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Oxfordshire birding

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Old Tuesday 23rd January 2007, 22:47   #1
gareth_blockley
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Thumbs up Oxfordshire birding

Living on the Warwickshire/Oxfordshire border I find myself birding in both counties, especially the hotspots. I have found there is high coverage for Warwickshire with various groups, reporting sites and even a thread on here. So I decided to get one going for Oxfordshire. There are some fantastic sights around Oxfordshire to go birding; with loads of good old English lowland agricultural land and specialist places like woods, the downs and the Chiltern hills.
There is a high concentration of well known sights in/around Oxford, which includes Farmoor reservoir, Otmoor RSPB and the wet meadows by the Thames. Oxfordshire is one of the best places, second to mid Wales, to see Red Kites. Other things of note include two of the best sites in the country to see Red-crested Pochard (Dix pit) and Hawfinch (Blenheim park) in the area.

So there we go, please feel free to add as much as you like especially on your local patch, under recorded sites and those unusual or rare sightings. I will try to keep this thread updated as much as possible so you can come and see what’s going on in the area.
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Old Tuesday 23rd January 2007, 22:48   #2
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Oxfordshire contacts/groups

County Recorder
Ian Lewington, 119 Brasenose Drive, Didcot, Oxon. OX11 7BP
01235 819792
[email protected]

Oxford Ornithological Society
Ivor Rhymes (Secretary), 159 Rutten Lane, Yarnton, Oxon. OX5 1LT
01865 372620
[email protected]
http://www.oos.org.uk/

RSPB Oxford Local Group
http://www.rspb-oxford.org.uk/

Banbury Ornithological Society
Frances Buckel (Secretary), Witt's End, Radbone Hill, Over Norton, Chipping Norton, Oxon. OX7 5LF
01608 644425
[email protected]
http://www.banburyornithologicalsociety.org.uk/

BBOWT (Wildlife Trust)
http://www.bbowt.org.uk/

Farmoor reservoir
http://farmoor-birding.com/

Yahoo group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oxfordstudentbirders/
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Old Tuesday 23rd January 2007, 22:50   #3
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Recent sightings

Here are some of the birding highlights of the last week or so:

Black-necked grebe - Farmoor reservoir - long stayer, has been around for a while

Shag - Farmoor - Long stayer, has been there all year so far

Kittiwake - Farmoor - 18th to present

Mediterranean gull - Farmoor - 16th

Glaucous gull - at least one bird seen at Farmoor, Dix pit and Port meadow (Oxford) - 7th to present.

Lesser scaup - Sonning eye Gps - Just inside Oxfordshire, just!. Present

Red-crested pochard - Dix pit - A count of 44 on the 22nd, fewer before but they’re about

Golden plovers - Various numbers, with good numbers being reported at Port meadow

Lesser black-backed gulls - 3000 - Port meadow - 20th

Pintail - Otmoor RSPB - 4 reported - 19th
Also with this record Willow tit, Peregrine and Stonechats



A Lesser spotted woodpecker was reported at Foxholes BBOWT reserve in December.
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Old Tuesday 23rd January 2007, 22:53   #4
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Todays sightings

Egyption goose - Farmoor reservoir - 3 on water and in fields by thames today
Also Shag still present

Caspian gull - Dix pt - today

Lesser scaup - Sonning eye GPs - Still present today

Happy birding
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Old Tuesday 23rd January 2007, 23:18   #5
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I think I'll keep an eye on this thread. I love Oxford and the surrounding countryside, and do try to get down to the area as much as I can; admittedly mainly for the pubs!

Speaking of which, at Wolvercote, the Trout Inn - there was a kingfisher darting across the Thames, in November last year. Further upstream were greylag geese, and in the ruins of the nunery / convent, ducks were nesting in the walls.
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Old Wednesday 24th January 2007, 14:27   #6
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Winter finches

Does anyone know of a good site for winter finches?
Are there any decent flocks around? Is there a well used feeding station some where? Any large areas of farmland with stubble left in the fields overwinter?


Gareth
(still havn't seen a Siskin or Brambling!!)
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Old Thursday 25th January 2007, 11:23   #7
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Seen around and about yesturday:

Shag - Farmoor
Lesser scaup - Sonning eye GPs
Merlin - Yelford



Is there anyone else from Oxfordshire in here.......
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Old Thursday 25th January 2007, 22:00   #8
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Seen around and about today:

Shag and Black-necked grebe - Farmoor still

Ruff (female), 14 Dunlin and 124 Pintail - Port meadow

Flock of 40 Linnets - Preston Cowmarsh

GB
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Old Friday 26th January 2007, 20:20   #9
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Seen at farmoor today:
Shag, Black-necked grebe and juv Glaucous gull in the roost.


Im off to Otmoor for dawn tomorrow to see whats about. I was also thinking of going down to Aston rowant to have a look around the woods for Brambling and Hawfinch. Has anyone been there recently? Are they likely to be about?

Gareth
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Old Saturday 27th January 2007, 20:49   #10
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Had a great day out today - 65 bird species seen, Read the report here:
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....745#post787745

I guess i was bieng a bit adventurous with the Brambling and Hawfinch.


Other birds spotted today by others:

Lesser scaup - Sonning Eye GPs

Shag, Black-necked Grebe and Glaucpus gull (in roost) - Farmoor


So the Glaucous was around then...
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Old Sunday 28th January 2007, 20:36   #11
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Wink Starting to get the feeling i'm on my own here!

Seen around today:

Glaucous gull - Port meadow, also dunlin and pintail

Bittern and two Bewicks swan - Otmoor RSPB, also Red kite, Marsh tit, Merlin and Yellowhammer

Heres to another good week
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Old Sunday 28th January 2007, 20:55   #12
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Not on your own!!

You're not on your own Gareth,
keep it coming.
regards
Merlin
Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth_blockley
Seen around today:

Glaucous gull - Port meadow, also dunlin and pintail

Bittern and two Bewicks swan - Otmoor RSPB, also Red kite, Marsh tit, Merlin and Yellowhammer

Heres to another good week
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Old Tuesday 30th January 2007, 10:57   #13
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Seen on the 29th:

The now very long staying Lesser scaup at Sonning eye GPs - I will have to try and see this again soon as i dipped on my first attempt.

3 Twite breifly on the causeway at Farmoor.


On the 28th there were well over 1000 Wigeon at Port meadow by the Thames.

Anyone out near the Woodstock area keep your eyes peeled for Grey partridge - Wild cru have just released a load near there and are tracking their progress.
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Old Wednesday 31st January 2007, 16:57   #14
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Lesser scaup yesturday at Sonning eye GPs.

Nothing reported today but i guess its the usual stuff and the long stayers.
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 14:06   #15
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Sorry, but theres not alot of news coming from oxfordshire at the moment.

Yesturday - Lesser scaup still at Sonning eye GPs (I really should go and see it).

Will be out in search of Finches and Owls and anything else this weekend around home, but technically thats in Warkwickshire..
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 17:24   #16
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Hawfinch!!

A single male Hawfich in reports today from Blenheim palace gardens.

Lets hope it stays and attracts a few more to the site, i'll definately be looking for one soon!
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 17:46   #17
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Gareth, You have mentioned Port Meadow a few times. A bit of a daft question but is this the same Port Meadow that runs from Wolvercote to Oxford ? I have spent a lot of time in Wolvercote and probably even more in the Trout !
I believe the ruins that Duck Pond referred to are Godstow Priory. Just past the Trout on the way to Wytham.
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Old Saturday 3rd February 2007, 22:19   #18
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Thats the one. I havn't actually been myself yet, but (as i'm sure you already know) its a good area epexcially when the thames floods.

I see your from Biggin hill, what birds have been around there recently? I remember something being reported but can't remember what exactly.
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Old Sunday 4th February 2007, 13:06   #19
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Gareth, Nothing too spectacular as far as I know but then again I usually travel farther afield.
The house where I stayed backed right on to the meadow but I cannot recall seeing anything spectacular there but then again I was probably not as aware of the birds at the time. There are allotments at the Wolvercote end where you may see a few birds but I suspect your best bet may be Pitsey Woods. This is on the right hand side as you cross the bridge between Wolvercote and the Trout.
If you are feeling truly energetic then I think you can walk straight across the meadow into Oxford. There are also woods there but I have never walked that far. It is a long way !
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Old Sunday 4th February 2007, 22:34   #20
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This weekend

03/02/07

Lesser and Greater csaup - Sonning eye GPs
Smew (5) - Henley road GPs
Golden plover (200+), Pintail (19), Dunlin (3), Wigeon (100s) - Port meadow
Barn owl, Ruff (7) - Otmoor RSPB


04/02/07

Lesser scaup, Smew (4) - Sonning eye GPs
Dunlin (21), Ruff (11), Redshank (9), Oystercatcher (1) - Port meadow
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Old Monday 5th February 2007, 21:55   #21
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Feeding statin for winter finches?

I think i may have discovered a place to look for winter finches in Oxfordshire. Amazingly by chance; I was looking on birdguides at the pictures of the Lesser scaup in Farnborough 05 and followed a link to Stephen Burrch's photography site http://www.stephenburch.com/, found some pics of Reed bunting feeding at a bird table which turns out to be here http://www.bbowt.org.uk/content.asp?did=23593, and there you go just 4/5 miles south west of Oxford.

Worth a look to see if the birds still get fed there..
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2007, 16:42   #22
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The last few days have been fairly quiet, nothing coming from the big sites.

Lesser scaup at Sonning eye GPs still and the usual suspects at Port meadow.


Just for info; a year ago on this day there was a Hen harrier at Otmoor RSPB.

Gareth
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 19:14   #23
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Last couple of days have been very quiet, probably due to the snow.

Only report seen of the long staying Shag Farmoor.

Hope theres more to come soon, happy birding!
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Old Sunday 11th February 2007, 19:45   #24
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Caspian gull and Little gull in the roost at Farmoor today, as well as the long staying Shag.

Dunlin, Golden plover and Yellowhammers at Portmeadow over the last few days.

Keep it up folks
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Old Thursday 15th February 2007, 11:45   #25
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Run down of the last few days

I have to say, its not been the most exciting week thus far, but here's a quick run down of some of the birds around:

The long staying Lesser scaup is still at Sonning eye GP's - this has been around for quite a while now.

A good number of waders at Port meadow including Ruff and Dunlin. Alos a large flock of Linnets at the Port meadow nature reserve.

Some nice flocks of Tree sparrow, Yellowhammer and Linnet around the Woodstock area.

Happy birding folks.
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