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' yahoo.co.uk or adamchartley 'at' gmail.com


April 9th Avocet & Great white Egret Port Meadow...6th Ring Ouzel...3 Little Gull Radley GPs...March 16th Wheatear Letcome Bassett...Garganey Pit 60...15th BLACK-THROATED DIVER Farmoor Res...Black Redstart Oxford...14th Little-ringed Plover Grimsbury Res... 3 Avocet Appleford... 12th CATTLE EGRET Pit 60...8th March Kittiwake Waterstock...

Thursday, 9 April 2020

: 9th April

Graven hill
Redshank: SP583213. 21:27.

Jon Holt

: 9th April

Appleford New Workings
2 Yellow Wagtail: SU511944. 19:26.

Appleford New Workings
2 Green Sandpiper: SU511944. 19:26.

Appleford New Workings
2 Little Ringed Plover: SU511944. 19:26.

Kevin Polley

Moreton nr Thame: Moreton Golf Course: 9th April

Moreton nr Thame: Moreton Golf Course
12 Yellow Wagtail 18:42.
6 Oystercatcher 18:42.

Luke Marriner

Port Meadow: 9th April

Port Meadow
Great White Egret (though no further sign by 9 a.m.)
Avocet still present at c18:18 (per Isaac West) found by Hugh Petter
2 Little Ringed Plover
Redshank
2 Shelduck
Oystercatcher
Little Egret

Adam Hartley

Yellow Wagtail 2
White Wagtail 2
Egyptian Goose 2

This evening (per Isaac West)

Burgess Field

Whitethroat
Sedge Warbler

(per Steve Jennings)


Great White Egret

Standlake

White Stork over our houses at 16:40 spotted by Mick!!!

Chinnor: Chinnor Hill: 9th April

Chinnor: Chinnor Hill
2 Ring Ouzel: 2 on grassland area. SP767007. 11:30.

David Stracey

Bicester Wetlands Reserve 9th April

Mediterranean Gull 1stS over the reserve at 11:45 heading towards Bicester (per Justin Taylor). 

Standlake Common

07:30 -09:00


Willow Warbler


4 Willow Warbler
7 Blackcap
17 Singing Chiffchaff

: 9th April

Thame
Raven: Over house cronking. SP716053. 12:24.

Luke Marriner

East Challow to Ridgeway: 9th Apr

Yellow Wagtail
Wheatear
3 Swallow
Kingfisher
Fieldfare

Usual handful of Corn Bunt, Mipit, Yellowhammer & Skylark.

Shotover 9th April

Swallow flew over
Marsh tit


Sent from my iPhone




Iffley Meadows: 9th April

Sedge Warbler 1 nice to see the first one back around here
Swallow 1 
Blackcap 3

Sarsgrove: 8th April

Sarsgrove
Wheatear: male. Northern Wheatear - first of the year. Beautiful adult male. Perched on fencing on private road down to Sarsgrove Farm. 11:00.

Steve Akers



Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Worton: 8th April

Worton
2 Pintail: m + f. SP460112. 19:00.

Malcolm Teal

: 8th April

Graven Hill
Redshank: SP583213. 10:32.

Jon Holt

Dorchester: Days Lock scrape: 8th April

Dorchester: Days Lock scrape
2 Oystercatcher 19:30.
2 Egyptian Goose 19:30.

Alex Edgar

Standlake: Standlake Common: 8th April

Standlake: Standlake Common
6 Reed Bunting: 3m3f. A regular group who have been coming to the garden for several weeks now feeding on the ground with chaffinches etc. 19:13.

Antony Collieu

Port Meadow: 8th April

8th April

Port Meadow
Tree Pipit: Flew N, calling, along eastern edge of the Port Meadow floods and then over Burgess Field. 11:13.
7 House Martin 12:00.
Sand Martin 12:00.
2 Little Egret 12:00.
2 Oystercatcher 12:00.
4 Shelduck 12:00.
Redshank 12:30.
22 Linnet 12:30.
3 Shoveler 12:30.
5 Gadwall 12:30.

Isaac West

2 Little Ringed Plover
White Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail

This evening (per Ollie Padget).

Appleford GPs 7th April

Yellow wagtail 1 male
Green Sandpiper 3

Hornton: 8th April

Hornton
2 Raven: 2 Ravens mobbing a Buzzard. SP381455. 17:53.

Mike Prentice

Chinnor: 8th April

Chinnor
Raven: 1 flying north along the Chiltern Ridge. 10:00.

David Stracey

Whitchurch Hill

Cuckoo

Appleford GPs 8th April

White Wagtail 4
Willow Warbler 2
Blackcap 
Little-ringed Plover c6

Standlake


Oxford: Cripley Meadow: 8th April

Oxford: Cripley Meadow
Ring Ouzel: Feeding on the allotment green. 08:30.

Elizabeth Stroud

No further sign by this afternoon.

Dix Pit

Crane flew over at 09:20 heading towards Pit 60 😞😞😞

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Oxford: Walton Manor: 7th April

Oxford: Walton Manor
6 House Martin

Adam Hartley

: 7th April

Bletchingdon
Whitethroat: Singing. SP504176. 19:00.

Bletchingdon
Blackcap: Singing. SP504176. 19:00.

Bletchingdon
Reed Bunting: More like Yellowhammer territory, singing from hedge near ditch. SP504176. 19:00.

Bletchingdon
3 Chiffchaff: SP504176. 19:00.

David Watkinson

: 7th April

Salford
2 Grey Wagtail: pair. Pair bred successfully in the valley last year - hope for the same this year. SP285283. 18:00.

Steve Akers

Sarsgrove: 7th April

Sarsgrove
Blackcap: m. Singing male - first of this year - very vocal by the brook on edge of Sarsgrove Wood. 11:00.

Steve Akers

Moreton nr Thame: Moreton Golf Course: 7th April

Moreton nr Thame: Moreton Golf Course
5 Yellow Wagtail 18:49.

Luke Marriner

Banbury: 7th April

Banbury
Tree Pipit: circled over Parklands calling, landed in trees at front of my house for c.30 seconds before flying north. 18:13.

Gareth Blockley

Standlake: 7th April

Standlake
Tree Pipit: c5 45pm Tree Pipit north over my Rack End garden, calling loudly. Oxon tick! 17:56.

Mick Cunningham

Fyfield Wick: 7th April

Fyfield Wick
Hawfinch: Just landed in tree at bottom of my garden. 15:44.

Jed Cleeter

Northmoor Lock: 7th April

Northmoor Lock
Common Sandpiper: Local exercise rules taking me places I've not explored properly. Circular walk from/to Rack End. Common Sand flew low down Thames between Lock and Newbridge. Otherwise, quiet: 3 willow warblers and slightly more chiff and blackcaps only other migrants. I'm on 51 sp on/ from my property. Still need wren! 15:03.
Common Sandpiper 15:03.

Mick Cunningham

Stanton St. John: 7th April

Stanton St. John
Swallow: One again today. 14:39.
Raven: One over calling. 14:39.

David Brown

Banbury: 6th April

Banbury
3 Common Scoter: Nocmig records. 3 birds/flocks - 1 bird/flock @22:52 (2 calls), 1 bird/flock @ 23:34 (13 calls) and 1 bird/flock @ 23:56 (7 calls).

Gareth Blockley

Thame: Cuttle Brook: 7th April

Thame: Cuttle Brook
Raven: Single raven having a scrap with a crow. Flew off north. SP700059. 10:46.

Mike Bond

Port Meadow: 7th April

Port Meadow
4 Oystercatcher: SP493084. 07:30.
Redshank

Matthew Southwell

5th April

A reminder that it is all still going on. From this mornings walk, singing Tree creeper, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffy.



(c) Bark

Monday, 6 April 2020

Worton: 6th April

Worton
12 Goldeneye: SP460112. 19:00.
Little Egret: flying over. SP460112. 19:00.

Malcolm Teal

Sarsgrove: 6th April

Sarsgrove
Swallow: First of the year. 11:30.
2 Willow Warbler 11:30.

Steve Akers

Port Meadow: 6th April

Port Meadow
2 Little Egret 16:00.
4 Black-tailed Godwit 16:00.
4 Shelduck 16:00.

Isaac West

Fyfield Wick: 5th April

5th April

Fyfield Wick
8 Swallow: Through North throughout the afternoon. 18:05.
43 Sand Martin: Through North throughout the afternoon. 18:05.
Peregrine: Male hunting through South. 18:05.
Barn Owl: Called overhead several times @23:45. 23:45.

Jed Cleeter

Port Meadow: 6th April

Port Meadow
2 Yellow Wagtail: m.
Little Ringed Plover
Dunlin
3 Black-tailed Godwit
3 Oystercatcher
4 Shelduck
160 Golden Plover
Little Egret

Adam Hartley

Grimsbury Reservoir 6th April

Yellow Wagtail 3 along the side of the Amazon buildings this afternoon (per Andy Veitch). 

Port Meadow: Godstow: 6th April

Port Meadow: Godstow
Goosander: m. Male Goosander by Godstow Lock. 13:45.

Matthew Doorly

River Thames nr Shillingford - Mon 6th

Redstart, male, Keen Edge ferry footpath river Thames, upstream (north/West) of Shillingford Bridge.
House Martin, 3,
Sedge Warbler,
Willow Warbler, 4
Common Tern, 3 along the river yesterday.

Didcot 6th April

Garden Warbler Didcot Moor ditch
Blackcap
Willow Warbler
Chiffchaff 3

 (per W.Lester)

Radley GP: Thrupp Lane: 6th April


Courtesy of Badger


Ring Ouzel in paddock next to the approach road then flew off strongly at about 11:00 (Ian Elkins)

Little Gull 3 no further sign by 10:30
Mediterranean Gull 2
09:11 (per Ben Carpenter)
Oystercatcher
No sign of the Firecrest.

Courtesy of Badger.



Stanton St. John: 6th April

Stanton St. John
Swallow: First one back at regular nest site this morning. 11:17.

David Brown

Rousham Gap 6th April

Wheatear: SP459225. 11:08.

Elizabeth Hodgson

Standlake: 6th April

Standlake
Whimbrel: Flew over A415 going north calling. 10:29.

Mick Cunningham

Farmoor village: 6th April

Farmoor village
Sedge Warbler: SP450070. 10:20.
Willow Warbler

Paul Butler

Bicester Wetland Reserve 6th April

1 Sedge Warbler
Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff
1 Black-tailed Godwit  for 6th day
2 Green Sandpiper
6 Snipe

A Peters

Key Holder Reserve

Iffley Meadows: 6th April

Blackcap 2
Willow Warbler 3

Moreton nr Thame: Moreton Golf Course: 6th April

4 Oystercatcher
Raven
Wheatear
Willow Warbler 4
Chiffchaff 9
Blackcap 4
Swallow 4
Sand Martin 2

Luke Marriner

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Jericho: 5th April

Jericho
2 House Martin: Two House Martins beautifully flying above Jericho, Oxford. 19:34.

Matthew Doorly

Islip 5th April

House Martin 2 (per RBA) 

Bicester 5th April

Crane seen at Graven Hill 3:40 then flew east (found by John Holt) 

Bicester 5th April

From our farmland walk this morning,

Wheatear




Swallow




Treecreeper 2
Chiffchaff 4
Blackcap 3
Goldcrest 10+
Jack Snipe (Ardley Quarry) confirmed by IL


Jack Snipe

Common Snipe

Port Meadow: Godstow: 5th April

Port Meadow: Godstow
Goosander: m. Just below Hinksey Sculling School. SP484091. 15:45.

Colm O Caomhanaigh

Ardington 5th April

Garden Warbler
Willow Warbler
Raven
(East end of village)

Plus a Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Banbury: 5th April

Common Scoters, recorded overnight. I think two flocks:


Northmoor 4th April

Belated report of a Great white Egret at Northmoor yesterday (per RBA). 

Grimsbury Reservoir: 5th April

Grimsbury Reservoir
Little Ringed Plover: Present when I arrived at 7 but soon flew off NE.
Common Sandpiper: Gone by 8:30.
Common Tern: Flew in at c.08:40, flew around once and left again (didn't see which way).

Gareth Blockley

East Challow: 5th April

Redstart (f)
Willow Warbler 2
Grey Wagtail 2
Reed Bunting 4

Waterstock: River Thame: 5th April

Waterstock: River Thame
Jack Snipe 09:55.
Shelduck 09:55.

Luke Marriner

Port Meadow: 5th April

Port Meadow
Curlew
Redshank
2 Oystercatcher
2 Shelduck
2 Little Egret

Burgess Field Nature Park
Sedge Warbler
Willow Warbler 3 singing.

(Adam Hartley, Paul Jepson, Steve Jennings)

Thame: Cuttle Brook: 5th April

Thame: Cuttle Brook
2 Mistle Thrush: m/f. Back this morning, building a nest in a hawthorn 10m from house. SP700059. 07:30.

Mike Bond

Carterton: 5th April

Carterton
2 Willow Warbler: SP284084. 07:48.

George Best

Worton: 4th April

Worton
12 Goldeneye: SP460112. 18:00.
2 Gadwall: SP460112. 18:00.
Swallow: SP460112. 18:00.

Malcolm Teal

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Appleford: Appleford GP: 4th April

Appleford: Appleford GP
Common Sandpiper: SU520942. 20:03.
8 Little Ringed Plover: SU520942. 20:03.

Conor MacKenzie

Moreton nr Thame: Moreton Golf Course: 4th April

Moreton nr Thame: Moreton Golf Course
2 Common Sandpiper: On edge of lake. 18:25.

Luke Marriner

Banbury 4th April

Peregrine again on St John's Church (per Tom Oconnor) 

Lark Hill 4th April

Wheatear (m)
2 Stonechat (pair)
Willow Warbler
Skylark 30+

Mandarin (m) still at Lockinge.

Headington: 3rd April

3rd April

Headington
Teal: Recorded calling over garden. 20:52.
Water Rail: Heard on migration over garden. 22:45.
Moorhen: Heard on migration over garden. 21:55.
Coot: Heard on migration over garden. 21:30.

Isaac West

Banbury: 4th April

Bittern (probably!) recorded over night. 2 calls 'heard' at c. 00:30. Waiting to get confirmation on call but three other more experienced people have said it looks good.

Call can be heard here: https://www.xeno-canto.org/541387

Radley GP: 4th April

Radley GP
2 Willow Warbler: Singing. FOY.
2 Sand Martin
2 Oystercatcher: Pair.
Egyptian Goose
Raven
Firecrest

Ian Elkins

Grimsbury Reservoir: 4th April

Common Sandpiper

per Ian Rowe

Headington April 2nd overnight migration calls

Coot

Wigeon

Coot and Wigeon migrating over my garden overnight on April 2nd/3rd.
Always good to add a couple of new garden ticks.


Bicester 4th April

 From our morning walk,

Willow Warbler 2



Chiffchaff 6



Blackcap 2
Treecreeper 2

Green Sandpiper



Moreton nr Thame: Moreton Golf Course: 4th April

Moreton nr Thame: Moreton Golf Course
Stonechat: male. 10:32.
Redshank: Flying through. 10:32.
5 Oystercatcher 10:32.

Luke Marriner

River Thames: nr Sandford-on-Thames: 4th April

River Thames: nr Sandford-on-Thames
Willow Warbler 10:29.

D Moden

East & West Challow: 4th April

Tree Pipit, briefly along hedge and in flight.
Grey Partridge

Thame: Cuttle Brook: 4th April

Thame: Cuttle Brook
2 Mistle Thrush: m/f. Pair collecting nest material. Actually in our garden, a first. SP700059. 08:26.

Mike Bond

Friday, 3 April 2020

Port Meadow: 3rd April

Port Meadow
8 Redshank
Black-tailed Godwit
1 Oystercatcher
2 Shelduck
Goosander: m.
150 Golden Plover
3 Gadwall

Adam Hartley

: 3rd April

Eynsham lock
Oystercatcher: Just downstream from Eynsham Lock. SP446088. 15:00.

Eynsham lock
Goosander: Just downstream from Eynsham Lock. SP446088. 15:00.

Nick Suckling

Kings Lock: 3rd April

Kings Lock
Goosander: m. 14:00.

Nick Suckling

Thame 2nd April

Thame
Common Scoter: Flock went over 22:00. SP713055. 16:40.

Luke Marriner

Bicester Wetland Reserve: 3rd April

Bicester Wetland Reserve
Black-tailed Godwit 10:15.

Laurie Bryant

Oxford 2nd April

Common Scoter 3 reported yesterday east of Headington flew over Forest Hill
10:38-10:53 (per RBA). 

Blenheim Park 3rd April

Little Egret 
Tawny Owl 3 heard
Raven 
Crossbill (probable) 

Bicester Wetlands 3rd April

Black-tailed Godwit (per Alan Peters)

Bicester 3rd April

(From our walk this morning)

Willow Warbler (our first of year)



Chiffchaff (5)
Blackcap (singing male)
Peregrine (over)
Yellowhammer 20+
Skylark 20+
Goldcrest 
Oystercatcher (Ardley Quarry)


Thursday, 2 April 2020

Port Meadow: 2nd April

Port Meadow
2 Black-tailed Godwit
2 Redshank
2 Shelduck
2 Pintail
12 Meadow Pipit: Notable number along the shoreline presently.
150 Golden Plover

Adam Hartley

Hornton 2nd April

West End Hornton
Black Redstart: Flew up from garden onto the roof of a house briefly defore flying off east. SP392449. 19:24.

Mike Prentice

Finstock 2nd April

Fieldfare 250+
Redwing 6
Raven 2

Stanton St. John: 2nd April

Stanton St. John
Osprey: One drifted over this morning, heading west. 10:45.

David Brown

East & West Challow: 2nd April

Barn Owl
Grey Partridge
300+ Fieldfare
18 Meadow Pipit

Fyfield Wick: 2nd April

Fyfield Wick
Osprey: Just drifted fairly low North. 12:23.

Jed Cleeter

Bicester Wetland Reserve 2nd April

Black-tailed Godwit for second day

Alan Peters
Key Holder Reserve

Witney Lake 2nd April

Brambling (per Dave Doherty) 

Headington: 2nd April

2nd April

Headington
Little Egret: Flew N over garden (1st for garden). 06:51.
364 Redwing: c364 flew over garden, mostly N + E, between 0620-0800. 07:00.
2 Meadow Pipit: Circled low over garden then flew N. 07:03.

Isaac West

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Graven Hill Bicester 1st April

Courtesy of Patricia Clissold.

Black-tailed Godwit (per Patricia Clissold)


Cassington GPs: 1st April

Cassington GPs
Probable 2 Pintail: m +f. SP460112. 19:15.
Shelduck: m. SP460112. 19:15.

Malcolm Teal

Port Meadow: 1st April

Port Meadow
2 Black-tailed Godwit
2 Redshank
Snipe
2 Pintail
150 Golden Plover

Adam Hartley

Farmoor Reservoir 1st April

Ruddy Shelduck 2 on F2 this afternoon (per RBA). 

Bicester Wetlands Reserve 1st April

Black-tailed Godwit
Common Gull

(per JT) 

Key holder reserve. 

Kingstanding 1st April

Fieldfare 800+  there were only 22 yesterday!
Redwing 8
Stock Dove 3
Green Woodpecker 1

Days Lock 1st April

White Stork (blue ringed) part of the UK release scheme again on the scrape 10:46

Banbury: 1st April

Banbury
Osprey: Flew north over my house (Parklands) c.7:14, being mobbed by gulls. Also seen by Kirsty Brannan a few mins later.

Gareth Blockley

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 Coronavirus 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 (https://www.trektellen.org/count/view/2585/20191014) 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 (https://www.xeno-canto.org/contributor/ZJNRZZILTS)!

My approach was rather crude, using an audiomoth - a fairly cheap, pre-programmable recorder (https://www.openacousticdevices.info/), 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 (https://www.trektellen.org/) 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 (https://nocmig.com/), the sound approach has some nice blogs on species you're likely to encounter and how to distinguish them (eg. https://soundapproach.co.uk/the-buzz-of-nocmig/), and the wildlife sound recording society is very useful for equipment (https://www.wildlife-sound.org/).

Will Langdon

                                                  ______________________________


Swifts

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 OxfordSwiftCity@rspb.org.uk 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

farmoor
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

Carterton
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

Firecrest
2 Sand Martin
Blackcap: heard in song.
2 Oystercatcher
Raven

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

Piddington
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

Hornton
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)
Raven
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

Worton
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.

Blackcap

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

Carterton
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
Redshank
Oystercatcher
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 
Kingfisher 

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
Redshank
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 hanna.jenkins@thameswater.co.uk
 
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  
 
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, www.rspb.org.uk.

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

Carterton
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

Lockinge
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

Cote
2 Little Ringed Plover 08:15.

Simon Cousins

Farmoor Reservoir 22nd March

1030-1200hrs

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

Thame
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
Oystercatcher
Redshank
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).