Great Northern Diver at Farmoor Reservoir, courtesy of Steve Burch

November in Oxfordshire produced something of a conveyor belt of good and generally accessible county sightings across various groups. Renewed national emergency measures to counter Covid-19 did not restrict access to the countryside, so long as people avoided congregating in numbers, hence county birders were able to record all that follows responsibly.

Video courtesy of Badger

Great Northern Diver (1w), courtesy of Roger Wyatt
click on any image to enlarge

Our bird of the month was the first winter Great Northern Diver that arrived at Farmoor Reservoir on 3rd, the first record there since early 2016. Despite an accident with an errant fishing line a week later this intrepid item remained in good health at it's adopted home throughout the review period, a long stayer indeed. The young bird was much photographed and brought pleasure to the open site's many visitors for a portion of whom it was a first time sighting.

Video courtesy of Gnome

Glossy Ibis over Otmoor, courtesy of Jeremy Dexter

Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egret were rather more fleeting Oxon records of note in November's early days. The former was logged again over Otmoor on 3rd before landing in Port Meadow at dusk, but was not relocated in either location the following morning. Another Cattle Egret sighting and sixth for Oxon this year came from Balscote Quarry near Banbury on the morning of 1st, but that bird soon moved on. Great White Egrets remained at mostly regular sites, with more appearances from new places in the Thame Valley from 22nd.

Cattle Egret at Balscote Quarry, courtesy of Kyle Smith

Great White Egret near Cuddesdon, courtesy of Andy Coates

Amongst wildfowl the tally of Scaup soon matched that from 12 months ago as last month's female at Farmoor was joined by an immature drake and a first winter female at Dix Pit which thereafter switched to the reservoir too. This trio was possibly even more popular with our own and visiting snappers than the Diver, with many pictures contributed to this log. Another returnee to Farmoor was the drake Aythya hybrid of the last three winters, which was also recorded at intervals through the review period.

Imm drake ↑ and two female ↓ Scaup at Farmoor Reservoir

Farmoor Aythya hybrid, all the above courtesy of Ewan Urquhart

Elsewhere winter Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler flocks built impressively at wetland and flooded sites. Other regular seasonal items worthy of mention included Pintail, Red crested Pochard, Goldeneye, Goosander and Shelduck. This winter's second Whooper Swan was found just outside Thame near the Bucks border on 10th but did not linger, then seven more dropped in briefly at Otmoor on the month's last day. Lone Brent Geese visited Farmoor Reservoir on the mornings of 11th and 23rd, and 19 White-fronted Geese flew over on 30th.

Whooper Swan near Thame, courtesy of Luke Marriner

Brent Goose at Farmoor, courtesy of Ewan Urquhart

There was plenty to keep county gullers occupied this month. Top billing in the group went to a first winter Iceland Gull seen around the Appleford and Didcot area a number of times. A further talking point in that locality was a possible Ring-billed x LBB hybrid on 24th, giving our experts due scope for analysis. 

Video courtesy of Badger

Caspian Gull (1w) at the Borrow Pit, Banbury courtesy of John Friendship-Taylor

Caspian Gull sightings issued regularly from the Appleford and Cassington GPs, Didcot landfill, Port Meadow and Farmoor Reservoir; as well as sites around Banbury from 22nd and Chinnor Cement Works (24th). Mediterranean Gulls too were picked out on occasion in the roosts at Port Meadow, Appleford, Farmoor and Grimsbury Reservoirs; and two Little Gull at Farmoor on 8th.

Lone Grey amid Golden Plover on Otmoor, courtesy of Thomas Miller
Woodcock, courtesy of Roger Wyatt

The month's stand-out wader sighting was a Grey Plover on Otmoor over the weekend of 14 - 16th. Golden Plover and Lapwing numbers built alongside winter wildfowl in prevailing wet conditions, with impressive concentrations at the RSPB reserve and other locations. In this group Black-tailed Godwit also made a strong showing and Green Sandpiper continued to be noted around the county. As in October Common Snipe amassed high counts, with 150+ at each of Bicester Wetland Reserve on 17th and Waterstock two days previously. This is also the time of year when Woodcock can tend to be flushed more readily, or in some cases not!

Crossbill at Buckland ↑ courtesy of Mark Merritt
and in the Chilterns ↓ courtesy of Roger Wyatt

It was a good month for winter passerines and especially Common Crossbill that were recorded in eight separate places around the county. The most visited of those was near the village of Buckland in south-east Oxon. Other seasonal finches - Redpoll, Siskin and Brambling - also produced multiple records.

Otmoor Redpoll, courtesy of Terry Sherlock

Halloween Brambling, courtesy of Nick Truby

Siberian Chiffchaff on Otmoor, courtesy of Jeremy Dexter

Finally and more unusually in this group a Siberian Chiffchaff was identified from the first screen at Otmoor on 10th, an extra scarce site and county record in what was by any measure an outstanding month for birds in Oxfordshire. Now just one further review period remains for the quite remarkable year of 2020.

Peter Law

Appleford/Didcot Landfill: 30th November

 The juv Iceland Gull is still in the area.

Monday, 30 November 2020

Otmoor rspb 30th November

Whoopers courtesy of Steve Roby.

Whooper Swan 7 on Ashgrave 10:50 until 11:19 when they flew off east 
Snipe 160 including c4 Jack Snipe flushed off of Big Otmoor by a Marsh Harrier.
Dunlin 6

(per Fergus Mosey, Steve Roby)

Chinnor: Cement Works: 30th November

Chinnor: Cement Works
Yellow-legged Gull: Adult in gull flock Lake 2b. 09:30.
2 Raven: Flying over. 09:30.

David Stracey

Otmoor 30th November

                                               Two Short-eared Owl over Greenaways 

Port Meadow: Godstow: 30th November

30th November

Port Meadow: Godstow
7 Goosander: 4m,3 red heads. First seen below weir at Godstow lock then travelled down river as I walked along the river bank. First males I have seen this autumn. 14:45.

Port Meadow
2 Shelduck: On floods. 15:30.

Andrew Siantonas

Blewbury 30th November


Mandarin drake still on Mill Brook courtesy of Alan Dawson.

Port Meadow: 30th November

Port Meadow
2 Shelduck
30 Golden Plover
5 Goosander: 1m, 4 r/h.

Adam Hartley, Giles Moon

Farmoor Reservoir 30th November

Greater White fronted Goose 19 flew northwest over Farmoor 1 at 1405
Great Northern Diver 1 juvenile off east bank of Farmoor 2
Greater Scaup 3 (m+2f)
Red crested Pochard 5 (3m+2f)
Common Goldeneye 2f
Gadwall 4
Aythya hybrid 1m

Lapwing 1
Water Rail 1
Common Chiffchaff 2

Greater Scaup

Common Goldeneye 

Farmoor Reservoir 30th November

Great northern Diver (juv) on F2 10:46 (per Ewan Urquhart).

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Port Meadow: 29th November

Port Meadow
2 Dunlin 20:59. 
3 Snipe
300 Golden Plover 
5 Pintail 20:59.

Peter Alfrey

Banbury 29th November

Caspian Gull 2 just NE of Banbury from A361 this afternoon (3w & adult)  c12 Yellow-legged Gull (x4 adult, x4 2w, x3 3w & a 1w). 

(per John Friendship-Taylor)

Wantage: 29th November

Woodcock: Heard from copse by junction of Grove Road and Mably Way. SU400889. 18:00.

Leo Bateman

Childrey: Childrey Field: 29th November

Childrey: Childrey Field
Merlin: f.
Stonechat: m.
5 Grey Partridge

Mark Merritt


Rook Otmoor rspb courtesy of John Workman.

Blewbury 29th November

Mandarin on the Mill Brook Berry Lane c15:09 (per Brian Wyatt).

: 29th November

River Thames, nr. Benson Lock
2 Stonechat: On fence wires, tall vegetation, and on the deck, in same spot as the Mipits, appeared to be a m+f. SU6190. 12:00.

Mike Amphlett

Farmoor Reservoir 29th November

Great northern Diver (juv) on F2 off of eastern bank 12:00 

Scaup 3 F1 off  N/W bank Aythya hybrid on F2

Red-crested Pochard 4

Goldeneye 3

Wigeon 6

Snow Goose 90

Barnacle Goose 29

Common Sandpiper 

Yellow-legged Gull

Little Egret

(per Dave Lowe, Ewan Urquhart)

Red-crested Pochard at Farmoor Reservoir taken yesterday by Bryan Manston.

Tokers Green: 29th November

Tokers Green
2 Stonechat: m & f. On top of manure heap with Pied Wagtail. Wonderful. 10:55.

John Kearns