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Oxfordshire birding

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Old Thursday 15th February 2007, 14:30   #26
Alauda26
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Hi Gareth,

Agree Oxon is terribly exciting at the moment. Aston Rowant had ridiculous numbers of kites displaying on Tuesday - they were literally everywhere.

And a very humble note - had my first singing blackcap in Banbury this morning behind the Banbury Cross B&B. Certainly an overwintering bird - my colleagues have seen it around a few times already, but it was lovely to hear it again!

Hope you're keeping well,
(km)
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Old Thursday 15th February 2007, 15:30   #27
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Is the barn owl frequently seen at Otmoor?
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Old Thursday 15th February 2007, 16:03   #28
gareth_blockley
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[quote=Alauda26]
And a very humble note - had my first singing blackcap in Banbury this morning behind the Banbury Cross B&B. Certainly an overwintering bird - my colleagues have seen it around a few times already, but it was lovely to hear it again!
[quote]


Hi, that's quite interesting as i work just up the road from there (south bar), will have to keep my eyes open for it.

Gareth
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Old Thursday 15th February 2007, 16:04   #29
gareth_blockley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck_Pond
Is the barn owl frequently seen at Otmoor?
If i stay till dusk i normally see one, I have only been on early morning visits recently though.

Its a very good site for them though.

Gareth
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Old Sunday 18th February 2007, 21:52   #30
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Reported birds in the last few days:

Lesser scaup, Scaup and Smew at Sonning eye GPs, all first wither drakes.

A large flock of Yellowhammers at Chilton downs with Corn buntings (c.10).
A Curlew at Farmoor.
Tawny owls at Otmoor.
Barn owl at Sutton courtenay.

Gareth
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Old Monday 19th February 2007, 14:53   #31
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Question Week-end birding

Dear Gareth

I live quite close to you at Greatworth and I have just become interested in birding. I have a free week-end comong up in March and I would like to use this time to practice my bird photographic skills. Can you recommend where I should visit to give me the best chance of taking some decent shots. I have a 500mm lens as well as a 1.4 and 2 teleconverters. I know you appear to be the only one on the Oxford forum but clearly others enjoy reading your notes, they are much appreciated.

John










Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth_blockley
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 Monday 19th February 2007, 15:35   #32
gareth_blockley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angletarn
Dear Gareth

I live quite close to you at Greatworth and I have just become interested in birding. I have a free week-end comong up in March and I would like to use this time to practice my bird photographic skills. Can you recommend where I should visit to give me the best chance of taking some decent shots. I have a 500mm lens as well as a 1.4 and 2 teleconverters. I know you appear to be the only one on the Oxford forum but clearly others enjoy reading your notes, they are much appreciated.

John

Hi John

It depends on the type of birds you want to photograph really, and how far you are willing to travel. If it dosn't matter what species of bird and concentrate on the photography i would recommend a local woodland or park. One of the easyest ways is to go to a feeding station where many birds can visit and would sit still for a bit. There is one at Otmoor RSPB, i dont know of one locally that would be regularly topped up with food (though see post #21). If you want wildfowl then i can recommend a reservoir or similar or Otmoor again.

Let me know what sort of thing you were thinking and i'll offer you a bit more.

Gareth
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Old Wednesday 21st February 2007, 17:15   #33
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Birds in the last couple of days

19.02.07 - Port meadow
12 Dunlin, 8 Ruff, 3 Redshank, 1 Goosanger (M), 3 Stonechat (2M), 1 Snipe.

20.02.07 - Dix pit
18 Red-crested pochard

21.02.07 - Dix pit: Linch hill
13 Snow geese!! (presumably feral/escapees)


The three ducks that i still need to see are still at Sonning eye GPs!!
Lesser scaup, Scaup, and Smew - all three 1st winter drakes.

Gareth
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Old Friday 23rd February 2007, 22:30   #34
gareth_blockley
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Over the last couple of days/week

Farmoor reservoir:
Today - Four Egyptian Geese in fields adjacent to F.2. Also an adult summer Mediterranean Gull near the tern rafts this evening.
In the past week a brief Water Pipit on the causeway on 18th with 12 Bewick's Swans flying over on 20th.

Port meadow:
Ringed plover yesturday along with Golden plover, Ruff, Dunlin and Redshank.

Have a good weekend folks
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Old Sunday 25th February 2007, 21:45   #35
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A run down of the weekends birds:

Lesser scaup at Sonning eye GPs
Caspian gull at Henley road GPs
Waxwings in Botley
Ringed plover and two Black tailed godwit at Port meadow with Dunlin, Golden plover, Ruff and Redshank

Gareth
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Old Tuesday 27th February 2007, 21:41   #36
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An interesting couple of days have passed, most notable is the Waxwing (single bird) in Botlry around the park and church hall area.
The bird scareers have gone from Farmoor reservoir now resulting in up to three Med gulls in the roost. A dunlin yesturday and a Water pipit on the causeway this morning.

I had a walk around Port meadow today, very difficult due to it being very flooded. I got a chiffchaff in the nature reserve. Lots of Wigeon with several Shoveler, Shelduck and Pintail. Nine Golden plover flew over and a Curlew. No sign of the numbers of waders being reported recently.

Gareth
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Old Saturday 3rd March 2007, 19:33   #37
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Hey folks,

Some of the Oxfordshire sightings for the last few days:
Waxwing still being seen 28/02/07 in Botley, West way by the church hall.
A Water pipit has been on the causeway at Farmoor for the last couple of days, with the first winter Shag still.
Two smew reported at Sonning eye GPs on the 01/03/07.
Single Whooper swan at Dorchester GPs, Allen pit on 03/03/07.

Have a good weekend people.
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Old Thursday 8th March 2007, 16:36   #38
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Hey folks,

Its been a manic week and the days are just slipping away!

I have probably missed some bird reports, like the location of a Caspian gull, but here are the ones i havn't missed:

05/03/07 - Farmoor - Two Egyption geese at on F1 and the Water pipit on the causeway.
06/03/07 - Farmoor - Water pipit and Shag still around, with an adult Med gull on the tern raft and at least four in the roost.
07/03/07 - Port meadow - 21 x Ruff, 1x Dunlin, 100's Wigeon, 30+ Pintail, 1x Lapwing, 180+ Golden plover and a ferel Pink footed goose and a presumed escaped Ring necked duck.

Today - I heard a Chiffchaff singing his little heart out in Banbury at the Grimsbury woodland NR!

Gareth
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Old Sunday 11th March 2007, 19:20   #39
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Not muach to report from the last few days really, there has been a Med gull at wytham wood today though.

I had a trip to Bury down, berks yeaturday, follow the link to read more http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....760#post829760. I have also been popping to a nature reserve nearby ran by BOS where i have seen Stonechat and up to three Green sandpiper.

Have a good week everyone
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Old Thursday 15th March 2007, 23:26   #40
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Crane

Have you been for the Crane in the last couple of days? It's in your area isn't it Gareth?
Views of it look pretty decent but I don't think I'm gonna get the chance to come and take a look.

Cheers
Hugh
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Old Friday 16th March 2007, 07:53   #41
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I live not far from Oxford and would like to see the Crane - where can I find it as you say views of it look pretty decent.

If you don't want to post where it is you can PM me.
Thanks
G
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Old Friday 16th March 2007, 14:44   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GD-ACM
I live not far from Oxford and would like to see the Crane - where can I find it as you say views of it look pretty decent.

If you don't want to post where it is you can PM me.
Thanks
G
I think this bird is pretty well-known so there isn't a problem posting directions here. North of Banbury is a village called Cropredy, go through there and on the north side take the right hand turning that heads NE towards Aston Le Walls. You go over the river and the canal and then it should be on the field on the left.
I've managed to find a lift so I'm gonna take a look this afternoon.

Cheers
Hugh
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Old Friday 16th March 2007, 16:54   #43
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Thanks for that Hugh, will see if we can get there this weekend. Did you manage to get there today and was it there?

G
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Old Friday 16th March 2007, 21:35   #44
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Hello folks,

The crane is only about ten minutes drive from where i live and i've been working in bucks dawn til dusk so haven't seen it yet?! Apparantly has been around for about a week, why hasn't it been announced sooner? Anyways, if it stays til sunday i will definately be going to see it. Grid reference for birds location: SP475482
There has also been a report of Rough-legged buzzard at the MOD base Kineton (Warks) which is even closer to my home?!

Also reported; Caspian gull at Dix pit.

Hope you guys see the crane

Gareth
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Old Friday 16th March 2007, 23:08   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth_blockley
Hello folks,

The crane is only about ten minutes drive from where i live and i've been working in bucks dawn til dusk so haven't seen it yet?! Apparantly has been around for about a week, why hasn't it been announced sooner? Anyways, if it stays til sunday i will definately be going to see it. Grid reference for birds location: SP475482
There has also been a report of Rough-legged buzzard at the MOD base Kineton (Warks) which is even closer to my home?!

Also reported; Caspian gull at Dix pit.

Hope you guys see the crane

Gareth
I saw the Crane this morning. It flew in around 10.30 am I believe and was certainly there until mid-day. Close enough to the road to give really good views.

Barry Boswell
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Old Saturday 17th March 2007, 20:14   #46
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I spent the morning at Otmoor RSPB 44 species seen. Birds of note were Little egret and Red kite, also Peregrines and flocks of Dunlin and Knot reported. No migrants present yet.

Went on to see the Common Crane in Cropredy. Great veiws from the road (grid reference above). It was fairly distant but out in the open.

Also Caspian gull still present at Dix pit.

Lets see what we can find tomorrow!

Gareth
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Old Tuesday 20th March 2007, 20:27   #47
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First spring migrant!

There was a single Sand martin reported from Farmoor reservoir on the 17th, as well as the longstaying Water pipit and even longer staying Shag.

The Common crane is still present at Cropredy but has apparently now changed its usual field and goes to the one next door.

Bit cold ain't it !
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Old Wednesday 21st March 2007, 21:05   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GD-ACM
Thanks for that Hugh, will see if we can get there this weekend. Did you manage to get there today and was it there?

G
Yeah I got it in the end, nice adult bird! It also flew up while I was there and we followed it into Northants and back!
I'm back in Somerset for a month now and then when I come back to Oxon I'll have finals so not a great deal of Oxon birding for me in the next 3 months.

Cheers
Hugh
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Old Saturday 24th March 2007, 22:53   #49
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A brief on the last few days:

Common crane at Cropredy still
Shag, Water pipit and and c.80 Sand martins at Farmoor with Iceland Gull, 2 Caspian Gull and a Med gull in the Gull roost 24th
Caspian Gull in Farmoor roost 23rd
Little ringed plover at Farmoor 22nd
8 Red-crested pochard at Dix pit

A week off so there will some more personal reports from me, anyone else want to share there birding experiences?

Gareth
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Old Tuesday 27th March 2007, 23:48   #50
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Hey folks

Last few days have seen the same birds returning on reports:
Croperdy - Crane.
Farmoor - Shag, Water pipit and Sand martin's (c.200), with Iceland, Caspian and Med gulls in the roost.
Otmoor - the usual with a Merlin on 21st (also being reported in Port meadow). There was a rarer bird yesturday but i'm sworn to secrecy.. for now!

I went to both Farmoor and Otmoor today with 58 species seen in total. Highlights for Farmoor being the Shag on the tern raft, Water pipit on the causeway and several Chiffchaffs, distinct lack of Sand martins today though. Highlights for Otmoor were Marsh tit, Little owl (heard), Grey partridge (heard behing main bridleway), Shellduck, and Cetti's warblers calling.


More to come soon
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