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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Oxon Birding Weblog: Might evaluation

The rarest of the 4 subspecies or kinds to have occurred
within the county and the massive prize for many birders in the case of discovering rarer
Yellow Wagtails. The UK had solely had fewer than 20 information of feldegg
up till 2010 earlier than a giant uptick in information within the final decade and a half. One
of these information pre-2010 was from our very personal county the place a stonking male
was noticed holding territory in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell in June 1988.
Apparently very aggressive and instigating mid-flight duels with native flavissima,
this chook was by no means noticed to be correctly paired up regardless of its greatest
efforts. This report was made much more attention-grabbing when in the identical precise
subject that yr, a male flava paired with up with a feminine flavissima
fledging three younger!

Thomas Miller, the finder of each of the county’s newest Gray-headed
information, has helpfully offered some extra ID information on
distinguishing feminine flava and thunbergi been considerably of Yellow
subspecies fanatic and all spherical ID professional.

Feminine flava

1. Blue-grey head contrasting with mantle.

2. Darker lores than flavissima.

3. White throat, supericilium and ear-covert spot – sometimes
yellow in flavissima.

4. Buzzy name.

Feminine thunbergi

1. Very darkish gray head and lores, some overlap with flava.

2. Lowered supercilium – thinner than flava, not flaring behind
the attention.

3. Lowered ear covert spot.

4. Usually has whitish throat/supercilium, however some people
extra yellow.

5. Usually has darkish marks/streaking in a “necklace”
form extending onto chest under throat – additionally current in male thunbergi.

6. Has buzzy name like flava – could also be separable from flava
utilizing sonogram

As in earlier years we will probably be taking a small break over the
summer time lull however will probably be again on the finish of July to spherical up any notable
sightings which will have occurred over the summer time. The county yr listing now has
ticked as much as 177, regardless of me saying it was 183 within the final evaluation which
included subspecies, ferals and possible information. With these included it now
stands at 193 with a small flurry of cracking subspecies recorded this month
and a pair unconfirmed possible’s.


An expectedly busy month for wader information, with loads of
attention-grabbing species shifting via the county. The primary spotlight got here within the
early a part of the month when a pair of Avocet turned up at Peep-o-Day
on the 6th. Fairly a late report with most birds already on
nests across the nation, there was some transient hope that these birds would set
up store within the county when the birds remained for a few days after.
Sadly, the birds departed by the tenth, regardless of behaving
territorially within the time they have been right here. 

courtesy of Steve Sansom


Sanderling had a great displaying
this month, with information from the 4th all they method via to the 26th.
A basic chook of late spring, with birds heading as far north as Greenland,
the primary chook arrived on the 4th. This was adopted by two on
the 11th which seemingly remained till the 17th. A pleasant
flock of 5 have been current on the 22nd in inclement climate, with
between two and 4 nonetheless current till the 26th

courtesy of Debbie Cummins

Turnstone have been current on Farmoor within the latter a part of the
month, arriving initially inclement climate together with the Greenland certain
Sanderling and arctica Dunlin. A pair of birds was current
on the 22nd till the 25th. A possible 2nd
pair of birds was then current on Farmoor on the 30th. Whimbrel
information solely got here from the early a part of the month with two websites recording
birds on the 4th of the month – three birds on the Farmoor and
a single chook on Pit 60, while Greenshank have been additionally current at
two websites at Farmoor on the 4th and Waterstock on the
11th. Dunlin information calmed considerably in Might, though
4 websites nonetheless hosted birds. Farmoor, Port Meadow, Ardley and Venn
with solely singles on the latter two. Farmoor noticed probably the most birds
the place as much as 13 have been current on the 27th, however most curiously have been
two to 3 robust candidates for the arctica subspecies. With solely a
handful of fine candidates within the final 20 years – birds are sometimes paler,
smaller and shorter billed birds classically arriving in late Might and
are doubtlessly on route Greenland. An intensive weblog submit on arctica in
North Spain will be discovered right here –

Above and under, the candidate arctica courtesy of Ian Lewington


…the highest left chook

Courtesy of Ben Sheldon

A Gray Plover was reported however unconfirmed from Otmoor
on the 12th, while a great thing about a Wooden Sandpiper got here
from Widford on the 19th though sadly it didn’t
linger lengthy sufficient for others to attach past the only day.


courtesy of Mick Cunningham


information have been restricted to the early a part of the month and to solely single
birds at two websites – Port Meadow on the 4th and Days Lock on
the 8th. Ringed Plover information additionally tailed off with solely three
websites seeing birds recorded, with all internet hosting a number of birds. Port Meadow recorded
5 on the 9th with a single there on the 25th. Balscote
performed host to 3 birds on the 14th, while Farmoor
had two on the 7th. Frequent Sandpiper continued to maneuver via
the county in small numbers, presumably a mixture of non-breeders and birds shifting
additional north, with 5 websites recording birds. Henley Highway, Grimsbury,
and Oxford all recorded birds within the early a part of the month
while Farmoor, Grimsbury and Port Meadow recorded a number of birds
collectively within the latter levels of Might. 


Wildfowl & Sport and so on

The yr’s first Quail was proper on que with the arrival
of a duo of singing birds at Chipping Norton on the 12th. This
was swiftly adopted by a single singing chook at Toot Baldon on the 16th,
which was nonetheless singing on 19th. Presumably June will deliver
with it extra singing birds alongside the varied cereal fields of the Downs,
definitely value an early rise for those who get an opportunity to.

Garganey have been at 5 places this month with some encouraging indicators, resulting from
lateness of the information and size of keep, that some native breeding might happen
once more. Information all got here from the north and west of the county with all information
been single drakes or pairs. A quite late report of White-fronted Goose got here
from Otmoor on the 15th with two birds right here, though these
might relate to the feral birds that frequent the county all yr spherical as opposed
to the Russian birds that spent a lot of the winter on website.

The Port Meadow Garganey courtesy of Steve Sansom

Some nice information of breeding Shelduck got here from two websites
this yr. A uncommon breeding chook within the county, its improbable that two pairs
have bred at Days Lock and Venn Mill. On the former the pair have been
first noticed on the March 16th with the male behaving very
territorially from the off earlier than the feminine disappeared a month later. By Might
20th the pair had returned to the brand new scrape on the Earth
land with 10 recent ducklings having seemingly swam down river from
their nesting location.  An additional three
websites hosted birds this month, with Port Meadow recording 11 birds on
the 28th, with the prevalence of so many birds properly into the breeding
season it appears possibly extra breeding information could also be on the playing cards. 

Shelduck household courtesy of Geoff Wyatt.


Herons, egrets and so on

In what may need been a contender for the highlght of the
if not for a
sure Gray-headed Wagtail on the similar website earlier within the month, a juvenile Spoonbill
was current on Port Meadow on the 22nd. This report was made
much more attention-grabbing by the truth that it was color ringed from a ringing
scheme in Denmark! Ringed as a chick in Hoje Sande, Ringkobing Fjord
in June 2023 the chook spent the winter on the Hayle Estuary, Cornwall
with a small jaunt to Yorkshire in between. A superb report and
wonderful to have the ability to hint this birds actions since leaving its native Denmark.
The chook was passed by the next day and has hopefully made its method north
again to its homeland. 

courtesy of Thomas Miller

One other respectable chook to grace the county this month was a Shiny
which turned up at Otmoor on the 4th. The chook remained
right here till the 6
th earlier than then additionally visiting Port Meadow on
the identical day, a website which has had a very good late
Spring. The
chook then went lacking and was assumed to have departed the county. A 2nd chook was seen then on the 17
th once more at Otmoor and was
current on and off once more between then and the 27
th, with a quick
sighting at  Port Meadow  on the twenty fourth and at
 Clifton Hampden on the 25th.

Shiny Ibis Otmoor rspb courtesy of Kyle Smith.

The Port Meadow chook courtesy of Thomas Miller


Extra White Stork information
have been noticed this month the place a presumed
Knepp Property ringed chook was
noticed flying over a number of places within the county on the 11
th. An
apparently un-ringed chook was additionally then current at
Waterstock the
following day with a number of birds frequenting this space over the past couple of



Courtesy of Wayne Paes

Cattle Egret continued their typical sample of this time of yr with all
information coming from northern and western components of the county, anyplace inside
commuting distance of their breeding colony at Blenheim. The very best
depend, apart from there, got here from Shipton-on-Cherwell the place six birds
have been current on the 24th, while an extra seven websites recorded
between one and two birds all through the month. Nice Egret information dissipated
a bit extra this month, though as much as six birds appeared to be current within the
county at anybody time. A most of 4 have been at Pit 60 on the 4th
while a pair have been frequented Otmoor via the month. A minimum of two
birds have been seen in summer time plumage, may this be the yr?

Otmoor Cattle Egret courtesy of Steve Cumnock


Gulls and Terns

Might was all about high quality over amount for
Gull and Tern information. Otmoor acquired its, and the county’s, 2nd
Little Tern of the yr solely two weeks after the primary one on the finish of
final month. Each these information come after an absence the earlier yr, however
sadly each have been transient information in contrast to the 2022 chook which caught round
for a number of day throughout Port Meadow and Farmoor. The county additionally
noticed its first Black Tern of the yr with a small flock of eight birds on
Farmoor on the 11th, it’s all the time a beautiful spectacle to see
this species darting and bouncing across the reservoir while on energetic migration! 

courtesy of Ewan Urquhart

The early a part of the month additionally noticed extra
information Sandwich and Arctic Tern. Rushy Fen had a single Sandwich
on the 1st of the month, adopted up by a cracking report
of a number of birds on the 7th the place 4 graced the identical website. The threerd
noticed but extra Arctic Tern shifting via the county throughout a number of websites.
Grimsbury Reservoir noticed 2+ birds come and go pretty shortly, as information have a tendency
to at this website, while Dorchester Crusing Membership had a minimum of three birds
go via. Farmoor initially hosted a number of birds on the morning of the
3rd which slowly elevated to twenty+ because the day went on in what
gave the impression to be one final large motion of birds throughout the nation. No birds remained
at any websites the next day.

Lingering winter gulls remained in
the county right through to the tip of the month, in what has turn into a
later and later sample lately. A 1st summer time Caspian
was initially at Shepherds Pit north of Oxford on the 14th,
which then appeared at Port Meadow on the 25th. While an grownup
Yellow-legged Gull was at Sonning Eye GPs on the 7th



A quiet month for rarer and migrant passerines with the massive
push of birds occurring within the earlier month. The primary spotlight for the month
was a stonking male Black Redstart on residential road in Bicester on
the twond. Sadly just like the earlier information this yr it was untwitchable
and never situated the regardless of looking. A lone Whinchat report got here from Otmoor
on the 9th while a number of Wheatear seemingly certain for Greenland
have been at Farmoor on the seventh and Yarnton on the 14th ,
with the Farmoor chook been a very good candidate.

In rarer Motacilla information Farmoor hosted a single
White Wagtail report on the threerd, while three feminine Blue-headed
have been current on Port Meadow on the threerd following off
the again of the refined feminine thunbergi sort Yellow Wagtail additionally
current right here on the threerd.

Cuckoo Otmoor rspb courtesy of Kyle Smith.


wholly unconfirmed report of a Black Kite over Otmoor got here on the
15th of the month, sadly the reporter was not pinned down
for any extra particulars so this one will stay a thriller. The identical applies
for an unconfirmed report of a Honey Buzzard over Weston-on-the-Inexperienced
on the 23rd. Brief-eared Owl, nevertheless, proceed to linger
within the county at a number of websites with a robust hope that some birds might ultimately
breed within the county. 

Peregrine St Marys Witney Courtesy of Andrew Corridor

Passion have been
current in good numbers at Otmoor via the month with a superb excessive
depend 17 right here on the 4th. Marsh Harrier have been famous at a number of
places from the same old website of Otmoor with 5 websites recording birds.
Appleford GPs and Bicester Wetlands have been notably uncommon
given the time of yr with a pair seen within the west of the county over Witney,
and Rushy Frequent have been maybe extra ordinary places given
the proximity to Pit 60 and Chimney Meadows. 


Patchwork problem






Aston eyot

Ben Sheldon



Reed Warbler – patch tick

Ardley ERF

Gareth Casburn



Dunlin and Pink-crested Pochard

Dix pit

Simon Bradfield




Grimsbury reservoir

Gareth Blockley




Lye valley

Tom Bedford




River Thames

Geoff Wyatt




Sutton Courtenay

Conor MacKenzie



Avocet and Marsh Harrier solely the twond
of both species I’ve had on the patch

Radley GP’s

Ian Elkins





Glen Pascoe




South Hinksey

Alex Figueiredo





Alan Dawson





Terry Godfrey filmed a pair of nesting Treecreepers (from a secure distance) in his Cassington backyard.
Under is a good looking compilation of their progress.

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