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...

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Farmoor 29th June

Sandwich Tern 2 along causeway at 19:55 (per Dai & Dave Danniells)

Black-tailed Godwit 1
Dunlin 2
Oystercatcher 2
Little Ringed Plover 1

Otmoor 29th June

Glossy Ibis NE corner of The Closes at 17:00
Little Egret 10+
Turtle Dove 2
Cuckoo 2

Full weekend round up on Otmoor Birding tomorrow.

Asthall Leigh Manor 29th June

2 Spotted Flycatcher: SP288110.

Sally Taylor
Otmoor Cuckoos please view at 720p

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Radley GP: 28th June

Radley GP
Common Tern

Peter Law

Otmoor 28th June

1st summer male Marsh Harrier over Ashgrave courtesey of Mark Chivers

    Glossy Ibis Ashgrave and then NE corner of The Closes c14:00
                                 Little Egret 10+
                                 Snipe 8
                                 Marsh Harrier 1st sum male hunting Ashgrave
                                 Cuckoo 2
                                 Turtle Dove 1+

Friday, 27 June 2014

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Port Meadow: 25th June

Port Meadow
2 Green Sandpiper: Calling pair made a couple of circuits over the floods before flying off east.
2 Oystercatcher
Little Ringed Plover
6 Little Egret
6 Grey Heron
40 Lapwing

Adam Hartley

Evening update,
Now a total of 7+ Ringed/Little Ringed Plovers

Sandford-on-Thames: 25th June

Cuckoo: Late caller.

D Moden

Cassington: 25th June

5 Green Sandpiper: 5 on old lagoon at sewage treatment works (private site).

Tim Clark

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bernwood Forest 24th June

Goshawk 1 probable - seen twice soaring over the forest near to M40

Upton House: 24th June

Upton House
4 Spotted Flycatcher: Two pairs seen by a visitor. One pair on the top terrace in the garden, the other pair close to the restaurant.

Graeme Porter

Monday, 23 June 2014

Witney: 23rd June

Spotted Flycatcher

Simon Bradfield
Wigeon Otmoor June

Wantage: Chain Hill: 23rd June

Wantage: Chain Hill
Ring Ouzel: male. Dead in road. Still present at 3:30, now very squashed.

Amanda Brown

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 23rd June

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
Marsh Harrier: fem. Over Greenaways mid morning. A very pale headed bird.
Turtle Dove: Showing well along the bridleway, purring and preening.

John Edwards

Sunday, 22 June 2014

: 22nd June

R. Thames nr Cholsey Marsh
Cuckoo: Heard calling, prob from Cholsey Marsh. SU5985.

Mike Amphlett

Otmoor 22nd June

Glossy Ibis Ashgrave 15:30 at least in dead tree viewed from the hide
Marsh Harrier (f) Ashgrave & The Closes this afternoon
Little Egret 10+
Hobby 3+
Turtle Dove 2+
Cuckoo 3 (1 juv)
Raven 2
Wigeon 2 1st scn

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Port Meadow: 21st June

Port Meadow
10 Lapwing
4 Little Egret

Adam Hartley

Denchworth 21st June

Turtle Dove (m) Denchworth near start of bridleway to West Hanney
Early morning (per RBA).

Chipping Norton: 21st June

Chipping Norton
Raven: SP303252.

Stephen Akers

Otmoor 21st June

Marsh Harrier
Hobby 3+
Oystercatcher 2
Turtle Dove 2+
Cuckoo 2

(per Bark)

Clouded Yellow Butterfly
along the track south from
the hide this afternoon (Badger).

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Port Meadow 18th June

2 Oystercatchers
4 Little Egrets
4 Grey Herons
150 Black-headed Gulls
20 Gadwall

On 17th,
1 Redshank

Radley GP: 18th June

Radley GP

Peter Law
Red Kite Chiltens courtesey of Stephen Collier

: 18th June

River Thames nr Moulsford
Cuckoo: Heard from Waterloo Close - called for 10 mins... possibly 2 birds...?. SU5985.

Mike Amphlett

Monday, 16 June 2014

Lollingdon Hill: 16th June

An unusual movement of Swifts today with 1500+ seen moving north over a period of 4 hours.
Also 100+ House Martin, 1 Hobby and a Quail heard calling from a field to the south west.

More later on the Cholsey Wildlife Blog

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Balscote: Balscote Quarry: 15th June

Balscote: Balscote Quarry
2 Little Ringed Plover

Stephen Akers
Juv Long-tailed Tit Otmoor courtesey of Nick Truby

Chipping Norton: 15th June

Chipping Norton
2 Raven: resident pair. SP303252.

Stephen Akers

Otmoor 15th June am.

Glossy Ibis
Bittern seen in flight twice independently by visiting birders over Big Otmoor and then
landing on Greenaways.
Little Egret c10
Quail (h)
Common Tern x4
Greenshank x3 flew in mid morning probably the same ones from Farmoor (see previous post)
Nuthatch juvenile car park field
Turtle Doves x2


Otmoor Birding

Farmoor 15th June

Courtesey of Andy Last

Greenshank 3 along the causeway c10:00 (per Andy Last & Dai)

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Begbroke: 14th June

Peregrine: circling overhead.
Barn Owl
Little Owl 2

Simon Dowell

Blewbury 14th June

Quail m 2 heard only in the evening nr Blewbury (per Andy Last)

Radley Lakes 14th June

Hobby circling and making attacking dives with hirundines aplenty.
Mute Swan with 5 new cygnets.
Tufted Duck with 7 new ducklings on small pool, due west of NW corner of Thrupp Lake.
Downy Emerald Dragonfly in NW corner. Other dragons included Emperor, 4-spotted, Ruddy, & Black-tailed. Damsels included: Red-eyed, Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Azure.
Great crested Grebe with young at Radley courtesey of Mark Chivers

The White morning to be at Farmoor F1

White-winged Gull !
L.B-backed adult with all black in primaries replaced with pure white.
Also Mallard with body plumage white; remaining feathering as normal. Two unique sights.
Probable Sanderling flew over. (The Wickster).
Feeding Common Terns departing with fish off to the NW.
2 Juvenile B.H. Gulls fledged from breeding raft.
Otherwise many breeding birds in full song around Pink Hill reserve, including Cuckoo, Sedge, Reed, Rebo, Chiff and Blackcap.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 13th June

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
Glossy Ibis: Perched in the dead Oak tree at the edge of Ashgrave c. 10:50 to 11:30. Appeared to come up from and return to Big Otmoor.
9 Little Egret: 9+.
2 Turtle Dove: 2 purring males.

Gareth Blockley

South Leigh: 12th June

South Leigh
Cuckoo: calling throughout evening.

Richard Catling

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Balscote: Balscote Quarry: 12th June

Balscote: Balscote Quarry
11 Curlew: ad & juv. at roost on central island.
2 Little Ringed Plover

Stephen Akers


Spotted Flycatcher.  One of a breeding pair. Undisclosed location.

South Leigh: 11th June

South Leigh
Cuckoo: calling throughout evening.

Richard Catling

Balscote Quarry 12th June

No sign of probable Red-necked Phalarope by 05:07

Little Ringed Plover 2
Curlew 5

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Balscote Quarry Reserve 11th June

Phalarorpe sp (probably RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at this time of year) at dusk from the viewing screen at Balscote Quarry B.O.S (SP391425)

per Mark Ribbons et al

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 11th June

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
2 Turtle Dove

John Gough
Red Kite courtesey of Andy Last

Monday, 9 June 2014

Otmoor.A.M. 9th. June.

1 Glossy Ibis still present at 18:23 in N/E corner of The Closes (per Ian Smith)
3 Turtle Dove
1 Marsh Harrier (F)

Islip: 9th June

Cuckoo (Michael Hunt)

South Leigh
Cuckoo Also calling all over the weekend.

(Richard Catling)
Egyptian Goose Radley courtesey of Mark Chivers

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Watchfield 8th June

Quail (m) singing Watchfield at 4pm
Follow B4508 from Watchfield and take Old Warf Road at 1st crossroads,
then turn right after railway bridge & drive to footpath/lane junction.

(per RBA)

Steventon: Hanney Road: 8th June

Steventon: Hanney Road
Corn Bunting: m.
Grey Partridge

Mark Merritt

Otmoor. Evening.

Reed Warbler.
Snipe.     Drumming.   5.
Marsh Harrier.   f.  over reedbed.    ( Reported.)

Otmoor.A.M.8th June.

1 Glossy Ibis 
3 Common Tern
3 Turtle Dove
2+ Hobby
3 Cuckoo
2 Oystercatcher.

Glossy Ibis courtesey of Stephen Collier

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Friday, 6 June 2014

Balscote: Balscote Quarry: 6th June

10 Curlew: Came in to roost.
Hobby (f) visited twice in 30 mins hunting dragonflies

Mark Ribbons

Otmoor: 6th June

Common Crane still Otmoor RSPB circling 09:00 to 09:40 then drifted south.
Glossy Ibis still this morning from the Hide c09:45

(per Paul Greenaway)
Abingdons leucistic Starling family filmed by Mike Flemming.

See and read Mike's full account of these beautiful birds that
have been visiting his Abingdon garden for several years Here

Harwell Laboratory: Rutherford Laboratory: 6th June

Harwell Laboratory: Rutherford Laboratory
2 Corn Bunting: m. Two males in a territorial dispute.

Mark Merritt

Otmoor.A.M. 6th June.

10+ Mistle Thrush
Flock of C. 60 Lapwing.
Common Tern with one of two chicks (in front).

6th June Central North Oxford

Probably Common Crane flew north over St. Hughs College at around 11:30am

(per Steve Lavington)

Grimsbury Reservoir: 6th June

Grimsbury Reservoir
2 Common Tern: Flew through north then fishing along the canal. Late migrants? Possibly displaced breeding pair from heavy rain?.

Gareth Blockley

Farmoor 6th June

1 Sanderling along the causeway.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Common Terns at Radley
Courtesey of Mark Chivers

Otmoor. 5th June.

Glossy Ibis (Closes)
Common Crane flew over the main hide at Otmoor at 12:30 (per RBA)
Osprey flew over Otmoor RSPB at 15:55 (per RBA)
2 Turtle Dove
2 Curlew (over)
2 Common Tern
1 Oystercatcher.

Common Tern & Grey Heron courtesey of John Reynolds

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 3rd June

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
2 Turtle Dove: male. still purring by the pumping station.

John Barnes

Otmoor.A.M. 3rd June.

1 Sparrow-hawk
8+ Little Egret
2 Raven
2+ Turtle Dove
2+ Cuckoo.
Greylags (mob-handed).

Monday, 2 June 2014

Chipping Norton: 2nd June

Chipping Norton
Raven: west of chipping norton. SP303252.

Stephen Akers

Farmoor June 2nd

Common Scoter 5 (3 on F1 2 on F2)
Still present at 19:45

RSPB Otmoor 2nd June

Glossy Ibis, feeding on the Closes field at 12:00
1 Hobby
2 Oystercatcher


6 Snipe (drumming)
2 Turtle Dove
1 Grey Wagtail (Otmoor Lane).
Cuckoo 2+ (Badger)

(per Paul Greenaway)
Lapwing (juv) courtesey of Paul Greenaway

Farmoor 2nd June

3 Common Scoter on F1 per Dai
still present at 16:22

Sent from my iPhone

: 2nd June

A4130 nr crossroads for Nth Moreton
Corn Bunting: Heard singing, as I drove E past the crossroads. Nice to hear one so close to Didcot; used to be all around when I was a kid! ;-). SU557906.

Mike Amphlett

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Otmoor 1st June

Glossy Ibis still this morning
Marsh Harrier (Stephen Collier)
Turtle Dove 2+
Hobby 2+
Cuckoo 3

Glossy Ibis & Marsh Harrier pictures 
courtesey of Stephen Collier.

Full weekend round-up tomorrow
on Otmoor Birding

Wantage: Chain Hill: 1st June

Wantage: Chain Hill
Probable Short-eared Owl: Large owl sat in the road just into Berkshire. Almost hit it before it flew off into the darkness. I'm about 70% sure it was SEO, perhaps could have been LEO. Are SEO still in the area this time of year??.

Patrick Bryan

May Highlights

Spotted Sandpiper by Andy Last

So we’ve come to the end of May and the start of the summer doldrums. Whilst statistically this month should be the best one for the first half of the year in terms of rarities it had to do pretty well to beat what had been a fantastic April. So, how did it get on? Well, the answer is not too badly at all with a nice list of  headline rare birds accompanied by a good supporting cast. 

The star of the month has to be the rather elusive Spotted Sandpiper that was found at Farmoor on the very windy and rainy 7th. The weather conditions meant that the bird was super skittish and sadly only six county birders managed to see it before it disappeared. Fortunately it was relocated on the 10th though once again it was very elusive and soon disappeared after just three birders saw it. From its pattern of behaviour it was deduced that it was probably roosting overnight at the reservoir and a dawn raid the next morning proved successful, allowing most of the hardcore county listers finally to see it. The only previous records for this species are for 1989 and 1990, both at Farmoor so this was indeed a county Mega. Sadly it didn’t linger much after then and was last seen on the 12th.

Spotted Sandpiper courtesy of Stephen Collier

The next three headline birds sadly were all single observer sightings. The first was a Bee-eater seen by a visiting Hungarian birder on the 24th who was very familiar with this species. He heard it call twice and saw it as it flew low over Big Otmoor. Bee-eater is a real county rarity but despite extensive searching sadly it wasn’t seen again. The second single-observer headline sighting was of a Hoopoe near Witney though sadly (but typically for this species) the news only got out two weeks after it was seen. The third was a gorgeous Roseate Tern photographed at Farmoor on the 29th though that was just a fly-through and not seen again. Roseate Tern too is hard to get in the county: whilst there have been a few records over the last 14 years, these are often only fly-throughs so hard to connect with.

Roseate Tern courtesy of T.S

The next bird was fortunately rather more obliging. On the 12th (the date that the Spotted Sandpiper was refound) a Glossy Ibis was found on Port Meadow that same morning having apparently been at Farmoor earlier the same day. The news was rather slow to get out as it was only reported via e-mail though fortunately the bird stayed for most of the day allowing quite a few people to see it. After that it moved on to Otmoor where it stayed until the end of the month. This species is no longer the great national rarity that it once was though this was only the 5th county record so it’s still a good bird by local standards.

Glossy Ibis on Port Meadow courtesy of Pete Roby

The Spotted Crake obliged by staying put and continued to call near Kennington untill at least the 8th. Another elusive sighting was a White Stork that was seen by just a couple of observers over Otmoor on the 2nd. To round off the headline birds, a Great-white Egret was seen at Otmoor on the 25th and 26th. This is now virtually an annual species, with Otmoor naturally getting most of the records. Still it's always good to get a record of this species in the county.

Great white Egret  courtesy of The Gun-slinger

Best of the rest

30 Arctic Terns were at Farmoor on the 1st of May and 4 present on the 6th with 5 present on the 15th and a single on the 19th with a 1st summer on the 31st. It's been a good month for Little Terns at Farmoor with 2 birds present on the 5th and on the 6th with a single bird on the 11th. A Black Tern was at Farmoor on the 5th with two of these dusky beauties present on the 19th

Little Tern courtesey of Nic Hallam

A Drake Garganey was on Port Meadow from the 1st-6th with two birds present on Otmoor on the 17th with singles seen at the same site sporadically until the end of May

Whimbrel courtesey of Steve Burch

On the wader front single Whimbrel were at Farmoor on the 4th, 15th and the 23rd and at Otmoor on the 17th. A Greenshank was at Balscote Quarry between the 5th-7th with a single bird on Otmoor on the 13th - these two birds constituted the only records all month. The highest count of Dunlin in May was of 25 at Farmoor on the 11th. Sanderling numbered 8 at Farmoor on the 22nd. There were only two records of Wood Sandpiper for the entire month: a bird was at Balscote Quarry on the 6th with a brief second bird on the RSPB Otmoor reserve 16th. Grey Plovers were at Farmoor on the 5th and at Port Meadow on the 27th. An Avocet was a very welcome discovery on Port Meadow on the 14-15th in what has been a poor spring for waders on the floods. Two Little Stint were along the causeway at Farmoor on the 15th. A fantastic near summer plumaged Ruff resided on Otmoor from the 16th-25th.

Avocet courtesy of Gnome

Ruff by Badger

Turtle Doves thankfully arrived back at Otmoor RSPB on the 6th with up to four birds present on the reserve by the month's end. Birds were also noted just to the north at Asham Meads and at Arncott. A Quail was calling on the RSPB reserve on the 14th. A fantastic male Montagu's Harrier flew over Greenaways on Otmoor on the 18th with a female Montagu's Harrier seen just north of Burford briefly a few days later on the 20th. A female Marsh Harrier was seen on Otmoor on the 16th-17th

Turtle Dove courtesy of Martin Chapman

A Redstart was seen at Broughton Park on the 19th and a feral Ross's Goose was seen sporadically at Otmoor over the month

Feral Ross's Goose courtesy of Stephen Collier

Looking Forward to June
June is of course traditionally a very quiet month for birding. However a quick trawl through the RBA Scarce+ records since 2001 reveals that there are a few goodies that one might be on the lookout for. The most likely candidates are going to be “big birds” like Crane, Spoonbill, White Stork and Glossy Ibis etc. but here’s the list that I retrieved: Bee-eater, White Stork, Red-backed Shrike (twice), Honey Buzzard (2), Glossy Ibis, Scops Owl, Common Crane, Purple Heron, Marsh Warbler, Cattle Egret, Black Kite, Spoonbill (2), Corncrake and Hoopoe (2). Note that some of these records were single-observer sightings of birds that didn’t linger and which weren’t necessarily confirmed. Still, at least it gives us a reason to continue searching our respective patches over the coming month.

28th August 1983, One That Got Away
by Paul Chandler

I had cycled over to Dorchester Gravel pits for my regular week end birding; a few days earlier the weather had turned north easterly. I was not expecting much but hoping to get a few migrants as I already had seen five Wheatears in the fields at the back of where I lived. We had good access at Dorchester GP’s those days and there were a lot of Hirundines over the pits that day (i.e. 100+ House Martin, Swallows and a few Swifts) also a couple of Redshank, a Common Sandpiper, a flyover Ringed Plover, a couple of Turtle Dove and a Hobby carrying prey. I reached an area of willow scrub and picked up a large Tit flock of 80+ birds that also contained a Willow Warbler, at least 2 Chiffchaff, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler with them. Then a small bird appeared in the top of a bush around 30 feet away from me that got my attention. I had just got my bins on it (2-3 seconds) when it flew off. I searched for a further one and half hours but did not find it again and the tit flock had also moved on. Although at that point I had not seen one before my immediate thought was a Red-breasted Flycatcher! My notes at the time were of a small plumpish bird, roughly Blue Tit size and warbler like, browny above and pale underparts and the most striking points was the throat and upper breast were a reddish orange and as it flew off I noticed a dark tail with white flashes on either side. As it was the days of no mobile phones there was no way of contacting anyone but when I got home I phoned Tony Williams and he and Brian Shaw went over but did not find anything. Three days later I located a male Red-backed Shrike not 50 foot from where I saw the Flycatcher. I submitted the record to the OOS but it was rejected and I appreciate that it was a single observer sighting with no experience of the species and would have also been a first for the county. However I am still convinced of what I saw and what it was!