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, 30 April 2012

30th April, Farmoor

2 Little Tern and a Cuckoo from the causeway.

Balscote: Balscote Quarry: 30th April

Balscote: Balscote Quarry
Dotterel: with3 golden plovers. 
Corn Bunting: singing.
2 Tree Sparrow

Michael Hunt

Between 16:30 & 17:00
Whimbrel 1
Little Ringed Plover 1
Lapwing 2
Northern Wheatear 4
Yellow Wagtail 2
Tree Sparrow 7

no sign of the Dotterel or any Golden Plover

Ewan Urquhart

30th April Newbridge Storks

RBA now reporting all 6 White Storks again this morning apparently back in their usual place. Best viewed by walking west along Thames on the public footpath from the Maybush pub at Newbridge and viewing North between the 2nd and 3rd kissing gates.

Still at 7:02 p.m. per RBA at about here

The Storks, taken on Saturday by Andy Last (c)

30th April, Farmoor

2 Little Tern at Farmoor till at least 15:26 (per David Lowe)

Flew off high to the North West at 16:20 (per Roger Wyatt)

...And back again at 16:50 !

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 30th April

30th April

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
3 Marsh Harrier: 1f over reed bed @ 14:30, then 3f @ 15:40 all at once with 1 Red Kite and 1 Common Buzzard.
2 Hobby: out on Greenaways.
Cuckoo: calling from N side of reserve.
Grasshopper Warbler: reeling from edge of reeds near 2nd screen.

Peter Law

Port Meadow: 30th April

Port Meadow
Common Sandpiper
4 Wheatear

Port Meadow: Burgess Field Nature Park
Whitethroat: m.

Adam Hartley

2 Little Gull: ad. summer. Feeding over floods. (Phil Chapman)

River Thames: Sandford to Radley: 29th April

River Thames: Sandford to Radley

Cetti's Warbler

Steve Roby

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Otmoor 29th April

1 Ring Ouzel - Footpath on left just before car park, 2nd field along.
11 Wheatear - in same field as Ring Ouzel
5 Wheatear  -Big Otmoor
1 Gargany  - Big Otmoor
1 Drumming Snipe  - Big Otmoor
2 Marsh Harrier  - over reedbed, went to roost at 7pm
1 Little Egret - from hide.
1 Cuckoo

Port Meadow: 29th April

Port Meadow
3 Dunlin
Ringed Plover
3 Shelduck
Little Egret
Common Tern

Sydney Penner

Grimsbury Reservoir: 29th April

Grimsbury Reservoir
Arctic Tern: (per Sandra and Adrian Bletchly).
2 Common Sandpiper: (per Sandra and Adrian Bletchly).

Gareth Blockley

Balscote: 29th April

Dotterel: Still this afternoon in the usual place.
2 Whimbrel
Little Ringed Plover
4 Wheatear: 2 of which looked really good for Greenland 'leucorhoa' race birds (big, upright and very bright buff wash undersides).
2 Yellow Wagtail: At least 2 around. 1 with a dark head and a big supercilium. I only got brief views in appalling viewing conditions but I would put money on it being a Blue-headed 'flava' race bird. Please keep an eye out for it.

Gareth Blockley

29th April Standlake/Newbridge Storks

The four white storks were still in their field just north of the Thames this afternoon. They were best viewed from the footpath along the river in the 3rd field west of the Maybush Inn at Newbridge. However as the rain stopped they started drying out their wings and then at 3:24 they flew off rather low to the south west. It wouldn't surprise me if they're still in the area somewhere though.


Two of the four drying out...
...and one taking flight

Standlake Storks

4 extremely bedraggled birds still present south of Pit 60 at around 2pm. Standing still and not feeding - the prospects do not look good for these birds with this weather continuing. Site and birds are very difficult to locate without exceptionally good directions; so not a journey to set out on unless you have those essential matters sorted in advance. A UK tick for myself (the first for two years) and Beniow.

29th April Balscote Dotterel

Still present 1:35 pm in the usual field. (per RBA)

29th April Farmoor

5 Black-necked Grebes still at 07:30 (per RBA)

5 Arctic Terns

29th April: White Storks Still at Standlake

4 Storks still present at Standlake 11:35 a.m..

In appalling conditions they are looking like they're not going anywhere any time soon.

per Peter Barker

View either
a) North from footpath along river west of Maybush pub at Newbridge, or
b) South from footpath by cowslip field at end of Langleys Lane through gap in hedge

Otmoor: 29th April

Marsh Harrier: fem. Fighting the wind whilst hunting over western edge of reedbed.

Joe Harris

Farmoor White Wagtail

Adult summer female White Wagtail. The diffuse transition from black to grey on its nape suggest female. This photo was taken on 24/04/12 and ringed as a 1st winter on the 31st August 2010, at The Olympia Shopping Centre, East Kilbride South Lanarkshire.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Port Meadow: 28th April

Port Meadow
35 Black-tailed Godwit
2 Dunlin
Common Sandpiper

Steve Goddard

Ringed Black-necked Grebe - the challenge

One of the Farmoor Res male birds has a large bright metal ring on its right leg. When it preens or dives the ring becomes visible. I am sure that the numerous Photographers might already have or be able to obtain enough of a freeze frame picture to ID the origin of the ring to a national ringing Scheme at the very least. Possibly even get enough of the number/code to ID the actual individual bird/ringing location. This presumably will be the nesting site as I would assume they are mainly ringed as 'pullus' on the nest (cannot imagine many are caught in mist nets!). So is the bird Scottish, Swedish or another ? who knows....

Crepuscular Storks

Met birder in Shifford Lane (Ed.: this was Justin Taylor) on route to site who confirmed Storks present around 19:50. No sign at same site upon my eventual arrival at 20:23. Pit 60 had a couple of families of Greylag goslings and numerous non-breeding Swans. Is this one of the main non-breeding flocks for the county ? Also a swan on nest in what has to be the most exposed site ever, on small island, viewable in front of the eastern hide (beware approach ramp skating rink!).

Hard to Swallow

good numbers of swallow on pit 60 this evening - alas I missed the Storks.

White Storks Newbridge 28th April

White Stork (Standlake - 6pm)

looking as cheesed off with the crappy weather as we are...
cracking find Stuart.

White Stork at Newbridge, 28th April

Stuart Thomson has just found the six White Storks in a field just west of Newbridge, between there and LWV Pit 60 at about SP 395 015. Best viewed from Langley Lane LWV Pit 60.

Still present till 18:36 then flew out of view (RBA)

Apologies, no photographic record of yesterdays Montagu's Harrier at Farmoor hence old school artist's impression with licence.

Balscote 28th April

Dotterel still present this evening at 18:20 (Paul Wren)

2 Whimbrel
1 Wheatear
1 Whinchat
19 Golden Plover
1 Redstart

per Ewan Urquhart

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 28th April

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
Ring Ouzel: male.

Colin Oram

Farmoor 28th April

Still 5 black-neck grebes this afternoon, showing really well on F2 near the car park.  
Channel Wagtail at Farmoor per Simon Bradfield
Also a possible "Eastern form" yellow wagtail this morning per Tom Wickens

Also (per Ewan Urquhart)

Arctic Tern 2
Common Tern 5
Greenland Wheatear 2 stunning males
Yellow Wagtail 3
White Wagtail 10+
Swallow 600+ (one individual with deep rufous underparts suggestive on one of the Middle Eastern races)
Sand Martin 150+
House Martin 50+
Common Swift 150+

   Channel Wagtail (c) Simon Bradfield

Venn Mill: 28th April

Venn Mill
2 Curlew

Mark Merritt

: 28th April

Wantage: Lark Hill
Whimbrel: At reservoir. SU410874.

Wantage: Lark Hill
2 Wheatear: male. SU410874.

Leo Bateman

: 28th April

Westminster College
Ring Ouzel: male. Ring ouzel at Westminster College, Harcourt Hill in Oxford. Seen this morning on the golf course near the first tee. SP48616.

Tim Perkins

Friday, 27 April 2012

Farmoor 27th April

 Grey plover & 9 black-necked grebes this morning (per Dai John)

...and female Montagu's Harrier over the car park at 12:55 (per Ian Lewington)

2 Wheatears on F1,
8 Common Sands,
100+ Swift
3 Dunlin
1 Sanderling
1 Grasshopper Warbler
1 Ringer Plover
4 Whimbrel over

per Dave Lowe, Dave Daniels et al.

Black necked Grebe 9  a single bird & group of 3 on Farmoor 2 and group of five on Farmoor 1
Common Tern 9
Common Shelduck 3
Sanderling 1
Common Swift 50+
House Martin 50+
Swallow 150+
Sand Martin 250+
Yellow Wagtail 7 all males
White Wagtail 13+

per Ewan Urquhart 

Photos (c) Matt Prior

(c) Phil Chapman
(c) Ewan Urquhart

Aston Upthorpe: Juniper Valley: 27th April

Aston Upthorpe: Juniper Valley
2 Curlew: In field to west of valley.
4 Corn Bunting

Mark Merritt

Farmoor 27 April

Black-necked Grebe displaying.

Cholsey 27th April

Cholsey: Cholsey Marsh Nature Reserve
2 Grasshopper Warbler
2 Reed Warbler
Garden Warbler
3 Whitethroat
Common Sandpiper: feeding along riverbank.
Lesser Whitethroat
Water Rail
3 Willow Warbler

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
5 Wheatear

Paul Chandler


It's a bit prosaic compared to the thrilling sightings recently in Oxon but I was happy to see my first Common Swift of the year. Seen from my office on South Parks Road, the Swift was flying high over the University Parks.

Henley Road GPs: 27th April

Henley Road GPs
2 Little Ringed Plover

Sonning Eye GPs

Marek Walford

Balscote Dotterel

The Dotterel is still present today. Yesterdays Whimbrel is also still present and there is now a Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover in the same field.


At 16:15:
Golden Plover 25
L R plover
Yellow Wag
Wheatear 2

Steve Clark

Phone-scoped shot of Whinchat (c) Steve Clark

Otmoor: 27th April

2 Grasshopper Warbler: One carpark field and another by second screen.

Peter Coombes

Grimsbury Reservoir: 27th April

Grimsbury Reservoir
3 Common Sandpiper
5 Swift
2 Whitethroat: m. singing.
5 Willow Warbler: m. singing.
White Wagtail
Lesser Whitethroat: m. singing.

Gareth Blockley

Radley GP: Ash-pit (Plover Pit): 26th April

26th April

Radley GP: Ash-pit (Plover Pit)
2 White Wagtail: ....with about 30 pieds.

Radley GP: Thrupp Lake
Arctic Tern

Radley GP: S
Cetti's Warbler: Singing almost reluctantly from scrub to the South of Lake H/I - not seen.

Mark Merritt

Thursday, 26 April 2012

26 April White Stork

The birds were much higher over Didcot tip and Sutton Courtenay, unfortunately one bird (front bird) has some string around its neck.  

Farmoor 26th April

Moulting adult Sanderling first thing.  
3 1st summer Little Gulls.
1 Black Tern this evening.

Balscote: 26th April

Dotterel: Whimbrel in same field.

John Fordham

26th April: White Storks

One of the six as they flew low over Fulscot Bridge. They carried on heading west over Didcot tip and Sutton Courtenay and were then lost to view.

White Storks, Cholsey Hill

6 White Storks were on Cholsey Hill, flew off over Brightwell, North Moreton, then Didcot. Currently being tracked over Didcot, 17:00!

Seen by the Wickster at 17:15 heading south-west over Drayton towards Swindon.

Cholsey, 26th April

5 Wheatear - Lollingdon Hill
1 Ring Ouzel - Cholsey
3 Yellow Wagtail - Cholsey
6 House Martin - Cholsey SF
2 Sand Martin - Cholsey SF

Otmoor.A.M. 26/4/12.

1 W. F. Goose
1 Common Tern
1 Common Sandpiper
Curlews (calling)
2 L. Whitethroat.

Farmoor 26th April

1s little gull
6 arctic tern
2 common tern
200 Swift
2 common sand
10 white wags
2 yellow wags

Matt Prior
Photo (c) Matt Prior

  Photo (c) Terry Sherlock 
Sanderling 1. 
Terry Sherlock and Dai 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Port Meadow: 25th April

Port Meadow
2 Shelduck
2 Arctic Tern

Sydney Penner

Farmoor 25th April

Arctic Terns present in varying numbers all day, strangely almost exclusively favouring F.1.
2 adult Black Terns.
5 Little Gulls (all 1st summer).
3 Whimbrel.

Grimsbury Reservoir: 25th April

Grimsbury Reservoir
2 Shelduck: pair.
2 Arctic Tern
3 Little Gull: 2 ads, 1 1st yr.
9 Common Tern
2 White Wagtail
2 Wheatear
70 Swallow: 70 +.
7 House Martin

Gareth Blockley

Balscote Dotterel

Dotterel still present at 7 a.m. (per RBA)

Rushey Common & Farmoor

2 black terns (per Keith Clack)

...also a few arctic terns at Farmoor but otherwise very quiet (per Dai John)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Farmoor 24th April

Good Arctic Tern conditions this morning, i.e; cold northerly wind with c 13+ birds on F.1. Still a few this evening plus a first summer Little Gull.

Nic Hallam

Pinkhill and Farmoor this evening,
Barn Owl, Reed Warbler.
5 Common Tern, Little Gull, 3 White Wagtail, 15 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Swift.

Malcolm Royal and Steve Davies.

Monday Millennium Sightings at Balscote

With no OS map of area; Post Code OX15 6JT (from got me to the area. One parallel road showed yellow oil-seed rape through gateway; the second road had a gateway looking down on an old ploughed field with rainwater pools. Obvious small flock of black-breasted plovers (38 being the final total) soon revealed the Dotterel, resplendant with brown bill and forehead. Explained by bird's activly feeding in the sodden clods of soil. This probably explained the flock alighting to wash a couple of times in the pools but other erratic flights around field, for no apparent reason, was less easy to explain. Even loud voices and slamming of car doors (!) from some visiting birders did not correspond. Rain possibly absorbed some of the sound effects and the bird remained on show at all times, but without benefit of good light, let alone sunshine. Yellow Wagtail, displaying Pied Wagtail(s), Skylarks, 4 Lapwing and nearby perched Yellowhammers added further interest to a field that would normally not get a second passing glance. A much needed break from office work
with both Dotterel and Mr Evans ticked for the current millennium.

Linky Down: 24th April

Linky Down
3 Ring Ouzel

Tom Coyne

3 Ring Ouzel (1m 2f) still present to 17:30. Also 1 male Wheatear and 2 Red-legged Partridge

Phil Chapman

24 April Otmoor (pm)


2 Wheatear (in front of hide)

8 species of warbler - sedge, reed, willow, 1 garden and 1 male blackcap (both between the bench on the bridleway and the kissing gate), whitethroat, chiffchaff, 1 lesser whitethroat (between kissing gate and first screen).

: 24th April

Grove: Airfield
Short-eared Owl: SU388902.

Leo Bateman

Balscote Dotterel Still

The Balscote Dotterel is still present this morning for it's third day

 per Dave Daniels

...and still present at 13:55

per Peter Law

...and still at around 4pm

 per RBA


Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 24th April

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
7 Wheatear
Yellow Wagtail: flyover.

Cholsey: Cholsey Marsh Nature Reserve

Shelduck: found by Bob Wyatt.

Paul Chandler

Balscote: Balscote Quarry: 24th April

Balscote: Balscote Quarry
5 Tree Sparrow: around feeders on reserve.
Yellow Wagtail: in Dotterel field near road.

Peter Law

RSPB Otmoor 24th April

The BBS and breeding wader surveys this morning picked up some good birds on Otmoor including:
Bar-tailed godwit (Big Otmoor)
Whimbrel (Greenaways)
Hobby (flew overhead on track between carpark and bird feeders)
3 grasshopper warblers
Short-eared owl
Reed warblers

Joe Harris (Assistant Warden)

Otmoor: 24th April

White-fronted Goose: Ashgrave.
4 Curlew
2 Grasshopper Warbler: One calling close to car park in car park field and another between first and second screen.

Peter Coombes

Sonning: 24th April

Egyptian Goose: White headed bird (presumably female) flew up from grass verge and over the bonnet. Good job the traffic was very slow!.

Robin Dryden

Monday, 23 April 2012

Mandarin Duck

Along with Clackers while species listing for a local farmer we noted a pair of Mandarin Duck in the Burleigh Wood area.

Balscote: Dotterel Still

Dotterel still in the field with golden plovers at 10:30 a.m. More details here

per RBA

...And still present at 15:48

per Lee Evans 

Otmoor: 23rd April

3 Cuckoo: At least three birds on reserve today. Two seen flying together at top of path to first screen. While a third was calling from direction of carpark.
Grasshopper Warbler: Carpark field.

Peter Coombes

Marcham: 23rd April

Grasshopper Warbler: Not present yesterday. SU460969.

Mike Youngman

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Farmoor 22nd April

Whimbrel  along causeway 09:30hrs.

per Terry Sherlock, Dominic Norris and Dai.

Common Sandpiper 3
CommonTern 8
Cuckoo 1 @ Pinkhill
Blackcap 7 singing males
Yellow Wagtail 4m incl tail-less individual
White Wagtail 15+
Common Whitethroat 1m - Lower Whiteley Farm
a few Sand Martin and Swallow present

per Ewan Urquhart

Exhausted sand martin (c) Bill Foley

Nightingale 22nd April

1-2 singing on MOD land in Upper Arncott.

W P Bull

Balscote: 22nd April

Dotterel: Still showing well 17:30 to 18:00, between rain showers.

Gareth Blockley

...and still present at 19:30



22/4/12 Osprey, flew N/W over Shillingford Bridge, following the Thames 3.45p.m.
Geoff Wyatt.

Grimsbury Reservoir: 22nd April

Grimsbury Reservoir
2 Common Sandpiper: (per Clive Payne).

Gareth Blockley

Dotterel Details

Dotterel at Balscote with Golden Plovers. Found by Roger Evans this morning. It is in the field next to the Balscote Quarry Reserve (to the south west). The flock of Golden Plovers was very inactive mid morning and the Dotterel remained out of view for over 45 mins (behind a clump of Dock). It eventually showing well enough around 11:00. When Roger found it this morning it was quite active walking around and feeding, so it may need just the right timing to see it well.

The bird can be viewed from the road at the metal field gate here SP390423 and the flock is at the far end of the field about here SP388425.
The road is quite narrow and the viewing near a bend. Although it is a fairly quiet road please park sensibly to avoid disruption to other people.


I've been asked to add: view only from the road and don't enter either the field or the reserve itself.


Still showing well at 13:28 per the Wickster

Dotterel at Balscote Quarry, Banbury

Dotterel at Balscote Quarry, Banbury. In field next to reserve with golden plovers. View from metal field gate

(per Gareth Blockley)

I think that it's somewhere around here. If anyone has any more details then they would be much appreciated.


Farmoor 21st April

Photos (c) Nigel Forrow

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Friday, 20 April 2012

I'll be away until the 2nd week of May so please forward
all bird news, photos and emails to Adam
at adamchartley "at"  for inclusion on the O.B.L.


Farmoor 19th April

 House Martin

Sand Martin

photos (c) Nigel Forrow

Henley Road GPs: 20th April

Henley Road GPs
Little Ringed Plover
2 Oystercatcher

Marek Walford

Port Meadow: 20th April

Port Meadow
2 Ringed Plover
OTHER SPECIES: Rosy-billed Pochard.
2 Shelduck
2 Wheatear
3 White Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail
Common Sandpiper
3 Sand Martin

Adam Hartley

More at Port Meadow Birding

Otmoor 20th April

2 Lesser Whitethroat Malt Pit
1 Garganey Ashgrave (JH)
Good numbers of:
Sedge warbler
Willow warbler
First lapwings have hatched.

David Wilding

2 Reed Warbler by vols hut along bridleway
2 Grasshopper Warbler in the Car Park Field

Zoe Edwards

Cuckoo (car park field early a.m)

(per Jusin Taylor)

White-fronted Goose
Little Ringed Plover
6 Wheatear: Two birds on roof of hide. four birds in front of hide.
Grasshopper Warbler: One, possibly two birds singing in carpark field. Another singing along path to second screen.

Peter Coombes 

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Not too far from the A40 Eynsham roundabout circa 200 Yellowhammer 1 Little Egret 6 + Skylark 12+ Lapwing and 1 Cuckoo.

Farmoor 19 April

Arctic Tern
Arctic Tern
Common Tern
Common Tern

9 Common Terns 3 Arctic Terns today.

Farmoor 19th April

Blue-headed Wagtail seen briefly twice along the causeway early evening.
Yellow Wagtail 12+
White Wagtail 20+

Tail less Yellow Wag Farmoor

Port Meadow: 19th April

Port Meadow
4 White Wagtail
2 Wheatear
2 Ringed Plover
2 Dunlin
2 Shelduck
Common Tern

Adam Hartley

Otmoor.A.M. 19th April.

1 (m) Garganey (from first screen)
2 Curlew
1 Grasshopper Warbler (car park field)
1 L. Egret

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Farmoor 18th April

Little Gull (1stw)
Common Tern 5
White Wagtail 25
Yellow Wagtail 12
Swift 2

(per Dave Lowe)

Little Gull at Farmoor 16/4 (c) Matt Prior

More from the Res at The Insomniac Birder

Port Meadow: 18th April

Port Meadow
2 Yellow Wagtail
White Wagtail
Little Ringed Plover

Adam Hartley

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Sonning Eye 17th April

Little Gull 2nd summer and 1 Common Tern


Farmoor 17th April

Arctic Tern 5 F1 late morning (per RBA)
Whimbrel over
Redstart (m/f) near Shrike Meadow 14:30

(per Dai)

The Insomniac Birder

Otmoor 17th April

White-fronted Goose on Ashgrave with Greylags
Redstart 2 (m)
Little Owl

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (reported yesterday)

Otmoor Birding

Monday, 16 April 2012

Linky Down: 16th April

6 Ring Ouzel mottled white face individual still present.

Thomas Stevenson

Benson & Ewelme Wildlife

Farmoor 16th April

Ring Ouzel reported near the zig-zag path to the west of F2 at 16:00
Redstart 2 (both male)
Hobby this evening.

(per Dai) The Insomniac Birder

Farmoor Reservoir

(per Steve Goddard)

Little Gull 11 this evening (per Matt Prior) 
Common Tern
Yellow Wagtail 2 along causeway

Little Gull Farmoor 16th April (c) Matt Prior

Private land Radcot area

two pairs Bullfinch twelve Tree Sparrow.