Belated news of a black redstart, fem/1st winter type, on the Radcliffe camera at 11am. Quite active, fly catching and moving around the dome, excellent views from University Church of St Mary's tower.
Standlake Pit 60
3 Great White Egret: Afternoon visit 1 45pm 4 25pm. 1 GWE on pit 27. 2 more on southern shore pit 60. 16:01.
29 Pintail 16:01.
347 Wigeon 16:01.
174 Teal: Undoubted under count as many in reeds too. 16:01.
11 Goosander: Late on. 16:01.
10 Goldeneye 16:01.
32 Pochard: High number for here I think. Had 54 recently. 16:01.
Chiffchaff: Shifford lane. 16:01.
Otmoor 2 Woodcock: Over Moorleys at dusk. 2 Marsh Harrier: male and fem. 3 Cetti's Warbler: At least three separate individuals heard in song. Barn Owl: Fresh pellet at the second screen. 62 Pied Wagtail: In flooded field opposite second screen. 2 Stonechat: male and fem. At second screen.
The Shelducks at Cote today. There was 6. Flew off west at 3. 15 pm when thye, gulls, lapwings and geese spooked by something unseen. The floodwaters here are receding rapidly but still quite good numbers of gulls.
Smew f imm. Red head smew pit 27 from shifford lane currently (MC) Still present at 15:45 - closest bird but still quite distant (per Jim Hutchins)
Walk down Shifford Lane/footpath,
Just before footbridge where you turn
left for the Pit 60 North hide, look over
metal gate to pit on right.
Port Meadow 160 Barnacle Goose: In 2 groups. Larger group of about 140 grazing beyond northern edge of floods towards Wolvercote. Other smaller group on small island of higher ground towards river. As I watched larger group, they took off as one and landed on water of the floods nearby. 15:15.
We would like to wish a very Happy Christmas and bird filled 2020 to all our authors, contributors, viewers, and those whose continued support has seen Oxonbirding flourish to what will become its tenth anniversary year. Cheers Adam, Badger, Peter Law.
Twas a cold and godless night that found us commencing the quest.
Through flooded and darkened realms we sought out the Quizmaster,
An incarnation of classics, never sinister always right.
Silver was exchanged in return for a plethora of fiendish trickery and cryptic conundrums. Good luck... We shall reveal the answers cometh the New Year. Unidentified Flying Objects 1. Which bird has a white neck patch, a white throat, a long bill and red legs 2. What is found on Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler but not on Mallard and Gadwall 3. Which bird’s song has this distinctive ending – tuck tuck-zick-zik-zkzkzrrississss 4. What ID feature links Wood Sandpiper, Wilson’s Petrel, Common Guillemot and Little Egret 5. Name these birds - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I - - Location, Location, Location 6. Where in the county can you find Peregrine, Merlin, Osprey and Kestrel in close proximity 7. Where do larophiles stay when they visit Farmoor 8. Where is the best site in Oxfordshire for Golden Pheasant 9. Where can you see Choughs in central Oxford Cryptic Plumage 10. Britain’s first walking bird (9) 11. Messy green boots required to see this bird (5,5) 12. Bird starring in ‘Elvis is King’ (6) 13. Aquatic animal led back outside for this bird (8)
Dodgy Connections 14. What is the connection between Finch, Sparrow, Starling and Hawk 15. What do Siskin, Cuckoo, Woodcock and Snipe have in common 16. What theme connects Grey Partridge, Pintail, Green Woodpecker and Redshank 17. What links a bird of prey and a table-top game 18. Which bird is associated with the city/towns of Bristol, Cheltenham and Swindon
Stuff and Nonsense 19. If still alive, which 2019 visitor to Oxfordshire might return in 2069 20. What is the UK’s commonest breeding bird 21. Which two British bird names contain only five vowels but have one each of a,e,i,o,u 22. Which of these is not a ‘slang’ term for a British bird – Masher, Thug, Oyk, Gypo, Prune 23. Which British bird has the longest scientific name 24. Which is the odd one out – Coil, Spring, Watch, Clock, Chime 25. Which is the only true ‘seagull’ 26. Which bird was lost as a regular breeding bird in Oxfordshire in 1967 27. Name two birds that Edward Spooner (the famous Oxford don) was told NOT to mention 28. In Scrabble which British bird would score the most points using only the 7 letters on your rack 29. Which UK bird population crashed from 4,400 individuals to only 40 between 2005 and 2012 30. In total how many birds are mentioned in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’
Great Rollright Peregrine: juv. Hunting over escarpment to the N of Great Rollright on Oxon/Warks border - swooped down to try to take Wood Pidgeon over Long Copse. SP317324. 12:30. 2 Raven: SP317324. 12:30. 40 Redwing: SP317324. 12:30. 2 Mistle Thrush: SP317324. 12:30. Great Spotted Woodpecker: H/O. SP317324. 12:30. Pied Wagtail: SP317324. 12:30.
Over recent years, the Otmoor car park has been at its busiest during the Christmas and, particularly the New Year period. Afternoons and the time around the starling murmuration have been particularly hectic with significant increases in visitor numbers.
If possible, please avoid using the car park during this time as the increase in traffic causes damage to the road verges and car park edges and we find that gates onto the reserve get blocked meaning emergency vehicle access is impossible.
Many thanks for your co-operation and patience in this matter during what is a very difficult time for the reserve.
Port Meadow 3 Shelduck: On the floods along with usual large numbers of wigeon, teal and shoveller. 15:00. 120 Barnacle Goose: Large flock grazing just north of floods along with usual canada and barnacle geese. 15:00.
Port Meadow: The Perch Redshank: On narrow strip of river bank opposite the Perch. 15:30.
Port Meadow: Godstow 5 Goosander: 3 male, 2 fem. Together on river a little below Godstow lock. 15:30.
09:15 - Peregrine back on Magdalen Tower with prey. This seems a typical routine for the winter months: hunt early in the morning, bring prey back to tower and eat by ~10am. Bits and pieces of the meals can be found on the sidewalk below the tower. While these are often pigeons, woodcock feathers were found on 19 Nov, and the remains of a male teal on 31 Jan.
Cote 1453 Lapwing: In flooded fields with 996 lesser- black backed gulls 14 herring 20 yellow legged gulls C2k black headed gulls Only 8 common gulls No gull species had many young birds. 6 Egyptian geese 4 wigeon. 14:37.
Standlake Pit 60 383 Teal: Probably an under count as all ducks flushed by low flying kite. Teal influx as water drops. 13:07. 39 Pintail: Many female/eclipse/juv. 13:07. 39 Wigeon: Reduced. 13:07. 7 Shoveler 13:07. 8 Goldeneye 13:07.