Sightings and Photos

To submit sightings to this blog if you are not an authorised contributor please use the Going Birding service.
To Submit Photos or Video to this blog please email jasoncppk 'at' or adamchartley 'at'

July 6th Garganey Appleford GPs...Quail Segsbury...June 23rd 3 Quail Crog Hill...16th Garganey Farmoor Reservoir...May 18th HOOPOE Twyford...14th RED-FOOTED FALCON Piddington...Curlew Sandpiper Farmoor Reservoir...

Monday, 31 October 2011

Farmoor Reservoir 31st October


Otmoor Bird Race

A big thank you to everyone who turned out for the annual College Lake and
Otmoor Bird Race. This was the first year the race has been held at Otmoor, 8
teams battled it out for the prestigious trophy.
Due to the dry conditions on the reserve, bird watchers had to work especially
hard to find as many species as possible. In total 70 species were found by all
the teams which is a fantastic effort. The winning team Peter's Pals found an
impressive 59 species, although the tricky Canada goose eluded them!
The bird race record is 60 species, which was at College Lake, so Otmoor will
have to try again in 2013 to beat that impressive total.
All the sponsorship money that will be raised from the event will go towards
BBOWT and the RSPB. I would also like to thank Barry Oxley and the Otmoor and
College Lake volunteers for all their hard work organising the event.
Next year the Race will return to College Lake, where Peter's Pals will be
defending their trophy form the reigning College Lake champions the Double D's.

David Wilding

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Hoverfly reveals Woodcock

13:50 Trying for closer view of a hoverfly in my father's small garden in north Abingdon resulted in a Woodcock errupting from amonghst the Vebena boreinsis at my feet. Effortless County tick !
Unlike Friday evening dip with Snow Bunting. Compensation through in the form of Noctule, Pips and surface trawling Daubenton's bats in the calm air/water near farmoor causeway.

Farmoor (Oct 29th 8-10am)

no sign of last nights snow bunting
Rock Pipit - 1
Aythya hybrid - 1 (m)
Goldeneye - 2
Redpoll - 2
Common Sand - 1
Redshank - 1

with Tom and Dai.

Otmoor (Oct 28th 4-6pm)

Great Grey Shrike - showing reasonably well but at distance in hedges viewed east from the Pill

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 27th October

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
15 Corn Bunting

Paul Chandler

Roost Reminder

It's that time of year again to post a gentle reminder. If you are lucky enough to come across a roost of harriers, owls, Merlins or any other species that may be vulnerable to disturbance, please keep the location to yourself. By all means submit the record directly to me or Jon Uren and we can check with the land owner that the site is safe (you may prefer to do that yourself). As winter roosts are often traditional, the locations will of course always be kept confidential and never mentioned in any publication.

Thanks again,


Otmoor 26th October

Both photos (c) Pete Barker

Juv Hen Harrier Otmoor 26th Oct
+Short-eared Owl near Noke 26th Oct

A Plea to Observers and Submitters

Afternoon All,

We're all aware the OOS database is an important and valuable archive for bird recording in the county but it is only as good as the records submitted - the more the better! So obviously, everyone is encouraged to provide their records each month, be it directly to the database manager Jon Uren, via the OOS or Going Birding websites or by post to me.

Checking the database over the last couple of months, however, has revealed several notable sightings missing. These records have been posted on this site but obviously not to either the Going Birding or OOS sites. This blog has proved very good at disseminating information and displaying photos but postings here are not automatically uploaded to the database. If sightings are not submitted to either the OOS or Going Birding sites they will in effect be lost, which would be a great shame.

Some records have been submitted by people other than the initial finder, which is fine, but this means in future publications they may well be credited to the wrong observer . . . . and we wouldn't want that would we?

So to clarify, I urge everyone to add their sightings to either the Going Birding or OOS sites and not just this blog alone.

Many thanks,


Henley Road GPs: 27th October

Black-necked Grebe From hide and screens park in lay-by in disabled spaces.

Ralph Watts

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Chimney: Chimney Meadows: 26th October

Chimney: Chimney Meadows
2 Short-eared Owl: On the SW section from Thames footpath between weir & ten-foot bridge.

J Dexter

Henley Road GPs: 26th October

Black-necked Grebe Still present, viewed from the hide.

Robin Dryden

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 26th October

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
2 Short-eared Owl

Paul Greenaway

Farmoor 26th October

2 Water Pipit
Common Sandpiper
2 Goldeneye

(per Dai)
Merlin over Burwell Farm estate flying east at 07:50am
(per Clackers)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Henley Rd G.P.s 25th Oct

Black necked grebe 1 on central pit

Also 2+ crossbill over Henley yesterday


Stonesfield: Stonesfield Common: 24th October

Stonesfield: Stonesfield Common

Paul Wren

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 25th October

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
4 Wheatear: , no sign of BlackRed.
2 Buzzard
9 Grey Partridge

Paul Chandler

Farmoor 25th October

1 Water Pipit ( still present at 14-30 hrs )
2 Rock pipit
1 Dunlin
1 Redshank
1 Common Sandpiper
2 Raven
6 Yellow-legged Gull

Kestrel at Appleford.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Dipper 24th Oct

Dipper seen from bridge next to Crawley Industrial estate 14:15
then flew towards Witney.
(per Pete Roby)
Short-eared Owl Otmoor (c) Pete Barker

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Port Meadow: 23rd October

Port Meadow
White-fronted Goose: Associating with flock of Greylags.

Sydney Penner

Farmoor 23rd October

Rock Pipit 2

Med Gull (1stw) 16:45)

Pit 60 23rd October

Black necked grebe still showing well from small (N Shore) hide a.m. 
(per Antony Collieu Oxonbirds)

Otmoor 23rd Oct

Short-eared Owl 1( briefly Pill area)
Peregrine 2 (m&f)
Raven 2
Fieldfare (large flock of c540)

Full weekend report at
White-fronted Goose of unknown origin associating with the feral Greylags
on Port Meadow this afternoon.
(per Dave Lowe)

Lollingdon Hill Oct 23rd (10:30 - 11:15)

Wheatear - 1
Black Redstart - 1
Corn Bunting - 1+

with tom w.

Henley area Oct 23rd

Ring Necked Parakeet - 1 over
Egyptian Goose - 2

with tom w.

Warburg Reserve (October 23rd)

Crossbill - approx 6.
Siskin - 8
Redpoll - 6
Nuthatch - 4
Redwing - many
Fieldfare - several
Marsh Tit - several

with tom w.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Standlake, Sat 22nd October

Black-necked Grebe, 1 still pit 60
Siskin, 1
Redpoll, 1
Greenshank, 1
Little Egret, 1
RC Pochard, 6 (pits 38 & 27)

Otmoor: The Pill: 22nd October

Otmoor: The Pill
Short-eared Owl: hunting at dusk.

Jonathan Mercer
Black-necked Grebe still at Pit 60 Standlake yesterday
(per RBA)

Black Redstart & Wheatear Lollingdon Hill

Thanking you Mr Chandler more at

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 22nd October

3 Wheatear
Black Redstart present for 2nd day.

Paul Chandler

Farmoor 22nd Oct

No sign of Water Pipit or any Jack Snipe
Snipe 4

Otmoor RSPB 22nd October

Merlin 2 (m f)
Short-eared Owl 2
Green Sandpiper
Fieldfare 60+

Paul Greenaway
Pete Barker et al

Gozzards Ford: 22nd October

Gozzards Ford
Stonechat: male. in field opposite Abingdon airfield as you approach village from Abingdon.

Richard Ballard

Friday, 21 October 2011

Aston Rowant: Aston Rowant NNR: 21st October

Aston Rowant: Aston Rowant NNR
2 Raven: Going through the M40 cutting alongside the NNR had a good view of a pair of ravens flying alongside 4 red kites.

Rachel Everett

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill

1 Black Redstart

5 Wheatear

                                  Black Redstart
                                  Black Redstart

Farmoor 21st October

Water Pipit (along causeway)
Rock Pipit 2
Jack Snipe (shrike Meadow)

(per Dai)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Otmoor: North Pill Ground: 20th October

Otmoor: North Pill Ground
2 Short-eared Owl

Joe Harris

Careful what you pish for...

With the continued presents of the two + Shorties on Otmoor here's some
video filmed by a Cambridgeshire birder a few years ago.  
(apologies for the dreadful pun)
Red-crested Pochard still on Merton Borrow pit.
(per Bill Foley)

Birds of Oxfordshire 2006

Its here and worth the wait the new Birds of Oxfordshire 2006
Some fantastic illustrations and superb colour as well as black
& white photo's.Congrats to all involved in the production.
Copies available from Barry Hudson


Ewelme: Cress beds: 20th October

Ewelme: Cress beds
Green Sandpiper

Thomas Stevenson

Farmoor 20th October

Common Sandpiper 2
Jack Snipe 1

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 19th October

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
2 Wheatear
24 Corn Bunting

Paul Chandler

Standlake Common Nature Reserve 19th October

The Blacked Necked Grebe first seen by John Melling on pit 38 on Sunday moved to Pit 60 on Monday and was still there today at 11.00 am near the reed bed to the right of the little hide. It seemed to have found a rich source of food.

Otmoor 19th October

Hen Harrier (ringtail) near the Noke end of the reserve
(per Paul Greenaway)

2 Short-eared Owl  at the Pill
No sign of the Great Grey Shrike.
(per Graham Coleman & Terry Sherlock)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Short-eared owl on Otmoor 18th October

Short-eared owl seen on Ashgrave again today by Zoe Edwards (Estate Worker). First seen on 29th Sept. it appears to be favouring the Southern drier section of the field. An otter was reported too.

photo (c) Joe Harris

Merton Borrow Pit

Red-crested Pochard (m)
(per Bill Foley)

Pit 60 Standlake 18th Oct

Black-necked Grebe still 15:30
Little Grebe 4
at least 15 Goldcrests

Rushy Common
Red creasted Pochard (1f 2m)

(per Clackers)

Farmoor 18th October

Curlew Sandpiper along the causeway at 10:35a.m
+Rock Pipit

(per Dai & Terry Sherlock)
Record shot of Curlew Sandpiper (c) T.Sherlock

Monday, 17 October 2011

Great Grey Shrike Otmoor 17th October

Record shots of Shrike Slightly better at 720p
Great Grey Shrike still present at 5:20p.m at least although mobile.
Although near annual in the county this is the first on Otmoor since Feb 1994.
No access to the Pill grounds tomorrow due to the M.O.D shooting range
being in use. Probable access on Wednesday although always best to check
for the red no access flag.

Farmoor Res 17th Oct

Short-eared Owl Buckthorn Meadow this afternoon (per Matt Prior)
Starling roost of c4000-5000 birds (per Dai)

Dorchester: Dorchester complex: 17th October

15 Egyptian Goose
113 Golden Plover

Thomas Stevenson

More here...

Great Grey Shrike Otmoor 17th October

Great Grey Shrike Otmoor near the Pil 15:45p.m
The Pil is north of the rifle range and is accessed from
the east end of the main bridleway within RSPB Otmoor.
(more info to follow)

Little Wittenham: Little Wittenham Nature Reserve: 16th October

Little Wittenham: Little Wittenham Nature Reserve
Probable Raven: flying north.

Sabine Eckert

Otmoor: S: 17th October

Otmoor: S

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
Peregrine: (f).

Paul Greenaway

Grimsbury Reservoir: 17th October

17th October

Grimsbury Reservoir
Mandarin Duck: Drake coming out of eclipse. This must be the duck I have seen a couple of times leaving with the Mallards early morning, both times in near darkness and only in flight. Based on size and it being dark above and the pattern of light plumage below I concluded Tufty but the all dark underwing still didn't match.

16 Redwing: Over town centre south.

Gareth Blockley

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Stanton Harcourt 16th October

Dunlin 4
Green Sandpiper 2
Golden Plover 2
Lapwing c80
Yellow-legged Gull 4
Sprawk 2 (m/f)

10 Golden Plover Rushy Common a.m
(per Clackers)

Farmoor 16th October

Stonechat 1 (Photo taken in 2008)
Rock Pipit 1

Saturday, 15 October 2011

South Leigh: 15th October

Hen Harrier (fem)

Sally Taylor

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 15th October

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
2 Wheatear
33 Corn Bunting
16 Yellowhammer
15 Linnet
40 Skylark: 40+ in area.
11 Grey Partridge: in the fields below the southern slope.
5 Meadow Pipit

4 Redwing: Over Marymead.

Paul Chandler

Wytham 15th October

Ringtail Hen Harrier hunting western edge for 10 mins at 1500, seen from
Farmoor Causeway.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Hen Harrier 14th Oct

Ring tailed Hen Harrier.

I was in the car park of the Watlington cricket club yesterday when there was a
great commotion from behind the trees. Sudenly a ring tailed hen harrier
appeared briefly overhead before being sent on it's way by a gang of kites and

Pete Styles (per Oxonbirds)

Banbury: 13th October

13th October

Redwing: A few calls heard going over in c. 5 mins from my flat.

14th October

Grimsbury Reservoir

Hawfinch Over north west. Picked up on call (3 pzik calls) then seen very well from underneath as it passed overhead and could see the broad white wing bars.

Gareth Blockley

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Milcombe: 13th October

45 Fieldfare

Richard Hazel

Fieldfare Thursday 13th October

Tony Edwards from Aston reports a flock of Fieldfares numbering in excess fifty individuals.Alongside the great Brook toward the Buckland road end.

Farmoor 13th October

2 Brent Geese flew in and landed on F1 at 15:18 (per Dai)

Jack Snipe 1 ( Pinkhill )
Ringed Plover 1
Rock Pipit 1

Photo taken in 2009

Terry Sherlock & Dai.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Cholsey: Cholsey Hill: 12th October

Cholsey: Cholsey Hill

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
12 Meadow Pipit: flying south.

Drayton 1066
41 Teal
Willow Warbler: partial song heard.
2 Chiffchaff
Water Rail

Paul Chandler
20 Golden Plover in flight over ploughed field near Tar Wood South Leigh.
(per R.W.Catling)

2 Rock Pipit Farmoor this afternoon.
(per Peter Law)

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 12th October


Paul Greenaway

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Monday, 10 October 2011

Farmoor Med Gulls in late afternoon

Arrived 16:40, so far too late for any hope of raptor watching. 1 Rockit, 2 Mipit and perhaps 20 Pied Wags plus 1 Ringed Plover in the SE of F1. Enormous gull roost this evening and gusting gale force WSW, so concentrated on F1 only. Common Gull totalled at least 16 birds, with 1 1stW, a few adult and the remaining being 2ndW plumage. Yellow-legged Gulls of all ages but not really counted as concentrating on searching through Black-headed for Med Gulls and better(?) Med success with 1 1stW (no real mask as yet) on water before leaving F1 for F2 at 17:25 and then another 1stW did similar at 18:15 - seen only in more distant flight. Must assume two birds as no return of gulls from F2 to f1 noted during watch. Who knows what could be seen here if there was a wind proof shelter to observe from.....

Muswell Hill mid pm 10th Oct

Wheatear juv 1
Raven 1

Asham Meads

Linnet 60+ flock

Church Hanborough 10th October

In fields near Church Hanborough courtesy of tip off from Bill Foley
Golden Plover 468
Lapwing 186

Farmoor 1 10th October

Rock Pipit 1 (also present yesterday per Bill Foley)
Dunlin 1
no sign of any Goshawks between 1230-1445

Redwing 10th October

8 Redwing seen over Witney c9:30a.m
(per John Prowse)

East Hendred: East Hendred Downs: 9th October

East Hendred: East Hendred Downs
2 Corn Bunting
7 Grey Partridge

Aston Upthorpe: Juniper Valley

Mark Merritt

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Oxford Ornithological Society Indoor Meeting.

Wednesday 12th October 7.45 pm please note start time 7.45pm.
Wildlife of a Working Forest by Mike Read.
Mike is a professional wildlife and landscape photographer and an experienced speaker.
This beautifully illustrated talk deals with not just the wildlife and scenery of the New Forest but also the business of the area ; activities such as timber production,commoning, drifts and pannage are all covered in this highly informative presentation.
Barry Hudson (secretary) 01993 852028.

Goshawk puts on great display over Wytham

Turned up at Farmoor 11.10 with a force 6 westerly blowing. Went to causeway, scanned Wytham, then Farmoor 1. Then scanned Wytham again and everthing was up at 11:25. At least one Goshawk, a couple of Buzzard, with Male sparrowhawk and Carrion crows showing far more bravery today, the tiny Sparrowhawk at least continually mobbing bird for some 15 minutes. Plenty of interplay between the birds with Gos turning on Sproghawk and Crow now and then. A few steep dives observed and one lucky Wood Pigeon flew away leaving an explosive puff of feathers in its wake. No further sightings up to 14.00.

Dunlin and unringed Barnacle Goose on Causeway (F1), Green Sandpiper on F2 (report from Dai). One Mipit and just a handful of Pied's by Sewage treatment works. Couple of Yellow-legged Gulls (1st and 2nd winters) on F1. Very few birders around and they apparently had not been scanning Wytham, so missed out on a great acrobatic display and left after very short stay. Congats to G. for putting in the time this afternoon and commiserations for not being rewarded this time around. I am sure it will be seen again soon by those who do this, although I suggest a westerly and very strong wind (suitable for slope soaring) is the best time to visit AND continual scanning of horizon across the woodland. Luckily(?), there appears to be little else of great interest to see at farmoor at the moment !

Barnacle Goose Farmoor 9/10 (c) Bill Foley

Wytham Woods (from Farmoor causeway)

Buzzard - 6
Red Kite - 2
Sparrowhawk - at least 2
Kestrel - 2
Swallow - 3 (s)
Skylark - 2 (w)

no sign recently reported goshawk between 1 - 3pm.

+ Ringed Plover - 2 (Badger)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Sat 8th Osprey over Radley Thrupp Lake

Spent a couple of minutes scanning Thrupp Lake when the flock of Black-headed Gulls erupted off the lake. Looking skyward for the reason, an Osprey just glided over, heading southward at 15:17. All over in less than 10 seconds!

Pochard, Teal, Shoveler and Little Grebe have returned so far to Thrupp. The most noticeable change this autumn from 2010 is the amazing numbers of G C Grebes that have bred, with begging juveniles all over the lake. Shame the wader pit has been dry this summer/autumn, with so many rare species across the British Isles.....

Farmoor 1

Egyptian Goose 1

Dunlin 2

Wantage 8th October

Lark Hill:

Wheatear 6
Golden Plover c50
Skylark c100
Linnet c700


Siskin over

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 8th October

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
Raven: possibly 2.
22 Corn Bunting
20 Skylark: 20+.
17 Yellowhammer

Paul Chandler

Friday, 7 October 2011

Blenheim Coombe Gate

Mandarin Duck 9
Wood Duck 4 (2 pairs) probably introduced by the landowners.
All four birds appeared unpinioned so potential to roam is high
Siskin 3+

Goshawk stirs the birds over Wytham

Dreadful pic shows 3 Jackdaws above as the only birds brave (or foolish) enough to mob this Goshawk. 4 Buzzards, 3 Ravens, Carrion Crows, Rooks and very sensible flocks of Wood Pigeons just got out of the way! Watched for about 8 minutes but fleeing flocks of Wood Pigeons plotted its presence for about the same time afterwards. Only after it had gone and things quietened down did a tiny Sproghawk and then Red Kite dare to appear over the ridge.
The pic was a lucky snap from a compact camera thrust quickly against the scope eyepiece. At least it shows the narrow parallel sided tail, wing shape and comparative wingspan (in part). Passing Raven and exiting Buzzards had the same wingspan.
When viewed lower against the trees, the plumage was brown adult female including the white undertail coverts. The clasic lack of 'body bounce' in flight whilst battling force 5-6 winds was enough to separate this bird from female Sparrowhawk, as soon as it broke the skyline.
A couple of Teal at Pinkhill, a Ruff on the Causeway, two Grey Wags by the pumping station and 2 Mipits by the sewage treatment bank were about it excepting a couple of chiffs in with a flock of, near 50, Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits at the NE of F1.

Wytham woods 7th October

Goshawk circling Wytham woods at 12:25 viewed from F1 at Farmoor.
(per Ian Smith)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Cholsey, 6th Oct

2 Wheatear, Lollingdon Hill
2 Corn Bunting
9 Grey Partridge
100+ Skylark, incl a flock of 70+
3 Meadow Pipit
3 Chiffchaff

More @

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Warborough: 5th October

13 Egyptian Goose: Second day seen feeding in field. SU593769.

Heather Howes

Roseate Tern at Brize

The adult Roseate Tern found on the runway at RAF Brize Norton on 20th September was taken to St Tiggeywinkles wildlife hospital to recuperate. Unfortunately after an apparent improvement last week, it died on Sunday 2nd October.
The bird possessed a ring and its history makes interesting reading. It was ringed as a pullus on Rockabill (Co. Dublin) on 8th July 1999. As a 12 year old it must be something of a record for a Roseate Tern.

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 5th October

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
Green Sandpiper

Paul Greenaway


c20 Golden Plover on Cholsey Hill this morning and 3 House Martins over Marymead.

Sunday, 2 October 2011