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 28th ROSE-COLOURED STARLING East Challow...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, 28 February 2011

GoingBirding: 28th February

Oxey Mead
2 Oystercatcher: SP482108.

Steve Goddard

GoingBirding: 28th February

Abingdon: Wootton Road

30 Waxwing: 30-40 Waxwings in Tree Top just inside John Mason School grounds. (didn't have time to make exact count, sorry).

Julian Mole

GoingBirding: 28th February

Iceland Gull: 1w. Loafing in the field opposite the level crossing North of the B4016.

Adam Hartley

The iceland gull taken earlier on the Spit Pit (c) B.B.

Rufous Turtle Dove 28th Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (form orientalis) still at 41 The Leys
9.20a.m. No further access today. No parking at The Leys.
Please keep away from no:39 & 54.
Access tomorrow, Thursday & Friday 07:30-09.30 only.
And 07.30 on Saturday.
No access Wednesday.
(per R.B.A)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Port Meadow 27th February: Brent Goose

"There was a dark-bellied brent goose on the Thames about 200 metres north of the floods at 10 a.m. this morning"
(per Andrew Callender via e-mail)

Radley Lakes Sun 27th Feb

2 Green sandpiper
1 Redshank
102 Lapwing
2 Snipe
17 Cormorant
60 Gadwall
1 GBB gull
5 Pochard
14 Shoveler
20 Teal
50 Tufted duck

GoingBirding: 27th February

Blenheim: Palace Garden
5 Hawfinch: SP445157.

Graham Lenton

Otmoor 27th Feb

Merlin (f) Greenaways
400+Golden Plover
c7 Curlew

Rushy Common 27th Feb

American Wigeon (dk) Rushy Common still, along bridleway on 2nd pool on right A.M.
(per R.B.A)

Rufous Turtle Dove 27th Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (form orientalis) still 1.19pm in tree behind #50 The Leys.
Keep away from #39 & 54 No parking at The Leys.
(per R.B.A)

Blenheim, 27th February

Hawfinch 18, palace garden

Saturday, 26 February 2011

GoingBirding: 26th February

Port Meadow
33 Dunlin
Little Egret
8 Goosander

Adam Hartley

Otmoor 26th Feb

Bittern (1 possibly 2) seen today on Greenaways and from the 1st screen.
30 Dunlin
2 Redshank

Complete weekend round up at the superb....

Ardley Field Quarry 26th Feb

Glaucous Gull (2ndw) loafing in sheep field adjacent to the Ardley Field Quarry Nature Reserve at 11a.m then flew towards the tip. Possibly the Port Meadow & Farmoor bird.

Rushy Common 26th February

American Wigeon Rushy Common a.m
then '200yds along bridleway on pool on the right'
(per R.B.A)
+ Caspian Gull on pool from metal gate briefly 12:15p.m
2 Smew (redheads) still.
2 Oystercatchers
Green Sand

photos (c) Lew

Sutton Courtenay Landfill 26th Feb

2nd w Caspian Gull Sutton Courtenay Landfill 16:20

Waxwings 26th Feb

3 Waxwings Oxford along Oxpens Road at 16:30
(per Wayne Bull)

GoingBirding: 26th February

Abingdon: Peep-o-Day Lane

Green Sandpiper: seen near Drayton to Sutton Courtenay road.

Dave Godfrey

Standlake, 26th Feb

Smew 4 redheads pit 60
Goosander 6 pit 27, 1 pit 28, 2 pit 60. All redheads
Little Egret 2
Oystercatcher 1, pit 38
Marsh Tit 1
Teal 50
Wigeon 105

Appleford, 26th Feb

Iceland Gull - 1 juv, still present in field N of B4016 from 10.40 to 11.15 at least

Stonesfield Common

Hawfinch 1 (maybe 2)in main clump at the bottom of
slope halfway along common.Calling today.
Raven 2
Reed Bunting 2 male
Marsh Tit
Linnet 3
Bullfinch 4
Brambling,at least 8 in garden this pm

Rufous Turtle Dove 26th Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (form orientalis) till 8:10a.m in the garden of 41
TheLeys then flew towards no 33.
Keep away from No 54 and No parking at The Leys.
(per R.B.A)

Friday, 25 February 2011

Milcombe Mealy 25th February

Mealy Redpoll still present at feeders with 12 lesser + 2 yellowhammer, 1 reed bunting. SP409348.

Richard Hazel

GoingBirding: 25th February

Port Meadow
18 Dunlin

Sydney Penner

Waxwings 25th February

10+Waxwings Oxford, Christ Church Meadows this p.m
(per Phil Barnett)

Ravens 25th February

2 Ravens flying over Shilton south of Burford and a Red Kite near Fifield north of Burford

Iceland gulls 25th

The regular Appleford bird still in the field. Viewed 12:00 to 12:30 mostly roosting but preening occasionally.

The Ardley Field Quarry bird still this morning too (per Mike Lewis, Banburybirds).

On Spit pit Appleford, 10:00 to 12:00, numbers of Large white headed gulls ranged from c.80 to c.320. The majority were Lesser black-backed and there was max 4 Great Black-backed and 12 Herring Gull (with one probable argentatus). Smaller gulls numbered 1 Common and c.45 Black headed.

Iceland Gull 24th Feb

The 1st winter Iceland Gull in the loafing field at Appleford.

Otmoor A.M. 25th February.

6 red kites
4 buzzard
3 little egret
40+ pintail
8+ dunlin
2 peregrine m/f
1 kestrel

Rushy Common 25th Feb

2 Smew (both redheads) still this afternoon.

GoingBirding: 25th February

Headington: Bury Knowle Park
Peregrine: Churchill Hospital.

Gavin Paterson

Rufous Turtle Dove 25th Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (forn orientalis) still present in the garden of
#41 The Leys this morning (per B.B)
No parking at The Leys.

-Still 10:10a.m in back garden of 41 The Leys.
(access from 07:30a.m tomorrow).

GoingBirding: 25th February

Otmoor: RSPB reserve
450 Golden Plover
13 Dunlin
45 Pintail
3 Little Egret

Gavin Paterson

Oriental Turtle Dove access

A view from Steve's kitchen window.

Steve Akers will again be welcoming birders into his house at 41 the Leys, Chipping Norton today (Friday) and tomorrow. As usual entry will be £5 with all funds raised going to Birdlife Malta. As of yesterday the total stood at £1200. He will be closed for service on Sunday but of course birders are free to respectfully view gardens from the road.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

GoingBirding: 24th February

14 Corn Bunting: flyovers.
6 Grey Partridge: 3 pairs.

Paul Chandler

GoingBirding: 24th February

Chipping Norton
Brambling: At the leys.

Ralph Watts

Iceland Gull Ardley 24th Feb

A 1st winter Iceland Gull at Ardley Field Quarry this afternoon, watched for
almost an hour, resting, preening and wing stretching. With about 500 other
gulls mostly Lesser B-b and some Herring and Black-h.Milky-tea white, pure white
primaries.Grid Ref for Ardley field quarry SP 544256 I think this is only the
second BOS record
(per Alan Peters Banburybirds)

GoingBirding: 24th February

Port Meadow

32 Dunlin

Richard Foster

Farmoor 24th February

2 Adult Mediterranean Gulls F.1
Female Scaup still present on F.1
Peregrine over Shrike Meadow

Otmoor P.M. 24th February.

400+ lapwing
400+ golden plover
2 buzzard
2 red kite
6 dunlin
1 curlew
1 sparrowhawk
3 skylark
1 little egret
1 little grebe
1 g c grebe
6 bewick swans still there at 3.15 pm

Bewick's on Otmoor 24th Feb

6 Bewick's Swan on Otmoor on Ashgrave 13:23p.m
(per Paul Greenaway)

Radley Gravel Pits/Lakes 24th Feb

Mallard,Tufted Duck,
2 Pochard
4 Shoveler
40+ Teal
60+ Gadwall
2 Buzzard
2 Red Kite
100+ Lapwing
2 Green Sandpiper
200+ B H Gull
7 Common Gull
100+ L B B Gull
2 G B B Gull
10 Herring Gull
2 Stock Dove
8 Skylark
1 Treecreeper
2 Siskin
2 Bullfinch

GoingBirding: 24th February

Oxford: Walton Well Road
44 Waxwing: Very mobile.

Mari Esashi

Appleford 24th Feb

Iceland Gull (1stw) still,loafing in field near the level crossing
to the south of Appleford.

Rushy Common 24th Feb

American Wigeon (dk) again this morning.
Med Gull (1stw)
Yellow-legged Gull
2 Smew (both redheads)

Rushy Common is off of the minor road between Stanton Harcourt and Cogges.
There is currently No public access to the newly created nature reserve, but most of the lake can be viewed from the roadside verge.

Shotover A.M. 24th February.

4 mistle thrush
4 song thrush
3 g. s. woodpecker
2 green woodpecker
3 treecreeper
2 jays
10 l t tits
1 kite
2 buzzard

Rufous Turtle Dove 24th Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (form orientalis) SW of The Leys in tree viewed
south access track to ISIS Fluid Control at 09:06a.m.
No parking at The Leys.
(per R.B.A)

-Still 10:50a.m viewable from the back garden of #33 The Leys though elusive.
No parking at The Leys.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

GoingBirding: 23rd February

Port Meadow
8 Ruff

Sydney Penner

GoingBirding: 23rd February

Rushey Common

2 Smew (rh) SP3807.

John Hillsdon

GoingBirding: 23rd February

Port Meadow
18 Dunlin

Richard Foster

Rufous Turtle Dove 23rd Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (form orientalis) still Chipping Norton
SW of The Leys in tree viewed south from access track to ISIS
Fluid Control at 10.27a.m.
(per R.B.A)
No parking at The Leys.
No access to 41 today.

-Still present this afternoon although mobile.

Farmoor 23rd February

Goldeneye 24

Scaup 1 (f)

Oystercatcher 1

Waxwings 23rd Feb

20+ Waxwings Abingdon feeding on berries outside 106 Saxton Road 08:00a.m.
More could be heard.
(per The Wickster)
11 Waxwings west over the University Parks (Office window tick!) at 14:42
(per Steve Bell)
38 Waxwing Headington Churchill Hospital near car park 3.
(per Gavin Paterson)
13 Waxwings Rutherway Jericho Oxford
SP503074 (per Sydney Penner)
Waxwings - about 15 feeding outside reception of Oxford and Cherwell Valley
College - feeding on berry tree outside furniture centre (opposite reception) at
about 2pm today. Very good views.(per Chris Hyde Oxonbirds)
100 Waxwing Birds seen during the morning flying between Gainsborough Green
and Saxton Road. (per Dave Godfrey)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Rufous Turtle Dove access this week.

No access to no.41 tomorrow or Thursday
(but fine for people to come and look round the local area).
Access to no.41 on Friday
*Possibly* access to no.41 on Saturday
*No access at all to the Leys if possible* on Sunday
(per Steve Akers)

GoingBirding: 22nd February

22nd February
100 Waxwing: SU490974.

22nd February
20 Waxwing: SU490974.

22nd February
45 Waxwing: SU490974.

(Abingdon Gainsborough Green/Albert Park area).

Dave Godfrey

Farmoor 22nd February late p.m

Little Gull (ad)
Scaup (f)
Ringed Plover

Kidlington Starling roost 22nd Feb

Good display of Starlings over Kidlington tonight. They were mainly over the Gosford Hill School/TV Police HQ area. They came down briefly in trees in gardens near TV Police HQ but then flew off over the Oxford Road, presumably to roost somewhere on the western side of Kidlington.

photo (c) M.Flemming

Otmoor 22nd Feb

The Bittern put in appearance at Otmoor this afternoon on Greenaways. It was on the edge of the reedbed roughly opposite the bench along the bridleway.

Also present were the 7 Barnacle Geese on Ashgrave, good numbers of Lapwing, Golden Plover and Wigeon (all mainly on Ashgrave and Big Otmoor). 2 Snipe flew over Ashgrave and 2 Curlew over Greenaways.

Rushy Common 22nd Feb

No sign of the American Wigeon at Rushy Common today.
But 2 Smew still (both readheads).
(per R.B.A)

Rufous Turtle Dove 22nd Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (form orientalis) still The Leys at 9.03a.m.
No parking at The Leys.
(per R.B.A)

Still 10.13a.m in back garden of 41 The Leys. £5 entry to 41 today.
No parking in The Leys.
(per R.B.A)

Still in the garden of #41 until c2p.m when it flew.

+4 Brambling

Waxwings 22nd February

40 Waxwings Abingdon along Saxton Road this morning.
(per The Wickster)
32 Waxwing Headington at South Park.
(per Gavin Paterson)
22 Waxwings Abingdon along the Wooton Road near the 'One Stop'
shop this morning.(per B.B)
105 Waxwings Abingdon on Saxton Road at lunchtime
(per Pete Pool) see comments

Farmoor 21st Feb

Kittiwake presumably in the Farmoor roost.
(per NJH OOS)

Monday, 21 February 2011

Milcombe Mealy 18th Feb

Belated report and photo of the Milcombe 'Super' Mealy Redpoll taken
last Friday by Steve Burch.

(c) S.Burch

Starlings Kidlington 21st Feb

10,000+ Starlings Kidlington, in several large pre-roost flocks
Over Garden City/Oxford Road and over Waverley Avenue/
Queens Avenue and Evans Lane c5:30-5:45p.m

photo (c) Mike Flemming

GoingBirding: 21st February

Port Meadow

Red-breasted Merganser: rh.
15 Dunlin
4 Redshank

Richard Foster

American Wigeon 21st February

American Wigeon (dk) still at Rushy Common this morning 9:40a.m
on east side of lake viewable from new reserve gate on minor
road between Stanton Harcourt and Cogges (per R.B.A)

Still present 3.30p.m
+ 2 Smew (both readheads)
Red-crested Pochard (dk)

Rufous Turtle Dove 21st Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (forn orientalis) at The Leys 08:40a.m.
No parking at The Leys.
(per R.B.A)

Still 2.25p.m SW of The Leys in tree viewed south from access track
to ISIS Fluid Control though distant.
No parking at The Leys.
(per R.B.A)

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Bittern Sonning Eye GPs 20th Feb

Bittern Sonning Eye in the reeds at the north end of the Lake.
(per Marek)

GoingBirding: 20th February


Gavin Paterson

Long Hanborough 20th Feb

12+ Brambling Long Hanborough. 'Probably the best Finch in the world'....

Cheers Paul.

Who you looking at? Chipping Norton

Oriental (Rufous) Turtle Dove still around the general area of The Leys but a lot more erratic and more wide ranging when putting in an appearance

Standlake Common 20th Feb

4 Smew still Pit 60 (all readheds)
1 Goosander
(per Lew OOS)

GoingBirding: 20th February

Farmoor Reservoir

2 Little Gull (ad)
2 Ringed Plover
Scaup (f)

Nicholas Hallam

GoingBirding: 20th February

Port Meadow

Glaucous Gull (1st or 2w) Looks like the same bird as was there last week
and also at Farmoor
+7 Dunlin
1 Ruff

Richard Foster

Otmoor 20th Feb

2 Merlin (m/f) over Greenaways 08:20.
7 Barnacle Geese
300+ Golden Plover
2 Dunlin
3 Little Egret

Complete weekend round up at

20 February Red Crested Pochards

23 Red Crested Pochard on Pit 3 of Lower Windrush complex at Stanton Harcourt

GoingBirding: 20th February

20th February

Chipping Norton
OTHER SPECIES: Oriental Turtle Dove ssp. orientalis showed briefly on The Leys at 8.30am before being flushed by birders. It was later relocated on Lords Piece Road and showed well around 10.00am.

James Grundy

Waxwings 20th Feb

Flock of 30 or more Waxwings in gardens around Crown Street and Bullingdon Road
off of Cowley Road at 1:30.

9.15 this morning, about 22 Waxwings at the junction of Marlborough Rd and White
House Rd in Grandpont, Oxford. (per Jim Bennett Oxonbirds)

60 Waxwing: A flock of Waxwings flew in to trees behind Sainsbury's multistorey carpark on Oxpens Road, leaving after c.5mins. (per James Grundy)

North Abingdon there were 50 Waxwings in Larkhill Road near the junction
with Southmoor Way at 4.30pm on Saturday 19th Feb (per Andrew Mills Oxonbirds)

Dix Pit 20th late am

Went for the Red crested Pochards but there was none.
1 Egyptian Goose. Still good numbers of diving ducks including several Goldeneye but very few dabbling ducks - 3 Wigeon and c.12 Shoveller. c.75 Lesser black backed Gulls, a 3cy argenteus Herring Gull and 1 ad winter Common gull. c. 20 Siskins and 2 Lesser Redpoll. 2 or 3 Reed Buntings singing.


Rushy Common 20th am

American Wigeon still this morning visible from the road verge by the main gate.
Also the 2 redhead Smew, 3 Goldeneye, 1 Common Pochard, c.400 Lapwing and several commoner species. Several Yellowhammers singing in the area.


Saturday, 19 February 2011

GoingBirding: 18th February

Otmoor: RSPB reserve

7 Barnacle Geese
13 Pintail

Gavin Paterson

Waxwings 19th February

65 Waxwings Abingdon along the Wooton Road near the 'One Stop' shop today.
(per B.B)

Stonesfield Common 19th Feb

Hawfinch still this afternoon
14 Brambling together in the garden in Long Hanborough this afternoon.

Bitterns 19th February

Bittern seen at Farmoor early morning close to river Thames and Pinkhill.

Bittern seen again on Otmoor this morning feeding along the main ditch on Greenaways.
+ Merlin (per Pete Barker & Paul Greenaway).

Appleford 19th Feb

Iceland Gull (1w) Loafing in field just south of Appleford and north of the B4016
at 14:30.

Port Meadow 19th Feb

9 Little Gull (all adults) reported on Port Meadow early afternoon
(per R.B.A)

No sign 15:30 but
2 Curlew

Late Afternoon:

Reb-breasted Merg (redhead)
c22 Goosander
Med Gull (nr ad)
3+ Yellow-legged Gull
10 Dunlin
1 Ruff
(per Dave Lowe)

Rufous Turtle Dove 19th February

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (form orientalis) still 08:51a.m Chipping Norton at 41 The Leys.
No parking on The Leys park in town centre and walk. Entry £5. No access tomorrow.

12:15p.m still behind Lord Piece Road then flew towards The Leys.
No further news. No access tomorrow.

photo (c) P.Barker

Rushy Common 19th Feb

American Wigeon (dk) still on east side of pool viewable from new reserve gate on
minor road between Stanton Harcourt and Cogges 1.15p.m.

2 Smew (readheads)
100+ Wigeon
Goosander (readhead)
Barn Owl.

Friday, 18 February 2011

GoingBirding: 18th February

Port Meadow

Red-breasted Merganser: fem. With 9 redhead and 2 male Goosander.

Richard Foster

Radley 18th Feb

Iceland Gull (1w) in the roost on the small Ash/Plover Pit late p.m
+ Yellow-legged Gull (ad)
1 Green Sandpiper

Oriental (Rufous) Turtle Dove Last Orders

As I understand Steve and Sharon are calling time on visits to No 41 after tomorrow I for one would like to thank them for their kindness, co-operation and tolerance of the huge disruption this extraordinary event has brought to their lives. Many thanks also to their neighbours who also demonstrated unfailing good humour and tolerance. Apparently Steve has done live interviews about the dove for such disparate organisations as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and last night the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

American Wigeon 18th February

American Wigeon (dk) still at Rushy Common 07:46a.m
(per Dave Lowe)

-Sill there late p.m +2 Smew (both readheads)
+Oystercatcher (per T.Tossel)
+Green Sand (per Oz)

Rushy Common is off of the minor road between Cogges and Stanton Harcourt. There is currently no public access to the newly created nature reserve but most of the lake can be viewed from the roadside verge.

Rufous Turtle Dove 18th Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (form orientalis) still 09:35a.m
Chipping Norton at 41 The Leys.
No parking at The Leys, park in town centre and walk.
Queue outside 41. The Leys and view from inside.
Entry£5. (per R.B.A)

-12:38p.m in trees just west of NW end of The Leys viewed from access
track to ISIS Fluid Control. No parking at the Leys.
(per R.B.A)

Tomorrow will be the final day of access to the houses on the Leys.
£5 entry to number 31 & 41. The Leys from 07:30a.m-dusk.
No access on Sunday. No parking at The Leys.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

American Wigeon 17th February

American Wigeon (drk) Rushy Common on east side of pool viewable from minor
road between Stanton Harcourt & Cogges.
+ 2 Smew (readheads)
(per R.B.A)

Rushy Common is off of the minor road between Cogges and Stanton Harcourt. There is currently no public access to the newly created nature reserve but most of the lake can be viewed from the roadside verge.

Radley 17th February

Iceland Gull (1stw) came in to the roost on the small Ash/Plover Pit
late p.m. + Oystercatcher on Thrupp Lake.

Waxwings 17th Feb

c20 Waxwings Abingdon, on Audlett Drive near the leisure Centre
at 11:15a.m (per J.C)

9 Waxwings at Cowley junction roundabout...just before recycling (before Tesco) feeding on rosehips (per Graham Coleman) thanks Colin for the nod.

Still there at 3.05 Picture to follow
(per Pete Barker)
photo (c) P.Barker

Farmoor 17th Feb

Bittern On Pinkhill this morning
Scaup still on F1
(per Dai OOS)

GoingBirding: 17th February

Barn Owl: 1 seen sat on sign post this morning.

Wayne Bull

Oriental Turtle Dove 17th Feb

-No further sign on The Leys by late afternoon.
-Still viewable from access road at bottom of The Leys 12:50p.m
(per R.B.A)
-Showing well in tree behind houses opposite #41 at 12:05p.m
(per Terry Tossell)
-Still 9:55a.m in tree by number 41 The Leys (per R.B.A)
-1st-winter orientalis still at 41 The Leys early morning then flew off (per Bird Guides)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

OTD on BBC Oxford

The dove story, including Pete Barker's photo and a quote from Gnome, is currently being covered on the BBC Oxford web-site here

Rufous Turtle Dove Chipping Norton

Still around The Leys but elusive and now frequenting various gardens up and down the road.

GoingBirding: 16th February

Sonning Eye GPs
Bittern: In the reedbed at the north end of the lake.

Marek Walford

Appleford 16th Feb

Iceland Gull (1stw) again on the Spit Pit late morning
(per B.B)

Rufous Turtle Dove 16th Feb

Rufous Turtle Dove 1w (form orientalis) again Chipping Norton at 41 The Leys early this morning (No general access). The dove then flew off.
(per ITV Daybreak & R.B.A)

From BirdForum, "Saxicola":
"To clarify matters concerning this morning 16 Feb. I have just spoken to the home owner Steve and he confirmed that a TV crew arrived first thing this am and wanted an interview. Whilst there by chance the dove returned to the garden so they got live shots of it this am and broadcast this. The dove then did exactly the same thing as yesterday and flew off. There is no access to 41 The Leys repeat no access today, tomorrow or Friday and Saturday is looking doubtful but this may change. Birders are of course most welcome to walk up and down the Leys and surrounding roads.The residents seem very friendly and accommodating about the whole situation. The usual caveats about respecting residents privacy and property obviously apply but do not be surprised if you get invited in for a cup of tea at various properties! Please under no circumstances trespass onto the drive or side of the house of Number 41 as this will end any chance of renewed access. Hope this clarifies matters for now and saves wasted journeys. I will try to update this if matters change by Saturday. I think it may all depend on whether the bird spends longer in the garden of No 41 than just 45 minutes"

The elusive dove, taken a couple of days ago (c) Adam Hartley

Sightings Today - Lee Evans (via BirdForum)
"I saw the bird a few times today but it was incredibly difficult - and not ranging far from the back gardens of The Leys. It showed well until 0830 hours in its usual garden at 41 and then reappeared there a few times before moving in to the hedgerow behind. It was eventually seen in four different gardens, the last in the Ash tree at the back of 65. It seems like the whole neighbourhood knows about the bird now and many residents are exceptionally keen to help out. We were welcomed into several gardens during the day. The bird seems surprisingly skittish and flies off as soon as it senses danger - it was extremely mobile."

Port Meadow 16th February

1 male ruff
29 golden plover
numerous pintail
(per Steve Goddard)

4 dunlin
13 r/h goosander
(per Gnome)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

New Oxon Going Birding Service

The new Oxon Going Birding service is in the final stages of testing now and we're looking for more people to sign up to test it. The actual Going Birding part for logging sightings is tried and tested and has been used by several other counties for several years but we'd like to test the interaction between Going Birding and the blog as there is some optional automatic blog posting functionality within the service. It's strongly recommended that you read the Help section about how this works before using it for the first time.

Sightings logged on Going Birding will be automatically exported to the OOS database at the end of the month so you may well choose to use this service from now on for getting your sightings into the OOS database.

Appleford 15th Feb

Iceland Gull (1stw) today on the Spit Pit
(per B.B)

Port Meadow 15th February

1 glaucous gull (same bird that's been roosting at Farmoor)
3+ yellow-legged gulls
1 red-breasted merganser
8+ goosander
3 redshank

Some video of the glaucous gull.

Some photos on Port Meadow Birding

GoingBirding: 15th February

Chipping Norton
Peregrine: Sat on a tower by Bliss Mill.

Ashley Stow

The Dove from Above Chipping Norton

What a shame it only showed to the first 20 or so birders this morning before flying off. Where it went is a mystery and as a result of its no show the queue got ever larger as the day went on.

The images of the dove are from yesterday 14 February

15th Feb: Oriental Turtle Dove Present Early Morning Only

Reported (Bird Guides) as still present early morning at 41 The Leys, Chipping Norton, this morning. Access via queuing system (£5 entry fee to charity) until 16:00 today with no access Wednesday or Thursday. Park only in centre of town and walk down (about 10 minutes).

Latest News:

Still no sign late afternoon
14:59: Still no sign
12:40: Still no sign :-(
11:20: "Still no further sign". Estimates of queue size vary between 450 and 700 people!
08:44: "1st-winter at 41 The Leys then flew off and no further sign by 09:54 at least"

Otmoor Tuesday 15th

As previously reported the bittern was seen again today.
It was seen by volunteers as they drove down the diagonal track. Views should be possibly from the bridleway, as this is the second report now of the bird on Greenaways.

A merlin was spotted flying across the fields south of Closes, and also seen from the offices in Beckley flying parrallel with Common Road.

WeBS count from the 14th:

800+ wigeon
280+ teal
22 pintail
500 lapwing
200 golden plover
1 woodcock (car park field)
7 barnacle geese
1 heron
3 snipe
34 shoveler
4 little grebe


Gareth Luscombe
(Assistant Warden)

Otmoor Bittern

The Bittern has been re-found this morning and can be seen on the right hand side of the Diagonal track across Greenaways. The bird should be viewable from the bridleway.

Waxwings 15th Feb

c50 Waxwings enjoying catkins on Willows in Lye Valley at 9am.
(per David Scott Oxonbirds)

5 Waxwings Cumnor (per Dai OOS)

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Badger

Shortly after seeing the Dove!!!

Milcombe 14th Feb

Post Mega Dove I went to check on the Super Mealy.
It wasn't there but one of the browner Mealies was. Also (only) 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Treecreeper and 2 Marsh tits.


Oriental Turtle Dove Chipping Norton

Absolutely fabulous and many thanks to Steve and Sharon for allowing us into their home to view this mega.

Also single Brambling, Siskin and male Blackcap on the feeders

Appleford 14th Feb

Iceland Gull (1stw) on the Spit Pit at 10:15a.m

Oriental Turtle Dove

Many thanks to Steve and Sharon for kindly allowing birders in to their home and for the cups of tea & chocolate :-) All money raised is to be divided between Bird Life International and Bird Life Malta which are both worthy causes.

Access tomorrow from 10a.m until 4p.m. No access Wednesday or Thursday. £5 per person (see above). No parking at The Leys. Please park only in the town centre & walk (about 10mins). There will have to be be a queueing system and a limited time to view the bird due to the numbers expected, so please be patient and remember that this is someones home. Further access may be arranged...

41 The Leys
Chipping Norton

GoingBirding: 14th February

Tadpole Bridge
6 Tree Sparrow

Paul Chandler

Oriental Turtle Dove Pictures

Here are a couple of pictures of the county mega. What a bird!

Oriental Turtle Dove Refound in Chipping Norton!!!!

The 1st-winter orientalis oriental turtle dove has been refound alive and well in a garden in Chipping Norton. Fortunately it's found it's way to a birder's garden where it has been for three days now. It can only be viewed from within the house itself where it shows down to within a few yards at times.

It's in the garden of 41 The Leys. The road itself is currently closed to traffic at the top end due to road works. Park only in the town centre and walk back to The Leys to view from inside No 41. A queuing system will be in operation, with a charge of £5 per person. Access until 4pm today and 10am-4pm tomorrow and no access on Wednesday or Thursday.

No doubt there will be lots of fantastic photos appearing on the blog over the next few hours but here's some video footage to be getting on with

Shotover A.M. 14th February.

2 songthrushes
3 mistle thrushes
1 green woodpecker
1 great spotted woodpecker
2 goldcrest
5 red kites
8 l t tits
2 nuthatches
1 raven
1 jay
1 buzzard (calling)

Waxwings 14th Feb

100 Waxwings Abingdon still along the Wooton Road near the 'One Stop' shop 07:45
(per B.B)

17 Waxwings by 08:30 (Steve Clark)

Around today there was a flock of 50 waxwings in the trees opposite Sainsburys at Heyford Hill on the Oxford ringroad. Very noisy, not obviously feeding so may be gettng ready to leave. (per Julia, OxonBirds)

10 Waxwings Oxford Iffley Road near the CO-OP this afternoon.
(per Phil Barnett)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Milcombe Feb 13th (11:15 - 12:30)

Mealy Redpoll - at least 1 (pos 3). The "super" bird showed on and off - mainly feeding on the fallen niger seed below the feeder. A couple of other birds showed some mealy characteristics.

Redpoll - c10
Yellowhammer - 1male
Great Spot - 1female
Sparrowhawk - 2females.
(seen with Tom Wickens)

Many thanks to the owners of the property on which the feeders are on.

Blenheim Feb 13th (09:40 - 10:40)

Hawfinch - 2+
Stock Dove - 2
Green wood - 1
(with Tom Wickens)

Otmoor.A.M. 13th February.

2 songthrushes
5 red kites
150+ lapwing
3 little egret
2 shellduck
7 barnacle geese
40+ shoveler
6 gadwall
8+ pochard
1 pintail

Waxwings Sunday 13th February

17 Waxwings Abingdon Wooton Road near the 'One Stop' shop 09:30 (per Keith Clack)
120 Waxwings Abingdon Wooton Road near the 'One Stop' shop late a.m (per B.B)

Top picture (c) D.Morgan
Lower (c) B.B

Dartford Warbler 13th Feb

Phil Barnett found a Dartfort Warbler late yesterday afternoon c100 yards north of The David Lloyd Gym on waste ground next to the Oxford ring-road. The Dartford was seen to go to roost in the brambles that run beneath the high wall. There was unfortunately no sign this morning between 07:50-09:00.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Farmoor Ringing Demo 12th Feb

I went to the ringing demonstration at Farmoor this morning. During the time I was there at least 30 people visited, including several youngsters, who had the opportunity to see and handle wild birds under the supervision of Matt Prior. Birds seen and ringed included Blue, Coal, Marsh and Great Tits, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Reed Bunting and GS Woodpecker.
Mike Flemming

all pictures (c) M.Flemming

Goring (W. Sussex) Lapland Bunting

Lap. Bunt reported at Goring at 16:00
on path at west end of Greensward. (per Bird Guides)

NB Apparently this is actually Goring in West Sussex!

Radley Lakes Sat. 12th Feb

1 red-head Smew (Thrupp Lake)
2 Green Sandpiper (Ash Pit/ Plover Pit)
4 Lapwing (Ash Pit/ Plover Pit)
36 Cormorant (Thrupp Lake)
Plus Pochard, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler

Dix Pit 12th Feb

Caspian Gull (adult)
Med Gull (1st winter)

Otmoor A.M. 12th February.

400+ lapwing
C. 100 golden plover
1 little grebe (calling)
5+ red kites
3+ buzzards
4+ dunlin
2 peregrines
5 little egret

GoingBirding: 12th February

Port Meadow: Burgess Field Nature Park

2 Lesser Redpoll: Found by Duncan Eames in birch trees.

Lesser Redpoll (c) Duncan Eames

More photos on Port Meadow Birding

Blenheim Palace

4 hawfinches behind garden centre in Blenheim
(per the Wickster)

Waxwings 12th Feb

100 Waxwings Abingdon along the Wooton Road near the 'One Stop' shop at 08:00
(per B.B)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Dorchester 11th Feb

Smew (Allen Pit)
3 Goosander (Days Lock)
(per BJW OOS)

Farmoor 11th Feb

3 Med Gull (all ads) in the roost.
(per NJH)

+Scaup still on F2 (per Dai OOS)

More Info & Pictures at the superb...

GoingBirding: 11th February

Port Meadow
13 Goosander: 3m 10 rh.

Adam Hartley

Otmoor A.M. 11th February.

1 songthrush
2 yellowhammers
400 lapwing
7 skylark
25 golden plover
3 herons
5 little egret
1 g s woodpecker
15 pintail
4 buzzard
3 red kites

Waxwings 11th Feb

70 Waxwings Abingdon, along the Wooton Road near the 'One Stop' shop at 8a.m
(per B.B)
photo (c) M.Flemming

2 Waxwings on Grenoble Road near Kassam Stadium at 13:26 today
(per Peter Law)
17 Waxwings Abingdon at Alexander Close at 2p.m
(per Bob Eeles)

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Stonesfield Common 10th Feb

Hawfinch still present
Reed Bunting
Marsh Tit 3
Red Kite 2
Long tailed Tit 8
Bullfinch 5
Brambling (heard only)

Bird Ringing Demo Saturday 12th Feb

Bird ringing demonstration by the hide at Pinkhill Nature Reserve, Farmoor Reservoir this Saturday 12th Feb. We expect to catch Nuthatch, Marsh Tits and Reed Buntings amongst others. The demonstration will start at 0800 and finish at 1130. Those wishing to attend may drive in a clockwise direction around the south side of Farmoor II to access Pinkhill on this one occasion, or of course they can walk across the causeway if they prefer. (Matt Prior).

Standlake Common 10th Feb

4 Smew (all readheads) still Pit 60 16:30
(per R.B.A)

Kidlington Starling roost 10th Feb

Large pre-roost Starling flock Kidlington 17:00 over Oxford/Bicester Road junction.
photo (c) M.Flemming

GoingBirding: 10th February

Port Meadow
3 Redshank
2 Dunlin
2 Goosander: red-heads.

Adam Hartley

Otmoor MoD access changes

The RSPB Otmoor nature reserve will remain open as normal, but please
read the note below.

As result of a Defence Training Estates review of training requirements
there is to be a change in the firing days on the Otmoor Range. From
17th February 2011, Thursdays will become a firing day. This is
necessary due to an increase in the numbers of Regular Armed Services'
Personnel using the range for pre Operational and general training.
These units have a greater dependency on weekday uses which has led to
this adjustment of our self imposed non firing days.

Conversely, there has been a decline in Reservist Service Personnel and
Cadets using the range at weekends. To reflect this change of use, the
range will reduce weekend firing from 40 firing weekend per year to
about 28 firing weekends per year. It's not possible to forecast which
weekends are to be used for firing. For further information on access
please ring, during working hours:

For clarification: The range will be open daily for public access before
shooting (8am) and after shooting (4pm). On Mondays the range will
continue to be open for public access for the foreseeable future subject
to any further reviews, and approximately 28 weekends per year; the
exact dates for access at the weekends is unpredictable.

I trust this unavoidable change will not prove to be inconvenient, but
with the pressures on our training estate and the increased throughput
of regular troops to support our frontline units we are left with no
alternative. We will continue to review our usage to ensure access to
our range area is not restricted unnecessarily, and keep you informed

RG BISHOP MBE Army Air Corps

Lieutenant Colonel

Commander Defence Training Estate (Home Counties)

P.S. Bittern recorded on Greenaways early this week, barn owl regularly
hunting over the reedbed, little egret and green sandpiper also recorded
on reedbed.

David Wilding
Site Manager

Otmoor A.M. 10th February.

2 red kites
1 merlin (f)
3oo lapwing
40 golden plover
9 l t tits
1 green sandpiper
1 buzzard
2 heron
1 little egret

Milcombe 10th Feb

The 'Super' Mealy Redpoll still present at Milcombe 10:35am
(per Pete Barker)

Waxwings 10th February

100 Waxwings Abingdon, along the Wooton Road near the 'One Stop' shop at 08:00
(per B.B)

15+ Waxwings Abingdon, in the parkland between Long Furlong
& Tilsley Park this morning around 10a.m
(per ''drgannet'' Oxonbirds)

1 Waxwing Wantage,on Mably Grove this lunchtime.
(per Leo Bateman)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Proposed New Oxon Sightings Service

Just to update people: after last night's meeting it has been decided to press ahead with starting up the new service. I'll keep people informed as things progress.


Dear fellow bird bloggers,

Jason and I are delighted at how successful this blog has been: it only works because people actively post sightings and it's great how well used the blog is. In fact it's become the de facto main sightings report service in the county which is really fantastic and I'm sure we all appreciate just how useful it is as a centre for county sightings.

However, it has been noted that it's not so easy to get the sightings from the blog into the OOS database at the end of each month and there is even talk about someone having to take on this task to ensure that records aren't missed. With this issue in mind I'd like to make a proposal to you all about starting up a new sightings service which would run alongside and which would complement this blog. The service is the Going Birding one designed by Marek Walford and which is already being used by Berks, Bucks and Hants. You can see how it works by looking at Berkshire for example. This is a well tried and tested sighting service which does everything that you'd expect in an easy and intuitive way and the records can be exported at the end of the month into the OOS database.

What I am proposing is that Marek sets up an Oxon version for us (which he can do very quickly) and which we can then use in addition to the blog to log our sightings for export at the end of each month to the OOS database. At present some of us log sightings with the OOS site in addition to the blog and others send in a spreadsheet to Jon Uren at the end of each month and I expect others do neither. I personally feel that if we had a better sightings service then more people are likely to log sightings but I'd like some feedback as to whether this would actually be the case.

One advantage of Marek's site is that it wouldn't be exclusive to any club so we'd get far more county sightings posted from e.g. non OOS members, widening the net of what gets reported. I've spoken to Ian Lewington about this idea and he's very much in favour of it.

So what I would like to know from people is whether you like this idea and whether you'd use it as a complement to this blog. I suggest the easiest way is if people make comments to this posting so that we can see how people feel about it. I've made a comment to get things started.


Adam & Jason

Dix Pit 9th Feb

Caspian Gull (2ndw)
Med Gull (ad)
3 Shelduck (1m)
Snow Goose