Oxon Birding Blog: September Review & News

Oxon Birding Blog: September Review & News

Oxon Birding Weblog: September Assessment & Information

The height passage month simply previous produced a fairly extraordinary sequence of sightings round Oxfordshire, although few of them had been typically accessible. This overview will focus unashamedly and so as of look on these headline birds that maybe function a reminder of Oxon Birding’s conventional objective as a log of extra notable information in our county. For this spectacular tally of Osprey, Sandwich Tern, Wryneck, Manx Shearwater, Lesser Yellowlegs, Gannet, Lammergeier, Yellow-browed Warbler, Cattle Egret and extra learn on.

Farmoor Osprey (juv), courtesy of Roger Wyatt
click on on any picture to enlarge

The shortage conveyor belt started to roll on the night of third when a southbound juvenile Osprey demonstrated its lack of expertise at Farmoor Reservoir. It made a variety of unsuccessful makes an attempt to deplete the fishery’s Trout shares earlier than being misplaced to view. Some birders who anticipated the customer to roost close by returned the next morning and had been rewarded with a repeat efficiency, although by all accounts the younger raptor went on its means nonetheless hungry.

Sandwich Tern, courtesy of Bryan Manston

A day afterward fifth seven Sandwich Tern spent the morning at Farmoor, the primary of a number of stories this month however the one precise sighting. Osprey was seen overhead there once more that day and one other handed excessive over Grimsbury Reservoir in Banbury on sixth.

One of many high September prizes for patch watchers wherever is Wryneck. Oxon’s solely confirmed report this month was discovered at a non-public web site close to Wantage on fifth, and Eds had been alerted in time to report the occasion herein. Sadly no extra of this specific autumn favorite supplied themselves extra availably by the rest of the overview interval.

Wryneck, courtesy of Badger

Again at Farmoor, the county airwaves hotted up once more on 11th when a really twitchable Manx Shearwater spent a lot of the day on web site. Although viewable principally distantly, this was a well-liked draw and a welcome county tick for some Oxon birders who had missed the extra obliging Manx on the similar location 12 months beforehand. Two as distant Black-necked Grebe offered added curiosity by the identical day, then all three birds moved on in a single day.

Manx Shearwater, courtesy of Steve Burch

The month’s stand out wader report additionally got here from Farmoor Reservoir on 15th when Oxon’s first Lesser Yellowlegs since November 2010 was discovered early within the day alongside the causeway. However this quickly flew and so proved to be a single observer sighting as our attainable chicken of the month couldn’t be relocated when reinforcements arrived. Different extra notable wader sightings had been a Knot over Farmoor on 4th and 4 extra on 11th, and a Gray Plover over Cutteslowe on 21st; whereas passage of extra often encountered species within the group remained regular.

Lesser Yellowlegs (above & under), courtesy of Terry Sherlock

The September sequence of occasions lurched additional in direction of the weird with two fairly distinctive fly-throughs. Firstly, sturdy north-easterly winds on the morning of 19th introduced a juvenile Gannet to the Thame Valley close to Waterstock. This blocker for some county listers was seen to go west over Wheatley and therefore within the route of Farmoor and the west Oxon gravel pit websites, nevertheless it was not seen once more.

Then on 21st got here presumably probably the most curious incidence of all when the summer season’s lengthy staying Peak District Lammergeier handed by Oxon airspace. Having been reported a day earlier heading south over Leicestershire, the errant juvenile was now sighted at round 12:30pm circling pretty low over Eynsham to the west of Oxford by a neighborhood birder. It was being mobbed by different raptors and shortly drifted away additionally to not be seen once more after the information went out.

Some of the widespread and newsworthy birds nationally of 2020, no matter its provenance first introduced itself in related circumstances over a West Midlands backyard again in early July, however that observer had a digital camera. Photos inform a thousand phrases because the saying goes, so this report was cited as “possible” and each Oxfordshire and the finder missed out on lasting fame. Later sightings round Norfolk on 28th confirmed the star customer had but to depart England for the European mainland.

Yellow-browed Warbler, courtesy of Isaac West

Earlier on 21st again at Farmoor, the reservoir’s wonderful run of kind continued when two Oxon birders discovered a Yellow-browed Warbler throughout a marked nationwide motion. This specific migrant was first seen in a hedge close to the automobile park and couldn’t be relocated regardless of looking out, however report pictures had been forthcoming. There was one other report from a non-public web site in Faringdon per week later.

Cattle Egret, courtesy of Andrew Siantonas

Subsequent up a primary Cattle Egret for Port Meadow was found through the afternoon of 23rd, and it proved to be twitchable. A gaggle of the location’s common watchers re-found the most recent of an more and more frequent merchandise within the early night earlier than it will definitely flew off south. Elsewhere Nice White Egret had been logged from 5 totally different Oxon websites – Cassington GPs, Blenheim Park, Otmoor, Standlake and Appleford GPs – by this fairly excellent overview interval.

Nice White Egrets at Otmoor ↑ courtesy of Paul Wyeth
and Appleford GPs ↓ courtesy of Conor MacKenzie

The Better of the Relaxation

Briefly, different native and seasonal information across the county majored on wildfowl, some extra acquainted raptors and passerine motion. Garganey maintained its sturdy 2020 presence domestically with a person seen recurrently at Bicester Wetland Reserve to 12th and different sightings at Otmoor (third) and Cassington GPs (11th). A feminine Crimson-crested Pochard was logged a variety of occasions at Appleford GPs and the class C5 flock of 9 Ruddy Shelduck remained in Blenheim Park all through.

Garganey at BWR, courtesy of John Friendship Taylor

Ruddy Shelduck at Blenheim, courtesy of Peter Regulation

Amongst raptors the juvenile Marsh Harrier was famous once more on the Downs close to Letcombe Regis on sixth, with one other seen at Balscote Quarry the identical day and an grownup over Wytham Wooden on 12th. The primary returning Merlin of the autumn had been reported from Cholsey (seventh), Faringdon (10th) and Childrey (20th).

Yellow Wagtail, courtesy of Jim Hutchins

And so we come to smaller passerines, this being the time of yr when their contribution to the birding panorama alters considerably. Amongst quickly to depart species Yellow Wagtail made an particularly sturdy exhibiting proper by September, being recorded at 19 totally different websites with double determine counts at six of these and three determine reed mattress roosts at Otmoor on two events. Tree Pipit had been famous in 5 locations, principally as fly-overs on name. Noticed Flycatcher continued to characteristic from 13 separate places, the largest occasion being 4 at Muswell Hill on 14th.

Amongst incoming birds Siskin produced an uncommon quantity of information from 15 totally different websites, whereas Redpoll had been seen or heard at 8. The perfect counts (excluding vis- and noc-mig information) had been 35 Siskin at Bletchingdon Park on 23rd, and 12 Redpoll at Blenheim on 21st. Widespread Crossbill additionally returned to conventional strongholds of Bagley Wooden, Boars Hill and Headington.

Leucistic Home Sparrow, courtesy of Nick Truby

At month’s finish Caspian Gull started to be picked out once more at Grimsbury Reservoir, Appleford GPs and Farmoor Reservoir; and the primary Redwing of autumn had been reported over Banbury and Oxford. Lastly the September novelty merchandise is a Home Sparrow from Oxfordshire’s obvious leucistic hotspot of Bicester. This overview has assumed a extra conventional format as a result of with all of the headline birds there’s been a significantly better story to inform. What now will October deliver?

Peter Regulation

Risk to the Lye Valley

The Treasured Lye Valley SSSI (Website of Particular Scientific Curiosity), Headington, Oxford is an Ice Age relict calcareous spring fed fen, underneath menace from a 10 home Oxford Metropolis Council improvement subsequent to it, accredited due incompetence, ignorance and callousness in direction of the inexperienced house disadvantaged kids who dwell close by.

Take pleasure in its magnificence on this quick 7 minute film and admire the menace it’s underneath. 

Please be a part of Pals of Lye Valley (FOLV) to avoid wasting this treasured place at: 

electronic mail: friendsoflyevalley@yahoo.co.uk
net: www.friendsoflyevalley.org.uk 



Chilterns Champions
Excellent of their subject
Saturday 24th October (9.30 – 16.00)


The occasion is free (and supported by the Nationwide Lottery Heritage Fund)

Anybody is welcome to attend,we ask they register beforehand at: 


The complete programme continues to be to be confirmed however will cowl: 

  • Why Citizen Science issues – Chris Packham will share why he’s so keen about Citizen Science and chair a panel trying on the affect Citizen Scientists’ makes.
  • Searching for wildlife – Mick Jones (Chair, BMERC Advisory Group) and audio system from BTO, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife, CEH, Chilterns Conservation Board, BBOWT will have a look at how Citizen Science informs inhabitants traits and habitat administration
  • Measuring the circulate – Allen Beechey (Chiltern Chalk Streams Venture officer) will lead a session sharing the analysis Citizen Scientists are supporting to higher perceive Chilterns Chalk Streams
  • Arms on heritage – Wendy Morrison (Venture Supervisor, Beacons to the Previous) will lead a panel of audio system how Citizen Science is on the forefront of groundbreaking new work piecing collectively the heritage of the Chilterns
  • Inspiring the subsequent era – John Shaw (Chiltern Rangers) will chair a session led by the longer term stars of Citizen Science. A panel of younger volunteers will share why Citizen Science issues to them and the way we encourage a brand new era

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