The whole of Otmoor is currently closed due to the uncovering of an unexploded WW2 bomb on the Flood Field. The MOD are on site and planning to deal with it this morning. Please do not try to come to the reserve or the surrounding areas of the moor, as you will be turned away. Once the exclusion zone has been lifted we will make a posting.
Monday night, turtledove, grasshopper warbler, 60 sand martins, juv redshank, drumming snipe, lesser whitethroat, reed and sedge warblers still singing, and painted lady.
I was interviewed for Radio Oxford on Thursday afternoon. One of the readers of this blog, Martin Feynes (I hope that I've spelt the surname correctly), has developed a walk all around the outskirts of Oxford which they are featuring on the Jo Thoenes show on BBC Radio Oxford over the coming weeks, looking at a different section of the walk each time. This time it was the starting point at Port Meadow and to add some local interest they brought me in to talk about the bird life on the Meadow. The relevant section starts 13:50 minutes in and lasts about five minutes. Please note that the podcast will only be available until next Wednesday and can be foundhere
1 Green Sandpiper (Lake H/I) 1 Curlew (Plover pit, which now very dry). Appeared to fly off later. 2 pairs Common Tern, at least one of the pairs had young. Plus Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler (with young), Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Dunnock.
Grimsbury Reservoir 7 Sand Martin: Groups of 5 and 2 heading south fairly rapidly. Migrating out already?. 4 Common Tern Bullfinch: juv. juveniles also seen; Robin, Goldfinch, Blue tit (plenty, Long tailed tit (one family), Great tit (one family), Sedge warbler, PW (2 family groups), Mallard, Moorhen and Great spotted woodpecker. Grey Wagtail: m. Nesting near the entrance. Carrying food and aggitated behaviour.
Could anyone with any more info on this bird and especially a picture please contact me through the otmoorbirding blog. Thanks Peter It was found yesterday by Carol Monger. There's a photo of it on Flickr which I've copied to here. It may well be the Port Meadow bird. (Adam)
With the two sets of spoonbill sightings yesterday in the county one could wonder whether the Port Meadow bird was one of the party of three that were at 1066 earlier. By looking at the bill pattern there was only one of the 1066 Three that it could have been (the middle bird) so I've done a more detailed comparison photo below. Although the bills are at different angles there seems to be subtle differences in the pattern of yellow at the end of the bill. It's also difficult to judge but the 1066 bird doesn't seem to have much of a crest and has darker markings under the chin (c.f. the photos on Port Meadow Birding). All this would lead to the conclusion that this was a different bird.
1066 is the name given to the wetland north of the B4016 between Drayton and Sutton Courtenay. This is a private site with no public access but more importantly has vulnerable breeding birds prone to disturbance. Despite this, several people have been noted walking down to the waters edge. We have received an appeal from the landowner for birders to view only from the road and on no account enter the field. Please adhere to this request. The water levels of this fabulous piece of habitat are managed specifically for birds and we do not want to upset the landowner and risk jeopardizing the continued maintenance of this valuable site. So for the sake of the birds please keep out. Obviously not every birder in the county will see this message so if you visit 1066 and see someone going where they’ve been asked not to, please point out the error of their ways.
There is currently an interesting Aythya hybrid on the lake at Buscot Park visible from the bridge along the bridleway which run south from the A417 3 kms west of Faringdon (SU 252969). From a distance it superficially resembles a drake Redhead but on closer inspection there's a lot wrong with it, not least when it flies. It spends much of the time with a drake Pochard. Something of interest though in these quiet times locally.