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...

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Gulls at Appleford 30/11/11

This is the Iceland Gull found by Tom Wickens this morning. These poor video grabs were obtained mid afternoon. The general blotchy look to the scapulars, the sharply defined dark on the bill with a fine pale tip (inset middle pic), the pale iris and the finely marbled tertials indicate a 2nd winter, a rare age class in Oxon.

The bird above is not the regular, classic looking Caspian Gull that has been visiting Appleford over the last few weeks. It is a very odd gull, obviously with cachinnans tendencies but very heavily marked scapulars. The most strange thing was its state of moult. It had second generation tertials, all inner greater coverts and many other wing coverts. It even had a third generation tertial on the left side and one or two third generation greater coverts on both wings. Intriguingly it was carrying a yellow ring on its right leg. It would be good to get the number so the parentage can be confirmed. Gulls have been given yellow rings over the last three years from colonies in Lithuania and Poland; they included Yellow-legged, Caspian and Herring Gulls and their hybrids.

Port Meadow: 30th November

Port Meadow
3 Goosander: 1m 2 r/h.

Adam Hartley

Appleford: Appleford GP: 30th November

Appleford: Appleford GP
Iceland Gull: 1w. Birds from this morning still present. SU522927.
Caspian Gull: 1w. SU522927.

Phil Chapman

Otmoor Tree Sparrows 30th November

Paul Greenaway has just phoned to say that there are two Tree Sparrows on the temporary feeders near the new hide.

Appleford Spit Pit 30th November

Tom Wickens has just called to say that not only is the 1st winter Caspian gull on the Appleford Spit Pit this morning but also there's a 1st winter Iceland gull there.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Otmoor 27th November

Female Hen Harrier on Otmoor today (c) Jonathan Mercer

also 5 Short-eared Owls on the reserve

Full weekend round up at  Otmoor Birding

Pit 60

Belated report of a Bittern at Pit 60 last Friday 25th Nov.

Radley 27th November

2 of 4 Crossbills (3m1f) today at Radley at the east end of Bullfield Lake.

(per Mike Flemming)

photo (c) M.Flemming

Beckley: 27th November

Probable Hen Harrier male. Seen, by my non birding wife, flying across B4027.

Nick Suckling

Henley Road GPs: 27th November

Henley Road GPs
Yellow-legged Gull: ad.

Marek Walford

Rushy Common: 27th November

Rushy Common
6 Red-crested Pochard

Simon Bradfield

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Appleford 26th November

1st winter Caspian Gull still at Appleford this morning on the Spit Pit.
more photo's here

View only from car.

HD at 720p

More video of this stunner (sorry)

Aston: 23rd November

4 Grey Partridge: 2 pairs.

J Dexter

Friday, 25 November 2011

Biffaward grant to Otmoor R.S.P.B

Biffaward is a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform
lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK.

Biffaward looks to support site-based projects that protect and enhance biodiversity
across the UK, particularly those concentrating on species and habitats that have been
identified as a priority in Biodiversity Action Plans.

more at Otmoor Birding

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Otmoor.A.M. 23rd November.

3 Redpoll
1 Mistle Thrush
2 Snipe
1 Greensand
1 Water Rail

Spam E-mails

Hi all, my Gmail account was hacked last night so some of you may have got a spam mail from me with a dodgy link in it. If so then please just ignore it & delete the message.

I'm sure most of you will already know this but just in case for those who don't, this is rather common for Gmail and Hotmail accounts. If you have one of these accounts and suddenly start getting lots of mail delivery failure messages for spam links then you've been hacked and need to change your password. I don't know about Hotmail but Gmail also has a link at the bottom showing who else is logged on to your account - you can kick them off first and then change the password so they can't get back in. The messages should then stop.

If you ever get an unexpected e-mail from someone with just a dodgy looking link and no message, don't click on it. At the very least e-mail them back to check whether it was genuine.

My apologies for those who already know all this. That is the end of this public information broadcast!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Farmoor 22nd November

2 Redshank
1 Knot (still present 2p.m per The Wickster)
18 Goldeneye
1 Aythya hybrid



Monday, 21 November 2011

Dorchester complex 21st November

2 Egyptian Goose

Ewelme Cress beds

2 Water Rail

Thomas Stevenson

more at the superb Benson & Ewelme Wildlife

Otmoor. P.M.

MoD. land
1 Hen Harrier (F)
1 Raven

Otmoor birding

Oakley Woods
12+ Crossbill

Merton Borrow Pit
C. 3000 Starlings.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Otmoor Sunday 20th November

Two short-eared owls doing a circuit around Greenaways & The Closes with five reported at the Pill. Sparrowhawk seen and merlin also reported. Starling roost was a few thousand birds that flew around briefly though no great acrobatics.

Oakley Wood 20th November

20+ Crossbill in Oakley Wood c14:30
 near the car parking area per Terry Sherlock
photo (c) T.Sherlock

1stw Caspian Gull Appleford

HDish at 720p

'Boom chaka wha wah' !!

Grimsbury Reservoir: 20th November

Grimsbury Reservoir
Willow Tit: Not very vocal - 2 calls in 10 mins, could easily be missed. In the wood along the path on western side of the wood (canal side).

Gareth Blockley

Hinksey Park

male Blackcap - 1 with tit flock at 10am.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Radley Lakes 19th November

On Thrupp Lake this afternoon:
2 redhead Goosanders
1 male Pintail
c.10 Shoveler
4 Wigeon
c.20 Gadwall
c.24 Teal
c.45 Tufted duck
2 Common gull
1 Kingfisher

Otmoor: 19th November

2 Short-eared Owl

John Barnes

Iffley Meadows 19th November

Great Grey Shrike Iffley Meadow c9:00a.m

(per Jason Gosling)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Port Meadow: 17th November

Port Meadow
Yellow-legged Gull

Adam Hartley

video here

South Leigh 17th November

Great Grey Shrike this afternoon along the track between South Leigh
and Lower Farm. No parking on the road to Lower Farm.
Approx location SP410 085

(per Sally) 

Otmoor 17 October

5 Short Eared Owls at NE Corner of Greenaways (all in air at one time)

2 more on Closes

1 Lesser Redpoll near feeders

Cholsey: Cholsey Marsh Nature Reserve: 17th November

Cholsey Marsh Nature Reserve
50 Corn Bunting: Around 50 coming to roost on the marsh at the moment.
2 Water Rail

2 Woodcock: Lollingdon, flushed by 2 falconers with a Harris Hawk.

Paul Chandler

 Cholsey Wildlife

Brent Geese 17th Nov

2 Brent Geese over Farmoor c9.20 before flying in the direction of Port Meadow

(per Dai)

No sign on Port Meadow at 10:15 a.m. - Gnome

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Talks Wednesday 16th November

OOS: "Expedition to Papua New Guinea" at Stratfield Brake Sports Ground. 7.45 pm. .

Abingdon Naturalists: "Pole Position" by Marek Borkowski at Abingdon School, 7:30 pm.

See "Forthcoming Talks" at the top of the blog for more details

If anyone would like to promote any future 'birdy' talks in the county please email
either Jason or Adam and we'll be happy to stick it on the blog.

Port Meadow 16th November: Avocets

5 Avocet - found by Cherry Robertson, still present 12:30 p.m though rather flighty (per Gnome)

Flushed and flew off high to the south at 1 p.m. (per Badger)

Digiscoped record shot of the five avocets (c) Gnome

1 drake Pintail
1 Redshank
+Raven (flying over Burgess Field)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Otmoor 15th November

Short-eared Owl 5 (together over The Closes.Singles seen over Ashgrave and Car park field so possibly 7 birds)
(per Nick Suckling)

Hen Harrier 2 (both Ringtails)
A pair of Ringtails seen in front of second screen and then over reedbed and
boundary hedge just to north at 14.30 hr. Later at 15.30 a single bird, mobbed
by crows, flew south across Greenways and over path into The Closes. At 15.45 on
return to car probably the same bird was quatering car park field within 50yds
of pat. Magnificent views in low winter sun.

(per Francis Oxonbirds)

Red Kite

Cetti's Warbler (heard on bridleway near hide at dusk)
Green Sandpier

(per Terry Tossel)

No sign of any Bearded Tits this morning or this afternoon

more at Otmoor Birding

Letcombe Bassett: Ridgeway above Letcombe Bassett: 15th November

Ridgeway above Letcombe Bassett

Snow Bunting  (left fork on Gramps hill and on ride on other side of ridgeway).
23 Grey Partridge

Paul Chandler

Both pictures (c) Paul Chandler

Letcombe Basset 15th November

Snow Bunting by the Ridgeway above Letcombe Basset 13:40

(per Paul Chandler)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Little Egret Sutton Courteney (c) The Paranoid Birder

Port Meadow: 14th November

Port Meadow
Goosander: red-head, ad fem i think.
300 Golden Plover

Adam Hartley

Video here

RSPB Otmoor 14th Nov

2 short-eared owls over Closes and Greenaways, possible 3rd over Flood. 3 bearded tits 'seen and heard' in the reedbed. Also hen harrier and large fieldfare flocks.

Farmoor Snow Bunting 14th November

Taken today in Terrible light!

Photo's (c) W.P.Bull

Farmoor Reservoir: Causeway: 14th November

Farmoor Reservoir: Causeway
Snow Bunting: Still on f2f side of causeway, although sometimes on the top. Very flighty, calling a few times.

Gareth Blockley

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Jackdaw and Lapwing

1200 Jackdaw minimum seen heading for roost and c48 Lapwing circling very low over F2 towards dusk. Gull roost too distant to distinguish the mega tonight - but (fingers crossed) watch this space...
 Farmoor Snow Bunting (c) Jon Mercer

Appleford 13th November

Caspian Gull (1stw) loafing in field south of the B4016 at 2:15p.m

Otmoor 13th November

Hen Harrier           (Greenaways)
Short-eared Owl    (Greenaways)
Cetti's Warbler

(per Pete Barker)

Details of these birds plus the complete weekend
round up Otmoor Birding

Port Meadow (2-4:30)

Redshank - 2
Wigeon - 93
Teal - 66
Linnet - 120+
Golden Plover - 50 on floods plus approx 110 more overhead
Common Gull - 1 (1st winter)
small gull roost because of lots of disturbance...

Farmoor Reservoir F2 13th November

Snow Bunting

(per Ralph Watts)

Still present late afternoon

(per BB)

Photo (c) The Paranoid Birder

Wytham Wood 13 November

An unknown number of Crossbill over, calling but not seen.

Farmoor & Badbury 13th November

Snow Bunting still at Farmoor this morning, F2 side of causeway.

At Badbury Wood this lunchtime:

6+ Crossbill
3+ Marsh Tit

Ravens - Sunday 13th.

Tony Edwards reports a pair of Ravens over Witney Lakes 10.00am today.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Standlake, Sat 12th Nov

Peregrine 1
Raven 1
Cetti's Warbler 1
Green Sand 1
Pintail 3
Teal 243
Gadwall 54
Wigeon 117
Little Egret 1
Siskin 3
Redpoll 1
YL Gull 2

Boarstall Decoy 12th November

3 Woodcock
Little Owl (Piddington)

Colin Oram

Farmoor Snow Bunting 12 November

(c) Stephen Burch. For higher res versions, goto

Little Gull joins Snow Bunt and GG Shrike

Snow Bunting present F2 side of causeway late afternoon, with 8 female and 1 male Goldeneye on F1. Great Grey Shrike reported c 3.15pm as having been "perched in tree in middle of Shrike Meadow for a long time". "Near the split in paths by felled trees". This might suggest towards Pinkhill(?) Adult and immature Peregrine at 4.15pm between F2 and woodland south where the corvids go to roost. No further action seen as gull roost was observational target. Here a settled adult
Little Gull and a Dunlin flying to and fro repeatedly looking to land in the roost(!) before thinking better of the idea.

Bernwood Forest: Waterperry Wood: 12th November

Bernwood Forest: Waterperry Wood
4 Common Crossbill: Encountered a few times throughout the morning - assumed that they were mobile rather than part of a larger group which had split itself into groups of four!.

Mark Merritt

Farmoor 12th November

The snow bunting is still present this morning along the causeway

+ 4 Egyptian geese

Friday, 11 November 2011

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 11th November

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
2 Corn Bunting
4 Grey Partridge

Paul Chandler

more here Cholsey wildlife

Farmoor Reservoir: River Thames: 11th November

11th November

Farmoor Reservoir: River Thames
Great Grey Shrike: Popped up and sat on top of a tree for about five minutes on the path to Shrike Meadow hide around 15.30 on Friday.

Farmoor Reservoir: Causeway
Snow Bunting: Still on Farmoor II side of causeway around 16.00, quite active, favouring the vegetation nearest the wall.

Steve Goddard

Baiting the Buntings at Farmoor

Thursday there was 1 male Goldeneye on F2 as well as the usual recent 2 females on F1. In the poplars at the locked gates at the SE corner of sewage tretment plant, a male Blackcap was spot on timing for the central European winter arrivals (last I saw was well over a month ago now which again is about right for suitable Blackcap free gap in sightings). A good pound of bird seed was distributed along F2 side of causeway between twin wooden huts and westward to the next lifebelt. It seemed to work for Lapland Bunting, so hopefully the Snow Bunting might be equally appreciative and continue to stay for a while yet. Frequently flushed by passing vehicles and the odd birder, it seemed to simply fly out briefly over the Res before returning to near by and immediately continue feeding. A successful county twitch for me, so one more on the county life list please Jason !

Farmoor 11th November

Great Grey Shrike again in 'Shrike Meadow' to the west of F2 c12:30 (per Phil Brown)

Snow Bunting still on the causeway 12p.m (Paul Chandler)
+Rock Pipit

(per The Wickster & Dai)

Snow Bunting 1 on Farmoor 2 side of Causeway
photos (c) Ewan

More photos of the Snow Bunting on the  Cholsey wildlife blog

Appleford 11th Nov

Caspian Gull (1stw) Spit Pit on & off 2:30-3:30p.m

(per Ewan)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 10th November

Lollingdon Hill
15 Grey Partridge

Cholsey Hill
15 Corn Bunting


Paul Chandler

Otmoor 10/11/11

Short - Eared Owl
Marsh Harrier
Female Merlin
3 Red Kites all seen on Closes field throughout the day
There are also several flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing around.

photo (c) Ewan

Wallingford: Town centre: 10th November

Wallingford: Town centre
Ring-necked Parakeet: Moving between Poplar trees on the Kinecroft.

David Simmons

Appleford Caspian Gull

The 1st winter was in a field south of Appleford this afternoon before flying to the Spit Pit at 3.10. This is the first tme I'd seen it in fight and very nice it was too. Also 4 adult Yellow-legged Gulls at Sutton Courtenay with 35 GBbGs. Then the sun came out so I went home.

1st winter Caspian Gull

Adult Yellow-legged Gull

Winter Starlings

Several thousand Starlings in a pre-roost flock between Sutton Courtenay & Appleford
last weekend viewed from the B4016 at dusk.

Farmoor 10th November

Snow Bunting on the causeway

(per Dai & Terry Sherlock)

Still on the causeway on the F2 side at 10a.m  (per Dave Lowe)

photo (c) Terry Sherlock

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Port Meadow: Not a Caspian Gull!

Thought I had a Caspian gull on the Meadow this even. Turns out it's not actually a Caspian but a tricky yellow-legged gull with rather pinkish legs, perhaps from the south-western part of the yellow-legged range. Fortunately Ian Lewington has put me straight. More discussion of the pertinent ID issues on the Port Meadow blog.

Also 2 redshank

More details & photos on Port Meadow Birding
which is now being updated on a daily basis again

Appleford 9th Nov

Caspian Gull (1stw) 15:00-15:25 on the Spit Pit then flushed.
Just to reiterate please view only from your car as the gulls
flush easily.
+ 2 Yellow-legged Gull
Crossbill 8 Buckland Warren Feeding in larches + fly over (numbers may be higher)

(per J.Dexter)


Chris Martin reports a Dipper at New Mill on the Windrush this morning.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Otmoor 8th November

2 Short-eared Owl
1 Merlin
Also a few thousand Starlings in roost tonight.

(per Terry Tossel)

Otmoor Birding

Port Meadow: 8th November

Port Meadow
2 Redshank
150 Golden Plover

Adam Hartley

Port Meadow Birding

Caspian Gull still

Yesterdays 1st winter was still on the Spit Pit at Appleford this lunchtime. It has acquired a stain on the side of its neck over night.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Otmoor Birding Blog

The superb Otmoor Birding has moved!
Full weekend round ups of all the Flora & Fauna
plus photo's,videos,maps,species lists and all
things Moorish are all now at a new home...
Otmoor Birding

Bernard Tucker Memorial Lecture.

Monday 7Th.November 7.45Pm. Exeter Hall Kidlington.
Oxford Ornithological Society and The Ashmolean Natural History Society jointly present a talk by Nigel Collar 'A Species Is What I Say It Is' We are fortunate to have this outstanding avian scientist agree to talk to us on a subject he is so eminently qualified, namely 'use and abuse of information in defining species limits'.
Nigel is currently Leventis Fellow in Conservation Biology working with the universities of Cambridge,Oxford,East Anglia and Manchester Metropolitan concentrating on conservation oriented research with an emphasis on threatened species.
Entry fee £2 free parking. Any questions Barry Hudson (secretary) 01993 852028 . This event is sponsored by British Birds Magazine.

Photo: Bernard Tucker himself

Port Meadow: 7th November

Port Meadow
Yellow-legged Gull: ad.
2 Redshank
2 Dunlin

Adam Hartley

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Caspian Gull at Appleford

At last! the first Caspian Gull (a nice 1st winter) on the spit pit at Didcot/Appleford this winter. Given their scarcity in the country this year and the general lack of gulls at Didcot I wasn't very hopeful of finding one at all this winter. It was quite a small bird with a petit bill so presumably a female.
Short-eared Owl Otmoor RSPB on 'Big Otmoor' flew
along hedge by bridleway at 1.15p.m
(per RBA)

  Merlin        more here Otmoor Birding

Standlake Pit 60

Spotted Redshank

Farmoor 1

Mid morning
Regrettably no sign of the Snow Bunting on Causeway

Dunlin 2
Ruff 2
Eurasian Wigeon 5
Common Teal 4
Hybrid Canada x Greylag goose family still present
Male Greylag /Female Canada plus 4 hybrid young

Warburg Reserve: 6th November

Warburg Reserve
20 Common Crossbill: reported to me by Ian Stevenson.
2 Raven: reported by Ian Stevenson.

Thomas Stevenson

Bagley Woods 6th November

5 Crossbill near Bagley Sawmill
2 Siskin

Farmoor 6th Nov

Snow Bunting briefly along the causeway c10:10a.m
(per Andy Shirley & Clackers) found by Andrew Last.

No further sign of the Snow Bunting by 12:45p.m
No sign of the Great Grey Shrike this morning.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Waterfowl at it again !

Hardly for lack of possible mates from the same species, these two wanted to be different. Thanks to Ewan for pointing out the patently obvious and nicely illustrating how little time some of us spend thoroughly scanning birds without "Gull" in their name. I blame Messrs Dudley and co. If the Taxonomists are forever changing the position that geese should occupy, you can hardly blame the innocent geese themselves. There again, "innocent" and "Canada Goose" may not be that appropriate........

Adult Med Gull in Farmoor Roost

No Twite; No GG Shrike but an Adult Med Gull in the roost instead, photographed here at ISO 3200 setting near dusk i.e. more noise than sharpness but interestingly arty nevertheless. Roost also had plenty of G B-backs, Lesser Black-backs - varied intermedius types in the main; Common Gulls including some large pale ones as well as the usual sized dark ones - showing far more variability than someone from South Wales is used to seeing. Herring Gulls - all but one appearing northern (argentatus) in origin but one paler (argenteus) race type. Western Yellow-legged Gulls a plenty. As usual Black-headed dominated the numbers game followed by L B-b's. Who knows what could be discovered with the time and the light and a much smaller water body. Anyone know where the plug is situated ?

Farmoor Great Grey Shrike 5th Nov

                         ((           c              (c) Pete Styles

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 5th November

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
3 Corn Bunting

Paul Chandler

Ring-necked Parakeets Henley 5th November

5 Ring-necked Parakeets Henley near the Rugby Club.

Radley GP: 5th November

Radley GP
Green Sandpiper

Mark Merritt

Farmoor: Twite & Great Grey Shrike

A twite was found at Farmoor along the causeway by Dai John at 07:45 this morning before it was flushed. It has not been seen since despite searching.

There is a great grey shrike at Buckthorn Meadow, Relocated by Stuart Thompson.

Still present south of F2 near farm buildings at 12:35 p.m.

1 rock pipit by the water treatment works

          Damien Farine said...

I saw a great grey shrike Friday 28th October
near Oaken Holt retirement village along Eynsham Rd
(which was closed at the time).
Probably the same bird.

Port Meadow: 5th November

Port Meadow
Redshank: SP495082.

Phil Chapman

Friday, 4 November 2011

Port Meadow: 4th November

Port Meadow
3 Greenshank: Flying overhead calling loudly.
60 Wigeon
500 Golden Plover

Adam Hartley

Photo: 1st/w common gull (c) Adam Hartley

Farmoor 4th November

Marsh Harrier 15:25
(per Dai)

The Marsh Harrier this afternoon contstitutes the one hundred
and seventieth species recorded at the Res this year,
the highest total in the last fourteen years.

Otmoor 4th November

2 Grey Partridge seen on Ashgrave and heard Raven.
Growing numbers of Lapwing, Golden Plover and Starlings.

3 Raven
(Paul Greenaway)

photo (c) Terry Sherlock

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Port Meadow: 1st November

Port Meadow
Peregrine: ad. Upsetting gulls on the flood before flying of (direction unknown). SP495088.

Phil Chapman

Otmoor Nov 1st

Short-eared Owl 2
Water rail

(per Terry Tossel)

Short-eared Owl yesterday near Cholsey.

Over my patch [nr Cholsey] on Sunday afternoon at 17.15 - a silhouette
appeared from near the river Thames, flew over the paddock, buffeted by the
strong wind, then, over me WSW and on towards the A329, flying directly over the
TOTAL garage and then up Halfpenny Lane, presumably to the downs...

Mike Amphlett (Oxonbirds)

2 Short-eared Owl seen near Eynsham over the weekend.
(c) Ewan Urquhart

Farmoor 1st November

Water Pipit (along causeway) 8:30a.m
Meadow Pipit c30
Egyptian Goose
Common Sandpiper 2

(per Dai)