Sightings and Photos

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To Submit Photos or Video to this blog please email jasoncppk 'at' or adamchartley 'at'

Sep 21st probable Lammergeier Eynsham...Yellow-browed Warbler Farmoor Reservoir...15th LESSER YELLOWLEGS Farmoor Reservoir...11th Manx Shearwater...Black-necked Grebes Farmoor Res...5th Wryneck Wantage...7 Sandwich Tern Farmoor 4th Osprey...Aug 30th PECTORAL SANDPIPER Farmoor Reservoir...CATTLE EGRET...23rd Spotted Redshank...20th Pied Flycatcher Otmoor rspb...17th Wood Sandpiper Appleford GPs...Common Scoter Grimsbury Reservoir...3 Great white Egrets & 3 Garganey Cassington GPs...16th CATTLE EGRET...Sonning Eye...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...

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Ditchley 30th October

Brambling 10+ (per Coln O'brien) 

Blenheim Park 30th October

3 Whooper Swans on Queen Pool this afternoon

Cottisford Pond 30th October

1 Great White Egret on private lake just before village of Cottisford, lake can be viewed from public footpath which runs parallel to lake.

Alan Peters

Crowmarsh Gifford: Institute of Hydrology/Howbery Park: 30th October

Crowmarsh Gifford: Institute of Hydrology/Howbery Park
2 Brambling: Calling Over heading west. 2 separate occasions, on walk into work. With steady stream of Redwings. 06:40.

Tom Wickens

Monday, 29 October 2018

Sarsgrove: 29th October

30 Golden Plover 11:00.
Chiffchaff 11:00.

Steve Akers

Farmoor Reservoir: Car Park (Gate 3): 29th October

Farmoor Reservoir: Car Park (Gate 3)
Swallow: single swallow flying around car park. 16:00.

Rob Downes

Pit 60: 29th October

3 Great White Egrets
2 Pintail
1 Jack Snipe
1 Marsh Harrier
(No sign of the Whooper Swans)

Buckland Warren: 29th October

Crossbills - 12

Farmoor Reservoir: 29th October

29th October

Farmoor Reservoir
Peregrine: Circled F2. 10:45.
Water Rail: Sludge beds at north end of F1. 09:25.
Common Gull: ad w/p. Around F1. 10:50.

Derek Evans

A4095 nr Upper Campsfield Farm: 29th October

A4095 nr Upper Campsfield Farm
Green Sandpiper: Seen over calling.

Michael Hunt

Otmoor rspb.

2. Bittern.
2. Raven.
Marsh Harrier.
 200.+ Field Fare.
2. Stonechat.

Blenheim Park 29th October

Little Egret 5
Whooper Swan 3
Water Rail 2
Yellow-legged Gull 

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Otmoor rspb 28th October

Short-eared Owl this afternoon (per Andy Last) 

Baulking Pit: 28th Oct

Short-eared Owl
Caspian Gull (ad)
3 Great black-backed Gulls (all 1w)

Lockinge Lake 28th October

11+ Brambling

Blenheim, 28th October

Great Egret (2)


Water Rail

Whooper Swan

Green Sandpiper (2)

Rousham: 28th October

2 Brambling
2 Raven

Michael Hunt

Standlake Common: Sunday 28th October

Whooper Swan, 6 at pit 60
Great White Egret, 1 at pit 38
Green Sandpiper, 2 at pit 38

Farmoor Reservoir: 28th October

28th October

Farmoor Reservoir
4 Wigeon 09:58.
Shelduck 09:58.
3 Goldeneye 09:58.
2 Gadwall 09:58.

Mike Youngman

Blenheim Park 28th October

GREAT WHITE EGRET 2 still on Queens Pool 09:26
Whooper Swan
Little Egret 6
Grey Heron 17

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Farmoor Oct 27th 2pm-4:30pm

Rock Pipit - 1 (causeway)
Stonechat - pair (pinkhill lock)
Water Rail - 1 (pinkhill)
GBB Gull - 1 (adult)
Raven - 2 (South)
(barnacle goose - 1 with feral greylags on western bank of F1)

Otmoor rspb 27th October

Fieldfare courtesy of Nick Truby

Bittern 2 this morning continuing to show well from the 2nd screen.

Old Caley's Diary

Appleford New Workings 27th October

Caspian Gull 2 (1stw, ad) 16:00. 

Farmoor 27th October

 Redpoll 2
 Siskin 20+
 Water Rail 2


Standlake Pit 60 27th October

Whooper Swan 8 at Pit 60 this morning then flew south.


Blenheim Park 27th October

GREAT WHITE EGRET 1 on Queens Pool 10:48
Green Sandpiper 3

(per Ewan).

Friday, 26 October 2018

Otmoor rspb 26th October

Bittern courtesy of Paul Wyeth

Short-eared Owl 2
Bittern 2

(per Luke O'Byrne) 

Standlake Pit 60: 26th October

Standlake Pit 60
Jack Snipe: Still opposite north shore hide.

Mick Cunningham

Standlake Pit 60: 26th October

Standlake Pit 60
Great White Egret: At 4pm.

Mick Cunningham

Blenheim Queen Pool Woodstock 26th October


Great White Egret 5  flew off at approx 1030
Little Egret 6
Grey Heron 21

Yellow legged Gull 2
Peregrine 1

Common Teal 500
Eurasian Wigeon 15+
Northern Shoveler 2

Grey Wagtail 1
Tree Creeper 1

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Blenheim: Queen Pool: 25th October

Blenheim: Queen Pool
5 Great White Egret 14:00.
2 Common Sandpiper 14:00.
25 Grey Heron 14:00.
2 Wigeon 14:00.

Simon Myers
Water Rails Pinkhill Reserve Farmoor courtesy of John Workman.

Rushey Common lake, 25th October

Black Tailed Godwit
on island opposite hide and apparently present for a couple of days


Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Blenheim 24th Oct

6 Great White Egret on Queens Pool
(5 together in the water and 1 on the bank)
12 Little Egret
25 Grey Heron

White Horse Hill: 24th October

White Horse Hill
Wheatear: Greenland looking individual. SP294862.

Mick Cunningham

Blenhiem Park 24th October

GREAT WHITE EGRET 5 still on Queens Pool. 
Little Egret 11
Pochard 2
Yellow-legged Gull 

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Monday, 22 October 2018

Blenheim 22nd October

One of the five courtesy of  David Hampton.

Currently 5 GREAT WHITE EGRET on Queens Pool (Per Steve Roby)
Little Egret 9
Goosander 2
Peregrine imm sat on the mud. 

(per Dave Doherty) 

Recently c47 Mandarin (per Ben Carpenter)

Standlake Pit 60: 22nd October

Standlake Pit 60
Mediterranean Gull: 1cy/1w. Joined the c420 blackheads on water. All flushed by buzzard, flew off NE. 17:20.

Mick Cunningham

Farmoor Reservoir: Farmoor II: 22nd October

Farmoor Reservoir: Farmoor II
Whooper Swan: ad. With 2 Mute Swan at 0850.

Farmoor Reservoir: Farmoor I
Goosander: fem. Flew north at 0900.

Derek Evans

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Standlake Pit 60: 20th October

Standlake Pit 60
165 Lapwing: Approx count. All in a single flock whiffled down to land. Several left in small groups over time. Golden plover mixed in but didn't land. Apologies for late post.
65 Golden Plover: Approximate count. Flew in with lapwings but the plover didn't land. Spent a few minutes circling pit before leaving SW.
2 Snipe: No Jack.
2 Water Rail: Minimum count as 2 seen on South shore. Others heard.

Mick Cunningham

Baulking: 21st Oct.

Short-eared Owl
2 YL Gulls
40+ Redwing
2 Snipe

Probable ad. Caspian Gull in a ~5K roost.

Otmoor 21st October


c40 Fieldfare
Redwing (heard over)
Stonechat (m)
Marsh Harrier 1
Raven 2
Bittern 2 from the 2nd screen (per L.B)

Sent from my iPhone

Standlake: 21st October

Brambling: Over garden this morning.

Mick Cunningham

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Didcot Landfill 20th October

Little Egret
2 Pochard
Raven Over head
2 Egyptian Goose
5 Teal

Michael Violette

Otmoor: 19th October

Bittern courtesy of John Edwards

Bittern showing well from the 2nd screen.
3 Yellow Wagtail: Passing over (2 plus 1) during the day calling. Rather late migrants. 15:00.

John Edwards

Appleford New Workings 20th October

Caspian Gull 2 (1stw, 2ndw)
Green Sandpiper 2

Cothill & environs: 20th Oct.

2 Redpoll
8 Siskin
2 Raven
3 Chiffchaff (one singing)
30+ Meadow Pipit

Farmoor Reservoir 20th October

Red-crested Pochards courtesy of John Workman.

Black-necked Grebe still present 11:45 (per Dai)
Red-crested Pochard 2

(per John Workman)

Dunlin courtesy of John Workman.

LWV Pit 10: 20th October

LWV Pit 10
Brambling: Heard only. Actually adjacent to west oxon sail club.

Mick Cunningham

Didcot Landfill - 19th October

Two Caspian Gulls in the landfill at dusk yesterday.

Friday, 19 October 2018

: 19th October

oxford road hedge row
Whitethroat: NY507575. 10:00.

Paul Butler

Farmoor: 19 October

Black-necked Grebe (c) Stephen Burch
To see more and larger images, go to to the Tall Birder Blog or my website

Standlake Pit 60: 19th October

Jack Snipe: Still opposite n hide. To the young men leaving as I entered hide it's left of the 2 commons!

Green Sandpiper: On east shore as seen from n hide.

Mick Cunningham

Otmoor rspb 19th October

Rushy Common: 19th October

Milton down
Stonechat: f. The stonechat, along with a couple of marsh tits nearby were the only things to brighten up a very unsuccessful vismig watch 7 30 to 10 30 am. Dribble of starlings WNW even fewer chaffnches S. SP309136.

Rushy Common
Goldeneye: SP309136.

Mick Cunningham

North Oxford 19th October

Heard-only flyover Brambling(s) in North Oxford (Linkside Avenue, adjacent to North Ox golf course) at around 9 a.m. this morning.

per Nick Boyd

Farmoor 19th October

 Black-necked Grebe (c) Anne Threlfall
Black-necked Grebe 1 F2 still 11:00
Rock Pipit causeway

Blenhiem Estate 19th October

Little Egret 2
Pintail 6
Wigeon 25
Yellow-legged Gull 

(per Dave Doherty) 

19th October

Sadly a Short Eared Owl was found dead yesterday on a footpath in West Oxon.

Does anyone have any idea who is the most appropriate person/group to contact
to establish the cause of death.

Farmoor Reservoir 19th October

Black-necked Grebe on F2 off of the causeway 09:40 (per Dai). 

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Standlake Pit 60: 18th October

Standlake Pit 60
Jack Snipe: Actually might have been 2. 1 on view on southern shore continuously from 4pm to 6 45 pm. Asleep most of time waking and feeding towards sun set. As light fell minimum 4 common snipe joined it. Another snipe was probably a Jack but partially hidden and too gloomy to be sure. .
6 Snipe: 2 on view throughout others came out as sun setting.
Pintail: juv. First for a few days.

Mick Cunningham

Rushey Common lake, 18th October

Egyptian Geese  2
Common Sandpiper

Great Tit on feeders with very bad growth around eyes

Clackers & Mrs Clackers

Standlake Pit 60: 18 October

1 Green Sandpiper (from LL hide)
1 Common Snipe (from NS hide)
Jack Snipe: No sign between 10:00 and 12:00 but reported earlier (per RW)

Lark Hill 18th October

Tree Sparrow along main track with large bunting flock
Stonechat (f)
5 Golden Plover
c20 Corn Bunting
c150 Yellowhammer

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake: 18th October

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake
4 Pintail
5 Little Egret
3 Great White Egret
Water Rail

Derek Evans

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Farmoor, 17th October

Wheatear on causeway near hide

Clackers & Mrs Clackers

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake: 17th October

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake
2 Great White Egret
11 Little Egret
270 Teal
17 Lapwing

Bob Pomfret

: 17th October

Balscote Quarry
220 Golden Plover: Flew over and looked to land in nearby fields. Also 2 redpoll flew south calling. S.H and Mark Ribbons. SP391428. 11:10.

Steve Holliday

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Chinnor: Cement Works: 16th October

Chinnor: Cement Works
Raven: 1 over heading SW.

David Stracey

Buckland Warren: 16th October

3+ Crossbills in the gloom.

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake: 16th October

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake
3 Great White Egret: 3 birds feeding in queens pool. The lake is being drained in Oct 2018 for a survey. The lake will be filled up again in November, and if all goes to plan drained and the silt dredged out in 2020. 15:45.

Pete Roby

Monday, 15 October 2018

Farmoor: 15th October


LWV Pit 10: 15th October

LWV Pit 10
4000 Starling: Approximate count of flock circling reed bed preparatory to roosting.

Mick Cunningham

Standlake Pit 60: 15th October

Standlake Pit 60
Jack Snipe: A single on the far shore opposite North Shore hide 4pm to c5 pm. It slept the whole time.

Mick Cunningham

Blenheim Estate 15th October

Little Egret 12
Grey Heron 23
Great black-backed Gull

(per Jon Uren) 

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Blenheim Estate Queens Lake 14th October

Little Egret 12
Grey Heron c25
Pintail 2
Wigeon 40+
Shoveler 20+
Teal c150

Standlake Pit 60 14th October

Some very distant clips of the Jack Snipe.

2 Jack Snipe on far side of pit from North Shore hide late afternoon
1 Common Snipe


Saturday, 13 October 2018

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake: 13th October

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake
Great White Egret: Flew off to the south at 1500 hrs. SP439165. 14:00.

Anthony Roberts

Letcombe Bassett: Gramps Hill: 13th October

Letcombe Bassett: Gramps Hill
3 Chiffchaff: One singing in high winds and driving rain.

Mark Merritt

Friday, 12 October 2018

Bicester Wetland Reserve 12th October

1 Chiffchaff singing in strong winds
1 Sparrowhawk
52 Teal
9 Gadwall
6 Shoveler
300 Starling

Key Holder Reserve
Alan Peters

Standlake Pit 60 12th October

Jack Snipe again along shoreline opposite the North Shore hide this morning (per Adey State). 

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Otmoor: 11th October

Merlin: male.
2 Bittern
Pintail: fem.
Stonechat: fem.

Jonathon Parsons

Blenhiem Estate 11th October

Great white Egret 2 on Queens Lake 15:50
Pintail 2

(per Phil Barnett) 

Yesterday Water Rail on the newly revealed mud near the Seven Arches... very obliging.

(per Bob Pomfret)

Oxford 11th October

A likely YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at 9:20am this morning, on treetops at the Cowley rd/Princes st junction. Very vocal and mobile, moving fast toward the city centre. I didn't have bins so cannot confirm but the call was right for YBW. 

(per Tommaso Pizzari) 

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Appleford New Workings evening 10th October

Caspian Gull courtesy of Lew.

Caspian Gull 2 (both ad)
Black-tailed Godwit 
Green Sandpiper 3

Chinnor: Cement Works: 10th October

Chinnor: Cement Works
4 Chiffchaff: SU751996. 17:00.
3 Little Grebe: Lake 2B. SU751996. 17:00.
200 Canada Goose: Lake 2B. SU751996. 17:00.
2 Pochard: SU751996. 17:00.
12 Long-tailed Tit: chasing flies over the surface of lake 2B. SU751996. 17:00.
4 Mute Swan: SU751996. 17:00.
20 Tufted Duck: SU751996. 17:00.

Jez March

Oxford 10th October

YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER heard and seen in garden on Hill Top Road c13:30 but no further sign by 18:30.
Apparently individuals have been trying to tape lure the Warbler, please don't.

Chiffchaff 2

(per Phil Barnett)

Tuesday 9th Oct Otmoor

Great White Egret
Coming in, in front of first screen at dusk
Short Eared Owl also at first screen.

Blenhiem Estate 10th October

Great white Egret
Little Egret 2
Great-black backed Gull
Water Rail 
Redpoll 4

Burwell Farm estate, 10th October

Chiffchaff   calling and feeding in my small back garden


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Grimsbury Reservoir: 9th October

1 Cetti's Warbler showing well and calling regularly along the river early morning - a patch tick and a site 1st!
1 Wigeon
3 adult YLGs in this evening's roost

Watlington Hill: 9th October

Watlington Hill
Raven: Over heading NE. SU706941. 16:30.

Richard Haydon

Standlake Pit 60: 9th October

Standlake Pit 60
Jack Snipe: Feeding and resting on southern shore. Viewable from north shore hide. Bouncing away. See twitter @MickgCuningham for shaky phonescope video.

Mick Cunningham

Stratfield Brake 9th October

Little-ringed Plover 

Standlake Pit 60: 9th October

Standlake Pit 60
Mediterranean Gull: ad. In moult. Surprisingly scarce here. Resting with other gulls including 7 adult yellow legged gull and 2 common gulls Duff phonescope shots at @MickgCunningham Twitter.

Mick Cunningham

Dix Pit, 9th October

Black Necked Grebe 12.15 against roadside bank

Clackers & Mrs Clackers

: 9th October

Milton Down
Merlin: 1cy. Feeding on prey on ground. SP283159.

Mick Cunningham

: 8th October

Milton Down shipton UW
64 Golden Plover: Minimum count. Feeding in field. Apologies for late posting. SP287157.

Mick Cunningham

Monday, 8 October 2018

Grimsbury Reservoir: 8th October

1 Rock Pipit dropped in this evening and settled around SE corner and pontoon
2 YLGs (adult & sub-adult)
c6 Common Gull through

Farmoor Reservoir: 8th October

Farmoor Reservoir
Peregrine: juv.
2 Dunlin

Derek Evans

Dix Pit: 8th Oct

Black-necked Grebe

Otmoor rspb 27th September

Belated report of Jack Snipe: got up out of ditch by main track near junction for 'Wetlands watch' hide, flipped over hedge and vanished. 11:00.

Standlake Pit 60: 8th October

Standlake Pit 60
97 Redwing: Best in a poor vismig watch All went west.
19 Fieldfare: West.
7 Chaffinch: South.

Mick Cunningham

Dix Pit: 8th October

Dix Pit
Black-necked Grebe

Mick Cunningham

Blenhiem Estate 8th October

Green Sandpiper
Pintail 4
Little Egret 2
Stonechat (m) 
Redwing c20 over

Upper Campsfield Farm:

Several Crossbills flew over. 

(per Dave Doherty)

Early Brambling Curbridge courtesy of Simon Bradfield.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

More Redwings

5 Redwings over oxford university park (at the 12 mile mark of the oxford half marathon)

plus more groups over calling this evening in Abingdon.

Little Coxwell: 7th October

Little Coxwell

Mark Merritt

Oxford Rail Station: 7th October

120+ Pied Wagtails gathering to roost behind the Said Business School, visible from the front of Oxford station.

Sent from my iPhone

Churn: Ridgeway: 7th October

Churn: Ridgeway
Stonechat: male. 16:00.

Gerry Quinn

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake: 7th October

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake
12 Redwing: Flying over. 09:00.

Bob Pomfret

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake: 7th October

Blenheim: Blenheim Lake
Water Rail: On the mud close to the old Fisheries cottage. The Queen Pool is currently being drained and is low.
100 Teal
80 Shoveler
13 Wigeon
35 Moorhen: High count, active on mud as Queen Pool is drained.
22 Little Grebe
2 Little Egret

Bob Pomfret

Lark Hill 7th October

2 Wheatear (1stw)
Stonechat (m)
Siskin (over)
30+ Meadow Pipit
c15 Corn Bunting

Rushy Common lake, 7th October

Chiffchaff 2
Red Crested Pochards 13m 15 f  at least
Black Swan
Lapwings  60+ landed in field in front of hide
Little Egrets 2

Clackers & Mrs Clackers

Farmoor Reservoir 7th October

Sandwich Tern 2  flew through NNW @ 1110

Common Raven 1

Appleford New Workings 7th October

Appleford: New Workings
Black-tailed Godwit: SU521939.

Appleford: New Workings
4 Green Sandpiper: SU521939.

Michael Violette

Dix Pit: 7th October

Black-necked Grebe 1

Ardington 7th October

Hawfinch just S of Ardington at 09:50 (approx SU429877) in tree top for 5mins before dropping down into yews

Raven 2+
Treecreeper 4
Grey Wagtail

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Farmoor Reservoir 6th October

Skua sp (not Great) flew over the Res c16:00 (per Pete Allen). 

Farmoor Reservoir: 6th October

Farmoor Reservoir
2 Ringed Plover: on causeway.
5 Common Tern: juvs.
Arctic Tern: juv. in flock with Common Terns.
Great Black-backed Gull: ad.

Ian Elkins

Standlake Pit 60: 6th October

Standlake Pit 60
7 Pintail: Weren't here yesterday. Assume brought in by rain/ rising water levels.

Mick Cunningham

Sonning Eye GPs: 6th October

Sonning Eye GPs
Redshank: Sat on the string of orange buoys in the middle of the lake! 09:50.

Marek Walford

Friday, 5 October 2018

Grimsbury Reservoir: 5th October

1 of the 2 Rock Pipits present this afternoon

Otmoor: Central: 5th October

Otmoor: Central
Whinchat: On Greenaways. 11:40.

Pete Roby

Short-eared Owl again early evening (L.O)

Wantage: Lark Hill: 5th October

Wantage: Lark Hill
3 Stonechat: Pair plus another fem. 13:00.

Leo Bateman

Grimsbury Reservoir: 5th October

2 Rock Pipits, along western shore

Found by John at 12:43 and confirmed still present by Mark 13:25

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Farmoor: 4th October (Evening)

3 Rock Pipits
5 Ringed Plover
1 Dunlin

Watlington 4th October

Reeves's pheasant, female, present today 09.30 and 15.30, woodland alongside Knightsbridge Lane, north of Watlington SU683968

per Sam Thomas

: 4th October

RAF Brize Norton
2 Raven: Soaring over airfield. SP294072. 13:24.


Monday, 1 October 2018

Standlake:1st October

Coal Tit

Farmoor Reservoir: Causeway: 1st October

Farmoor Reservoir: Causeway
Dunlin: 0900-1100.
5 Ringed Plover

Derek Evans

Farmoor 1st October

3 Stonechat near Pinkhill Lock.



September Review

Arctic Tern (juv), courtesy of Steve Burch

Much of September was unusually quiet for a peak passage month. While not too distant inland  counties enjoyed confiding Spotted Crake, settled Pallid Harrier and twitchable Pectoral Sandpiper, the birdscape in Oxfordshire remained much as it had through August until the fourth week. Then a threesome of more notable if now annual species chose to enliven the autumnal scene a little more.

Grey Phalarope at Grimsbury Reservoir, courtesy of John Taylor
Grey Phalarope at Sonning Eye, courtesy of Roger Wyatt

Following an Atlantic storm on 20th, a widespread national influx of Grey Phalarope at inshore and inland waters deposited lost waifs at two Oxon locations. The first was in the north of the county at Grimsbury Reservoir on 21st. Then a day later a second bird arrived at Sonning Eye GPs in the far south-east, and this one remained until 24th. Wader passage was otherwise steady but unremarkable.

Great White Egret, courtesy of Jim Hutchins

Next, on 25th a Great White Egret returned to the Lower Windrush Valley, being found at pit 38 then later pit 60 near Standlake. These majestic herons over-wintered there in recent years, so it is hoped this newly arrived bird will remain with us too.

Black-necked Grebe, courtesy of Dai John

At month's end Farmoor Reservoir hosted it's fourth Black-necked Grebe of 2018, a smart individual being discovered on the morning of 29th. The concrete bowl had also produced some earlier records of note, with a Shag reported there on 1st, a Jack Snipe seen on the causeway on 6th, and an Osprey over on 8th. None of those lingered.

Caspian Gull at Farmoor (1w) courtesy of Roger Wyatt

Through the month 's first to third weeks it was Gulls and Terns that had rather stood out. Up to six separate Caspian Gull were observed on a number of occasions. One moulting into third winter was filmed at Appleford on 8th, while a first winter was photographed at Farmoor Reservoir on 8th and again on 21st, and a third winter was logged at Appleford on 23rd. Three more juvenile / first winters frequented Didcot landfill on and off from 5th to month's end. A late Little Gull was noted briefly at LWV pit 10 on 16th.


Caspian Gull nearing completion of its moult into 3rd winter courtesy of Badger

Black Tern (juv) at Farmoor, courtesy of Terry Sherlock

Black Tern (juv) at Farmoor, courtesy of Nick Truby

Black Tern passage at Farmoor continued until 8th, while a much later individual visited Dix Pit on 22nd. Arctic Tern continued to pass through Farmoor to month's end, with a succession of juveniles recorded there from 11th, as well as at Sonning Eye between 22nd and 24th. Two Sandwich Tern were also seen circling Sonning Eye briefly on 23rd.

Arctic Tern (juv) at Farmoor, courtesy of Terry Sherlock

The Best of the Rest

In general, with prevailing westerly winds and largely benign conditions between occasional squalls, the word "quiet" kept occurring on county patch blogs time and again. This was especially true of Otmoor where even the regular Marsh Harriers had absented themselves. But a Short-eared Owl was seen there on 15th and 17th.

Amongst the seasonal passerines, a passage Wood Warbler was found at the woodland reserve by Grimsbury Reservoir on 3rd. On the same day Whincat, Wheatear, Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher were all logged at a single site, that being Lollingdon Hill near Cholsey.

Wheatear, courtesy of Nick Truby

Whinchat continued to be noted in good numbers around our meticulously worked county patches until 23rd, while the latest Wheatear records also occurred on that date. The last recorded Redstart of autumn was at Lark Hill, Wantage on 11th; with three Wheatear also there that day, and a respectable six Whinchat on 20th.

Spotted Flycatcher at Otmoor, courtesy of Ewan Jones

A Pied Flycatcher moved through Lollingdon Hill on 11th, and another was reported at Thrupp on 15th. Meanwhile Spotted Flycatcher produced both records and picture opportunities through to 26th.

A first Merlin of the autumn was spotted on the Downs on 9th, while an urban Peregrine flew low over Oxford High Street on 20th. This month also produced some Ring-necked Parakeet sightings in urban locations. The colourful screechers announced themselves around Oxford between 18th and 23rd, and over Didcot on 22nd; suggesting they may be expanding from their traditional toe-hold just inside the county at Henley-on-Thames.

Siskin, courtesy of Jeremy Dexter
Lastly, as a presage of approaching winter, a 30 strong Siskin flock was located at Buckland Warren in west Oxon on 27th. So the month just passed produced a selection of good county records for our roving birders and much more of interest to our patch watchers. Call me a ticker if you wish but I for one will be hoping for something a little more stand-out and rather more that is twitchable in October.

Peter Law

Blog Matters

Our experiment with the mobile version of the Blog seems to have been met with approval so with no complaints about it and some positive comments as well, we've decided to keep it like this for now. It's certainly much easier and faster to load out in the field and you can always switch over to the full web-version if you want.

Jason & Adam