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...

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

March Review

Little Ringed Plover at Grimsbury Reservoir, courtesy of John Friendship-Taylor
The unending cycle of bird life and nature

At this uncertain and anxious time for all, birders at first perhaps seemed better placed than some other interest groups to keep calm and carry on. Ours is an activity that allows escape from daily pressures and is not mostly carried out in crowded places. So with the populace being encouraged to prioritise social activity that allowed required distancing, county records continued to generate in this log through three weeks of a very troubled review period.

Being outdoors in nature always has such a significant contribution to make to mental wellness, as every wildlife enthusiast appreciates. But when closed social venues were all shut down on 20th outdoor spaces inevitably came under intense public pressure as fair weather at last arrived. Up until national lock-down being announced three days later the month's highlights were something like this.

When emergency measures to counter Covid-19 began to be rolled out in mid-March, the earliest regular spring migrants were arriving in our county. Chiffchaff, Sand Martin, Northern Wheatear and Little Ringed Plover all featured across various locations county-wide as in any early spring. An early Willow Warbler was reported from Otmoor on 17th and more followed.

Farmoor Knot, courtesy of Roger Wyatt
click on any image to enlarge

Oxon's first Little Ringed Plover of 2020 was logged at Grimsbury Reservoir in Banbury on 14th. Subsequent records came from Port Meadow (19th), then Appleford GPs and the floods at Cote (21st). Other passage waders included small concentrations of regular species on Big Otmoor, the Port Meadow floods and elsewhere. Three Avocet at Appleford GPs on 14th were a little more out of the ordinary. And a fine run of Knot locally over the previous 12 months continued when another dropped in at Farmoor Reservoir on 19th.

Farmoor Rock Pipit, courtesy of Roger Wyatt

Transient Rock Pipit are a regular occurrence at this time of year as they relocate north-westward from British coastal wintering grounds. An individual of the Scandinavian Ssp littoralis lingered at the traditional staging post of Farmoor Reservoir from 13 to 15th.


Video courtesy of Badger

Amongst scarcer species locally the stand out items would this month come down to either a fine Black-throated Diver which arrived at Farmoor Reservoir on 15th but sadly didn't linger, or possibly a Cattle Egret that mingled with the Little Egrets at LWV Pit 60, Standlake between 11 and 13th. The latter, a recent coloniser of the British Isles is becoming more regular in our county as elsewhere.

Common Scoter at Baulking Pit ↑ courtesy of Mark Merritt
and Farmoor Reservoir ↓ courtesy of Roger Wyatt

An unusually large party for Oxfordshire of 10 Common Scoter was encountered briefly at Baulking Pit in the south on 19th. Then two more were observed at Farmoor Reservoir later on the same day during what was a marked national movement.

Kittiwake, courtesy of Luke Marriner

Amongst Gulls the most notable was a Kittiwake at Waterstock on 8th. Caspian Gull continued to be viewed in Port Meadow until 14th, while Yellow-legged Gull were noted both there and at Farmoor Reservoir. Little Gull arrived at Farmoor on 25th when more than eight were viewed from the perimeter fence, that prime county site like others having been closed.

Video courtesy of Badger

Where lingerers were concerned, the winter's two parties of Whooper Swan were reported at Cote in west Oxon up to 16th and near Benson in the south-east to 20th. The wintering drake Garganey at Pit 60 continued to flirt with nearby females of other wildfowl persuasions until presumably becoming less confused on being joined by a suitable match on 21st. Well done him!

Video courtesy of Mick Cunningham

Through the month's last eight days records in this log became limited to sightings from local birders during their daily exercise times. Amongst those more highlights were our first recorded Ring Ouzel in 2020 that was found on the Ridgeway near Chinnor on 25th. A day later two un-ringed Common Crane passed through north Oxon airspace and were photographed near Glympton. Then in the last two days of March a ringed White Stork was encountered in the Little Wittenham / Day's Lock area of south-east Oxfordshire.

Ring Ouzel, courtesy of David Stracey
Common Crane over north Oxon,
courtesy of Peter Milligan
White Stork, courtesy of Alan Dawson

Hopefully normality may resume at least in part sooner than in some of the worst case scenarios we hear. Stay safe and keep well everyone until whenever daily life and the county birding year as we more usually know them might progress.

Peter Law, Badger and Gnome


Given that more and more of our birding opportunities are currently on hold, we thought we would post the follow article by Will Langdon on the dark art of "noc migging", something we can still do from home.

Noctural Migration

In an attempt to cash in on autumn migration and boost the list for my flat's 'garden' (window) in Cowley, I did a bit of nocturnal recording last October, attempting to get migrant birds as they passed by overhead. I've only just gotten round to going over all the recordings, but thought local birders might be interested in the results.

All 7 dates are available here on Trektellen ( for anyone that is, along with the links to xeno canto recordings of the more interesting stuff. Highlights were a low-flying Ring Ouzel and a distant flock of (most likely) Barnacle Geese on the night of the 10th, and a probable Oystercatcher on the 4th, alongside more conventional nocturnal fare like Coot and good numbers of Blackbird, Redwing and Song Thrush. I also had lots of unknowns - available here on Xeno Canto if anyone fancies a go (!

My approach was rather crude, using an audiomoth - a fairly cheap, pre-programmable recorder (, placed in a zip-lock bag on my window sill. While these are cheaper than other nocturnal migration set-ups (better sound recorders with different microphones added on), they sadly aren't very weatherproof, and neither, as it turned out, was the zip-lock bag, and so water damage put paid to my fledgling recording attempts. Furthermore, the microphone isn't directional, and is rather quiet, so I ended up with an awful lot of background urban noise that probably prevented some quieter calls being picked up.

Nevertheless, nocturnal recording was a lot of fun, and clearly something with lots of potential for land-locked, urban birders to enjoy some under-recorded migrants - a scan through the full variety of UK nocturnal recording sites on trektellen ( reveals some very gripping sightings of genuine Oxfordshire rarities passing over inland gardens - Bitterns, Terns, Waders, Hawfinches etc - it could happen to you too!

For those wanting to find out more, the NocMig site is very useful for all aspects of the trade (, the sound approach has some nice blogs on species you're likely to encounter and how to distinguish them (eg., and the wildlife sound recording society is very useful for equipment (

Will Langdon



Help reverse the serious decline in swift numbers. Oxford Swift City Group is recruiting volunteers to survey swift nest sites in Oxford City this summer. Just one hour twice a month during May, June and July. Training will be provided. Contact if interested.


Records for OOS Database

We all know what a fantastic tool this blog is both for disseminating local bird information and as a gallery for some fabulous photos, however, sightings posted directly onto the Oxon Birding Blog do not make it onto the county database. Whilst studying the latter over the last few months I've noticed a number of notable bird records missing yet they appeared on this blog. I'm guessing some folk who are posting relatively full checklists directly onto this blog are assuming their records are automatically loaded onto the database. Unfortunately this is not the case.

The county database holds sightings back to 1995 and around 30,000+ records are added to it each year. Records come from a wide range of sources including OOS, BOS, Going Birding, Birdtrack, TVRC, some BTO schemes and other groups and individuals. This valuable resource is not only the core source for producing reports on birds of Oxfordshire but also provides data to government bodies, councils, developers and environmental consultants to support responses to planning applications and wildlife friendly management decisions.

All your sightings are important so please make them count by ensuring they get onto the database. For non-OOS members by far the easiest way to do this is to submit your sightings via Going Birding. That way they are both uploaded to the database and are filtered onto this blog. You can tell those observers who use this method as their sightings appear as posted by Marek Walford, the founder of Going Birding.

Many thanks.

Ian Lewington (county recorder)

Days Lock nr Little Wittenham 31st March

Courtesy of Paul Edwards.

White Stork (pale blue ring on left leg) on scrape at Days Lock until 11:10 then flew north
(Geoff Wyatt, Paul Edwards).

Yesterday in field next to the Thames, south east of the lock near Wittenham Wood.
(per David Wilkinson)

Courtesy of Paul Edwards.

Cassington GPs: 31st March

Cassington GPs
Pochard: SP460112. 19:15.

Malcolm Teal

Port Meadow: 31st March

5 Bar-tailed Godwit: They flew off north east over Burgess field. SP493084. 09:50.
2 Redshank
2 Shelduck
2 Pintail

Matthew Southwell

Monday, 30 March 2020

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Bicester, 29th March

Raven (over garden)

Lark Hill 29th March

Merlin (m)
Stonechat (pair, male with not a lot of orange below...perhaps some continental genes?)
8 Golden Plover
50+ Linnet
20+ Skylark
c10 Corn Bunting

: 29th March

20 House Martin: at least 20 house martins over my house. SP450070. 12:28.

Paul Butler

Port Meadow: 29th March

Port Meadow
7 Black-tailed Godwit
3 Redshank
2 Shelduck
12 Gadwall
4 Pintail
75 Golden Plover

Adam Hartley

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Carterton: 28th March

2 Raven: Flying NE and honking away. SP276065. 14:19.

Trevor Warne

Banbury 28th March

Peregrine St John's Church this morning (per Colin Wilkinson). 

Radley GP: 28th March

2 Sand Martin
Blackcap: heard in song.
2 Oystercatcher

Ian Elkins

: 28th March

Didcot Lydalls Road
Cormorant: Flew over east to west. SU522904. 06:51.

William Lester

Friday, 27 March 2020

Hinksey Lake & Chilswell Valley March 27th (16:30-18:30)

Swallow - 1
Raven - 2
Egyptian Goose - 1

Sent from my iPhone

Iffley village: 26th March

1 Ring-necked Parakeet flew over Iffley village yesterday lunchtime.

: 27th March

Woodcock: Just flown over garden - Garden first ! SP639170. 19:10.

Colin Oram

Port Meadow: 27th March

Port Meadow
6 Black-tailed Godwit
3 Redshank
3 Oystercatcher
2 Shelduck
350 Golden Plover
2 Pintail

Adam Hartley

Waterstock: River Thame: 27th March

Waterstock: River Thame
Jack Snipe 18:22.
Raven 18:22.

Luke Marriner

Hornton: 27th March

50 Golden Plover: Flock of c50 just flew from south over my house and then circled back south again. SP381455. 12:26.

Mike Prentice

East Challow to the Ridgeway & back: 27th March

Hen Harrier (ringtail)
6 Lapwing
18 Red Kite
35 Skylark
5 Chiffchaff
2 Blackcap
122 Fieldfare
53 Linnet
33 Corn Bunting
21 Yellowhammer
2 Reed Bunting

Blenheim Park 27th March

Mandarin Duck c8 nr the Combe Gate this morning. 
Blackcap 3 singing. 

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Worton: 26th March

2 Pintail: m + f. SP460112. 21:33.

Malcolm Teal

: 26th March

Greenshank: Calling from direction of reedbed. 17:08.

Oystercatcher: Calling N of Beckley. 17:08.


Singing Blackcap on Cholsey Marsh today. Alan Dawson.

Port Meadow: 26th March

Port Meadow
Little Ringed Plover
4 Redshank
5 Black-tailed Godwit
3 Oystercatcher
2 Pintail
4 Shelduck
375 Golden Plover

Adam Hartley

Glympton 26th March

Common Crane 2 (unringed) this morning at Glympton (per Debbie Cowee, Peter Milligan).
Both photos courtesy of Peter Milligan.

Port Meadow: 25th March

Port Meadow
2 Oystercatcher 17:00.
Redshank 17:00.
15 Black-tailed Godwit 17:00.
2 Shelduck 17:00.
Fieldfare: Flying N/NE, calling. 17:00.
2 Pintail 17:00.
4 Chiffchaff 17:00.

Isaac West

Blackcap singing near Thame courtesy of Luke Marriner.

Carterton: 26th March

3 Grey Partridge 06:26.

George Best

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Wantage 25th March

White Stork: SU397895. 15:23.
North of Wantage at Grove at Cane Lane.

Ian Graham

Chinnor: 25th March

Ring Ouzel Male in paddock at Lower Wainhill close to the Ridgeway. SP766009. 11:00.
(per David Stracey)

All photos courtesy of David Stracey.

Port Meadow: 25th March

Port Meadow
15 Black-tailed Godwit
2 Pintail
4 Shelduck
Barn Owl

Adam Hartley

Appleford: Appleford GP: 25th March

Appleford: Appleford GP
4 Little Ringed Plover: 4 across the flooded field between gravel pits and Thames. SU521941. 17:39.
2 Oystercatcher: Usual pair. Very vocal around field and gravel pits. SU521941. 17:39.

Conor MacKenzie

: 25th March

Cornwell Estate
Green Sandpiper: SP283268. 17:00.

Steve Akers

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 23rd March

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
Marsh Harrier: male. 15:37.
3 Oystercatcher 15:37.
Stonechat 15:37.

Otmoor: Rifle Range area
3 Redshank 15:37.

Anthony Cheke

Bicester Wetland Reserve 24 March

3 Green Sandpiper
1 Raven
3 Chiffchaff
25 Teal
14 Gadwall
1 Sparrowhawk slow circling against a perfect blue sky (camera was in the boot of the car!)

Alan Peters
Key Holder Reserve

Blenheim Park 25th March

Great white Egret 
Little Egret 3 
Pintail 2 

Farmoor Reservoir 25th March

Little Gull now 8+ over F2 viewed from perimeter fence 14:10 (per Dai) 
11 reported late afternoon (per RBA)
28 Barnacle Goose 15:27 (per Anthony Cheke)

Grimsbury Reservoir: 25th March

Grimsbury Reservoir
Mandarin Duck: drake.
Little Ringed Plover: male.

Gareth Blockley

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

LWVP reserve closures 24th March

Dear all,
In light of the PM's announcement last night we have taken the decision to close the LWVP bird hides at Standlake Common and Rushy Common Nature Reserves until further notice.
Please do not visit the bird hides. To do so would put yourself and others at risk.
We will continue to monitor government guidance and re-open the bird hides when it is safe to do so. 

Lucy Kennery
Lower Windrush Valley Project Manager

Port Meadow: 24th March

Port Meadow
11 Black-tailed Godwit
2 Oystercatcher
4 Shelduck
2 Pintail
Nuthatch: Calling from Medley Farm area.
220 Golden Plover
Barn Owl:

Adam Hartley, Ollie Padget.

Closure of Farmoor Reservoir & Pinkhill NR

We have taken the difficult decision to close Farmoor Reservoir to the public until further notice. This includes the fisheries and access to the sailing club.
We have done our best to stay open to the public during this period of uncertainty as we recognise the benefit access to nature can have on visitor's wellbeing.
However, in line with the latest government guidance we will now be shutting the site to public access as of today, 24th March 2020 
We will continue to monitor the situation and will endeavour to re-open the site as soon as it is safe to do so.
If you have any questions about the closure, please contact
We thank you for your understanding and look forward to welcoming you all back soon.
Take care and hopefully see you soon 
Kind regards 
Hanna Jenkins
Pinkhill Nature Reserve Warden

Closure of RSPB Otmoor

Following the latest instructions from the Government, we have closed RSPB Otmoor nature reserve to visitors until further notice. All visitor facilities are closed to the public, including the hide and the visitor trail to the reedbed viewing screens.

It is with great sadness that we ask people to refrain from visiting RSPB reserves, but we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Please go to the RSPB website for news, updates and our online shop,

Port Meadow: 24th March

Port Meadow
30 Golden Plover: male and fem. Feeding / resting. 09:25.
2 Shelduck 09:25.
4 Pintail 09:25.

Matthew Southwell

Letcombe Bassett: Gramps Hill: 24th March

Letcombe Bassett: Gramps Hill
Wheatear: m.

Mark Merritt

Oxfordshire Golf Course Thame 23rd March

Black Redstart briefly near the car park yesterday evening but no sign this morning. 

(per Luke Marriner) 

Carterton: 24th March

Corn Bunting: SP274085. 06:15.

George Best

Monday, 23 March 2020

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Cornwell Estate 22nd March

Cornwell Estate
Green Sandpiper: In shallow pools in marsh - very active - on private land but viewable from minor road. SP284273. 16:30.

Cornwell Estate
2 Lapwing: One bird in display flight. SP284273. 16:30.

Cornwell Estate
3 Mute Swan: SP284273. 16:30.

Steve Akers
Treecreeper courtesy of Peter Milligan.

Lockinge: 22nd March

Mandarin Duck: male. Still on the same pool, and showing ridiculously well at times. Mandarin breed locally; it's my understanding that males leave females to "get on with it" once mating has taken place. This male has decided to hang out with a male Mallard. 10:30.

Leo Bateman

Port Meadow: 22nd March

Port Meadow
3 Redshank
4 Oystercatcher
6 Shelduck
Barn Owl

Adam Hartley, Thomas Miller, Ollie Padget et al.
Chaffinch Otmoor rspb courtesy of Christopher Knight.

Cote: 22nd March

2 Little Ringed Plover 08:15.

Simon Cousins

Farmoor Reservoir 22nd March


Sand Martin 10+
Common Goldeneye 20
Gadwall 2

Blackcap 1 singing male

Port Meadow: Wolvercote Common: 22nd March

Port Meadow: Wolvercote Common
Skylark 14:30.
2 Shelduck 14:30.

Matthew Doorly

Thame 22nd March

Peregrine: SP702069. 16:42.

Luke Marriner

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 22nd March

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
Mediterranean Gull: On Big Otmoor. 10:30.

Alex Edgar

Appleford GPs 22nd March

Wheatear along perimeter road
Egyptian Goose 5+
Sand Martin c40

Sonning Eye GPs: 22nd March

Sonning Eye GPs
Pintail: drk. At the triangle. 12:55.

Marek Walford

Bicester Wetlands 22nd March

Willow Warbler (per JFT) 

: 22nd March

Neal's Farm
Brambling: male. SU6882. 07:54.

John Taylor

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 21st March

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
2 Marsh Harrier 17:00.
5 Redshank 17:00.
2 Oystercatcher 17:00.
3 Chiffchaff 17:00.
25 Shoveler: 15 drake, 10 duck. 17:00.
300 Wigeon 17:00.

Steve Akers

Churn Downs, 21st March

Corn Bunting (20+)
Fieldfare (c30)
Stonechat (5)
Yellowhammer (10+)
Meadow Pipit (6)

Old Caley's Diary

Cote: 21st March

Little Ringed Plover 2, on floods

Otmoor: RSPB reserve: 21st March

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
2 Oystercatcher 11:30.
10 Redshank 11:30.
2 Marsh Harrier 11:30.
Barnacle Goose: Feral? 11:30.
2 Pintail 11:30.
Raven 11:30.
Sparrowhawk 11:30.

Isaac West

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill: 21st March

Cholsey: Lollingdon Hill
Wheatear: male. On the hill, then moved south on track to farm. 11:12.
2 Redwing: On the hill, then flew off south. 11:12.

Michael Pocock

Standlake Pit 60: 21st March

2 Garganey: male and fem. Female with the long- staying Male. 11:51.
Redshank 11:51.
100 Pintail: Rough count. All species of duck numbers reduced c50% overall from height of influx a few weeks ago but still plenty and good variety. 11:51 (Mick Cunningham).

Farmoor Reservoir 21st March


Sand Martin 200+
Swallow 1@ 0922

Common Goldeneye 18
Gadwall 6
Common Raven 1
Black headed Gull 800+

Common Chiffchaff 10 singing males
Cetti's Warbler 1m
Grey Wagtail 2

Our feral friends the Snow Geese 103

Appleford: 21st March

White Wagtail: In flooded field at New Workings.
2 Little Ringed Plover: In flooded field at New Workings.
Green Sandpiper: In flooded field at New Workings.
Redshank: In flooded field at New Workings.
12 Sand Martin: Approximate count. Over New Workings.

Ian Elkins

Bicester Wetland Reserve 21st March

1 Green Sandpiper
3 Chiffchaff
45 Teal
8 Gadwall
3 Shoveler

Alan Peters
Key Holder Reserve

Radley GP: 21st March

Radley GP
2 Pintail: Pair on Thrupp Lake briefly. 08:40.

Ian Elkins

Goring: 21st March

Goosander: f. Drifting in Pangbourne direction. 07:03.

Paul Rainsden

Farmoor 21st March

Peregrine: SP450070. 06:43.

Paul Butler

Friday, 20 March 2020

: 20th March

North of Tumbling Bay, right bank of Thames
Probable 6 Little Egret: Feeding in slightly-flooded field. SU504066. 21:35.

David Preston

Baulking Pit: 20th March

Hen Harrier (r/t) over the field to the South
Green Sandpiper
Grey Partridge

Otmoor 20th March

2 Wheatear
5 Ruff
2 Oystercatcher
c100 Golden Plover
Bittern booming
2 Curlew
3 Marsh Harrier

Headington: Warneford Hospital: 20th March

Headington: Warneford Hospital
5 Chiffchaff 15:40.

Isaac West

Shotover: Shotover Lake: 20th March

Shotover: Shotover Lake
Raven: 1+; one doing tumbling display (on its own), another (?) later mobbing buzzard. 17:49.

Anthony Cheke

: 6th March

20 Mandarin Duck: 9 on lake margin, 11 on small ponds, though possibly some duplication.


2 Raven

: 20th March

Appleford new workings
40 Fieldfare: Feeding in fields with starlings. SU946515. 13:09.

Gerry Quinn

Port Meadow: The Perch: 20th March

Port Meadow: The Perch
5 Redshank: Together on the bank opposite Perch. 15:00.

Port Meadow
6 Shelduck 15:00.
Pintail: On floods amongst usual widgeon, teal and shoveller. 15:00.

Andrew Siantonas

Port Meadow: 20th March

Port Meadow
4 Oystercatcher 16:00.
8 Shelduck 16:00.

Peter Law

: 20th March

Appleford new workings
2 Oystercatcher: Viewed from unfenced concrete access rd running north of B4016. SU945517. 13:03.

Gerry Quinn

Lollingdon Hill

3 (m) Wheatear present. PC & AD.

Peregrine Overhead. PC & TW.

Ardington 20th March

Hawfinch over 1505, heard only. Seemed to be heading south

Farmoor Reservoir 20th March


Sand Martin c840 moving generally east over Farmoor 1 in flocks varying in size from 250 to 20
Swallow 1@1220

Common Goldeneye 18
Common Chiffchaff 4+singing males
Grey Wagtail 2

Greater Black-backed Gull 2

Henley-on-Thames: 20th March

8 Egyptian Goose: On Thames close to Henley Bridge. 11:05.

John Kearns

Lockinge: 20th March

Mandarin Duck: male. Same place as Wednesday - pool N of main lake. 12:00.

Leo Bateman

: 20th March

Neal's Shaw
Brambling: m. SU6882. 11:55.

John Taylor

Benson / Shillingford - 20th Mar

2 Whooper Swan still with Mute herd in second field north of McDonald's roundabout by A4074

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Port Meadow: 19th March

Port Meadow
2 Little Ringed Plover
7 Sand Martins
8 Shelduck
500 Golden Plover
1 leucistic Teal

Adam Hartley & Thomas Miller

Otmoor rspb 19th March

Bittern booming
Hen Harrier rt
Dunlin 4
Curlew 3
Oystercatcher 2
Pintail c25
Sand Martin 6

(per Dave Doherty,Steve Roby)

Blenhiem Park 19th March

Great white Egret 
Little Egret 
Sand Martin 3

Standlake Pit 60: 19th March

2 Great White Egret
15 Little Egret
9 Goosander

Farmoor 19th March


Common Scoter 

Baulking Pit: 19th March

10 Common Scoters popped in briefly;
4+ Chiffchaff
Willow Warbler

Dusk addendum:

6 Sand Martin
Grey Partridge


Farmoor Reservoir 19th March

Common Scoter 2 on F2 12:30
Sand Martin several

(per Roger Wyatt)

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Little Milton 18th March

Grimsbury Reservoir 18th March

Wheatear (Male) 17:46 (per John Friendship-Taylor). 

Wheatear, Cholsey

Appleford New Workings 18th March

12 Sand Martin: Hawking over new workings. Possibly more as views obscured. SU515941. 17:21.

Conor MacKenzie

Standlake Pit 60: 18th March

Standlake Pit 60
Garganey: drk. Still present. He seems reluctant to self isolate himself from his wigeon girlfriend. 17:04.

Mick Cunningham

Port Meadow: The Perch: 18th March

18th March

Port Meadow: The Perch
4 Redshank: On river bank opposite Perch. Highest count I have seen this year on Meadow. 14:30.

Port Meadow
8 Shelduck: Together in a water channel well to the north of the main floods. 14:30.
2 Oystercatcher 15:30.

Andrew Siantonas

Lockinge: 18th March

Mandarin Duck: male. On pool north of Lockinge Lake. 12:00.

Leo Bateman

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Frilford: Millet's Farm: 17th March

Frilford: Millet's Farm
2 Lapwing: Pair holding territory at the rear of Millets. 20:26.
5 Chiffchaff: 3 singing males and 2 fly catching. 20:26.
60 Linnet: Approximate number in flock at rear of Millets. 20:26.

Jed Cleeter

Fyfield Wick: 17th March

Fyfield Wick
2 Sand Martin: Flying low North. 09:00.

Jed Cleeter

: 17th March

Henley Road
5 Egyptian Goose: Seen from main road as drove pass A4155. SU759780. 14:32.

Ralph Watts

Shiplake: 17th March

2 Egyptian Goose: In field near lock and birds seen around it. 15:15.

Ralph Watts

Balscote Quarry Reserve 17th March

Swallow briefly this morning (per Mike Curnow). 

Belated report of a Willow Warbler this weekend at Otmoor rspb (per Bark et al). 

Monday, 16 March 2020

Otmoor: 16th March

20 Snipe: Put up by Marsh Harrier. 16:00.
30 Reed Bunting: 16 male; 14 fem. In large group of buntings and finches close by Wetlands Watch Hide. 16:00.
22 Linnet 16:00.
2 Chiffchaff: H/O two calling from undergrowth near to car park. 16:00.

Steve Akers

Otmoor: 16th March

Hen Harrier: Ringtail. 16:00.
2 Marsh Harrier 16:00.
Peregrine 16:00.
Barn Owl 16:00.
Little Egret 16:00.
Probable 6 Ruff 16:00.
300 Golden Plover 16:00.
2 Oystercatcher 16:00.
5 Redshank 16:00.

Steve Akers

Chimney: 16th March

5 Whooper Swan: Five Whooper Swans, in company of several Mute Swans, still present in flooded field beside road between Cote and Chimney. 11:00.

Simon Cousins

Otmoor: 16th March (pm)

Juvenile Peregrine

Farmoor 16 March

Barn Owl

Common Gull

Otmoor 16th March

Marsh Harrier 3
Oystercatcher 3
Golden Plover 450
Curlew 6
Ruff 2
Snipe 45
Redshank 12
Cetti's Warbler 6

(per Peter Alfrey)

Non-Stop Birding

Letcombe Bassett 16th March

Wheatear Letcombe Bassett (per RBA) 

Shillingford 16th March

Whooper Swan 2 (both adults) still 2/3ml NW
of Mcdonalds in field by A4074 09:30 (per RBA) 

Port Meadow: Godstow: 16th March

Port Meadow: Godstow
Goosander: fem. On river just below lock. 15:00.

Port Meadow: The Perch
3 Redshank: On river bank opposite the Perch. 15:00.

Port Meadow
8 Shelduck 15:00.
2 Pintail: On floods along with large number of widgeon and smaller numbers of shoveller and teal. 15:00.

Andrew Siantonas

Bicester Wetland Reserve Monday 16th

Part of 76 Teal this morning

Alan Peters
Key Holder Reserve

Farmoor Reservoir 16th March

Common Goldeneye 22 (7 males)
Barn Owl 1

: 16th March

Egyptian Goose: One of a pair seen regularly here, possibly the same birds seen a little downstream at Chiselhampton. SP602013. 16:23.

Stephen Lockey

Sonning Common: 16th March

Sonning Common
2 Mandarin Duck: pair. Flew over Crowsley Park. 14:43.

Hugh Netley

Pit 60 Standlake 16th March

Garganey drake still present 11:19 from North Shore hide (per Jim Hutchins) 

Key holder reserve. 

: 15th March

Cornwell estate
3 Mandarin Duck: 2 drake; 1 duck. First heard their plaintive call as they circled but didn't settle. SP283268. 16:30.

Cornwell estate
Sparrowhawk: male. SP283268. 16:30.

Steve Akers

Churchill Grounds Farm
Barn Owl: SP283257. 16:00.

Churchill Grounds Farm
Chiffchaff: First of the year.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Oxford: Merton College: 15th March

Oxford: Merton College
Black Redstart 16:00.

Ton Yeh

Headington: Warneford Hospital: 14th March

Headington: Warneford Hospital
2 Chiffchaff 17:00.

Isaac West

Port Meadow: 15th March

Port Meadow
4 Shelduck

Adam Hartley

Cote: 15th March

5 Whooper Swan: 5 adults still in fields adjacent to minor road to chimney. 15:17.

Mick Cunningham

Farmoor Reservoir 15th March

Black-throated Diver off S/E Bank of F2 13:30 in heavy rain then flew off strongly north.

Barn Owl over F1 being mobbed by Yellow-legged Gull
Chiffchaff 3
Rock Pipit

Standlake Pit 60: 15th March

Standlake Pit 60
Garganey: drk. Still in a strange menage a trois with a wigeon pair. The 3 flew around the pit twice separately from other wild fowl. 13:38.
Great White Egret: The 'winter's plumaged one. I noticed that when this bird arrived yesterday it was pretty aggressive towards the 'sum plum' individual already present. 13:38.

Mick Cunningham

Sarsgrove: 15th March

Raven: Flying over quite low. Cronking loudly. 11:30.
Sparrowhawk: m. Perched on post at field edge. Looking very bedraggled in the rain. 11:30.
Red Kite 11:30.
40 Fieldfare 11:30.

Steve Akers

New Marston: New Marston Meadows: 14th March

New Marston: New Marston Meadows
3 Ring-necked Parakeet: 2m 1f.
18 Snipe
2 Goosander: 1m1f. Near Magdalen Fellows' Garden.
65 Teal: Wigeon absent for first time this spring.

Tom Evans

New Marston: New Marston Meadows: 15th March

New Marston: New Marston Meadows
Blackcap: male. FOY. Not in song.
Little Owl

Tom Evans

New Marston: New Marston Meadows: 15th March

New Marston: New Marston Meadows
6 Chiffchaff: None yesterday, suggesting an arrival overnight.
80 Redwing

Tom Evans

: 15th March

Neal's Shaw
Brambling: male. First of 2020. SU6882. 08:09.

John Taylor

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Blenheim: 14th March

Peregrine: male. Flying low past the column and down towards the lake.
2 Shelduck
17 Grey Heron: At least 17 active nests on the island.

Bob Pomfret

Port Meadow: 14th March

Port Meadow
Caspian Gull: 1w.
Yellow-legged Gull: 2w.
8 Shelduck
2 Oystercatcher
2 Goosander
3 Gadwall
5 White-fronted Goose: The usual feral flock including Bar-headed hybrids.

Adam Hartley

Standlake Pit 60: 14th March

Standlake Pit 60
2 Great White Egret: 2. No sign of cattle Egret to dusk. One GWE attaining summer plumage, darkish bill and quite deep rose pink tibia. 19:08.

Mick Cunningham

Farmoor Res 14th March


Common Goldeneye 15
Gadwall 1m

'Scandinavian' Rock Pipit 1
Grey Wagtail 2

Barn Owl 1
Sparrowhawk 1m hunting wagtails on the causeway

Oxford: Merton College: 14th March

Oxford: Merton College
Black Redstart: female-type brief but clear views through bins. 12:25.
Mistle Thrush

Ton Yeh

Standlake Pit 60: 14th March

Standlake Pit 60
Black-tailed Godwit: Flushed from behind south shore reeds by marsh harrier, along with all the ducks. Otherwise I'd have missed it! Flown off high west. No sign cattle egret. Anyone tried/ trying the dix Egret roost? 16:58.

Mick Cunningham

Henley Road GPs: 14th March

Henley Road GPs
Raven: Flew over calling and briefly landed in trees near the hide. 16:07.

Marek Walford

Appleford: Hill Farm: 14th March

Appleford: Hill Farm
3 Avocet: Swimming on gravel pit. 15:44.

Andrew Seal

No further sign by 16:45 or on the New Workings by 17:30.

Barn Owl

(Lew, Badger)

: 14th March

Mansmoor Lane Charlton on Otmoor
Mandarin Duck: SP557171. 15:34.

Mansmoor Lane Charlton on Otmoor
Oystercatcher: SP557171. 15:34.

Mansmoor Lane Charlton on Otmoor
Barn Owl: SP557171. 15:34.

Barry Batchelor

Sonning Eye GPs: 14th March

Sonning Eye GPs
Oystercatcher: Flew over the triangle, calling. 15:16.

Marek Walford

Appleford New Workings 14th March

Avocet 3 on new Lake adjacent to the river 12:29 then flushed with no further sign by 13:44.Take single track road north off of the B4016 to view Lake on right.

Green Sandpiper
Oystercatcher 2
Wigeon c60
Shoveler c40
Teal c25
Stonechat 2

Pit 60 Standlake 14th March

Garganey (drake) from North Shore hide.
Marsh Harrier
Great White Egret 

(per Mick Cunningham)

No sign of the Cattle Egret from the Shifford footpath or from the North Shore hide by 11:23.

Key holder reserve.

Grimsbury Reservoir 14th March

Courtesy of JFT.

Little Ringed Plover (m) 07:49 (per John Friendship-Taylor) 

Friday, 13 March 2020

Fyfield Wick: 13th March

Fyfield Wick
Barn Owl: Crossed road heading NW adjacent to A415. 06:50.

Jed Cleeter

Farmoor 13th March

Rock Pipit (littoralis)

Port Meadow: Godstow: 13th March

13th March

Port Meadow: Godstow
2 Goosander: 1 male, 1 fem. On the river. 14:30.

Port Meadow: The Perch
2 Redshank: On river bank opposite the Perch. 14:45.

Port Meadow
8 Shelduck: On muddy fringes just to north of the floods. 15:00.
2 Oystercatcher 15:00.

Andrew Siantonas

Bicester Wetland Reserve Friday 13th March

4 Green Sandpiper
5 Snipe
75 Teal
11 Gadwall
7 Shoveler
6 Tufted Duck

Alan Peters
Key Holder Reserve

Farmoor Reservoir 13th March

Courtesy of Dave Murphy.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit (littoralis) along causeway 11:56 (per Ewan Urquhart).

Pit 60 Standlake 13th March

CATTLE EGRET from North Shore hide 10:27
Garganey drk

(per Jon Uren) 

Key holder reserve. 

Standlake 13th March

Standlake village
Little Egret: On river at back of house. SP403032. 09:39.

Standlake village
2 Raven: Cronking over house. SP403032. 09:39.

Standlake village
2 Red Kite: Pair mating within 5 minute walk of house. What with little egret and ravens too, how times have changed. Also chiffchaff singing. SP403032. 09:39.

Mick Cunningham

Bucknell: 12th March

Peregrine: Over M40. 13:00.

Leo Bateman

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Port Meadow: Burgess Field Nature Park: 12th March

Port Meadow: Burgess Field Nature Park
Barn Owl: Barn owl seen hunting at dusk. Northern area of Burgess field. Seen previously on Tuesday at around the same time. 17:50.

Elizabeth Stroud

Pit 60 Standlake 12th March

CATTLE EGRET still present and viewable from North Shore hide 14:35
(Per Ian Smith,Thomas Miller, Dave Doherty).

Great White Egret (I.S)
Garganey drake still present 12:49 (T.M)
Sand Martin over Pit 27 (D.D)

Key holder reserve.

Shifford 12th March

Great white Egret 2 S/W of St Mary's Church by River Thames (per RBA). 

Cote 12th March

Whooper Swans 5 (all adults) still present in field adjacent to the minor road between Cote and Chimney (per RBA). 

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Chislehampton: 11th March

Egyptian Goose: 1 on River Thame floodplain. SU596992. 10:30.

David Stracey

Pit 60 Standlake 11th March

CATTLE EGRET found late afternoon by Tony Edwards and still present at dusk with Little Egrets.
Follow the Shifford Lane footpath past the turning for the North Shore hide, to view grass on left, between the back of the reedbed and the hedge. 

Great White Egret 1+
Little Egret 15+
Egyptian Goose 2 
Water Rail 

Cote 11th March

Whooper Swans still present in field adjacent to the minor road between Cote and Chimney 
(per Tony Edwards). 

Farmoor Reservoir 11th March 2020


Peregrine 1

Common Goldeneye 10
Aythya hybrid 1 female - prob Tufted Duck x Common Pochard

Dunlin 2  possibly two races as one smaller than the other

Chiffchaff 1 singing
Marsh Tit 1
Treecreeper 1

feral flocks of
Barnacle Geese 26
Snow Geese 95

Dunlin courtesy of Dave Murphy.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

: 10th March

Green Sandpiper: Present again feeding at margins of flood in low lying field. SP283263. 17:45.

Barn Owl: Hunting over the marsh and along hedges - swooped down and settled close - huge size of head to rest of body very apparent at such close quarters. Wonderful. SP283263. 17:45.

3 Mute Swan: SP283263. 17:45.

Steve Akers

Bicester Wetland Reserve: 10th March

Bicester Wetland Reserve
4 Green Sandpiper 17:40.

John Friendship-Taylor

Benson 10th March

Whooper Swan 2 still in field by A4074 2/3ml north of Mcdonalds 11:00 (per RBA). 

Monday, 9 March 2020

Pit 60 Standlake 9th March

Garganey (drake) from the North Shore Hide 16:50.

Langley Lane hide now accessible with Wellingtons. 

Cote 9th March

Whooper Swan 5 in field adjacent to the minor road between Cote & Chimney 14:54.