Oxon Birding Weblog: August Overview


And similar to that the summer time
lull has dissipated and the joy of autumn is rolling in, probably extra
with a whimper than a bang however no less than issues are starting to kick off! That
time of yr the place an early morning or late night go to to the patch can
produce a little bit of patch gold, with waders the staple of most patch birders
ambitions and the obvious goal. It’s early doorways but however the selection and
unfold of migrant wader data began to choose up across the center of the
month albeit in a trickle quite than a flood, hopefully with a lot extra birds
and species to come back over the following couple weeks. August failed to offer any
additions to the yr checklist, so the entire nonetheless stands at 198 with the
further 11 non-BOU species and the odd subspecies additionally. September could be very
more likely to tip us over the 200 mark and hopefully prime the lowly 204 achieved
final yr, the joint 2nd lowest species recorded this century. Little
ought to be a given, having solely been lacking from two out of the final
20 September’s while one other Curlew Sandpiper or a summer time plumaged Noticed
can be most welcome additions.

Sadly, there was no actual
standout rarity this month that warranted a spotlight, so beneath is a pair
data of be aware that appeared deserving of highlighting as an alternative.

Norwegian ringed Frequent

A cracking picture from Pinkhill
of a flagged and color ringed Frequent Sandpiper offered an important
alternative to get some context for these pretty frequent and widespread migrants
inside the county. A fast search urged that ‘LTN’ was ringed in Norway
quite than from our personal breeding inhabitants within the north of England or
even Scotland. Southern England is a vital fuelling floor
for each our ‘personal’ breeders and people from additional north, significantly the Fenno-Scandinavian
birds which quantity half one million pairs, en path to the wintering grounds
in West Africa. Sadly essentially the most particular particulars we may acquire
for ‘LTN’ was that it was possible ringed as a younger hen this summer time in Rogaland
county, SW Norway presumably on its approach roughly 900km
southwest to Farmoor.

The ringed Frequent Sandpiper at Pinkhill, courtesy of Paul Mallarini

Breeding Quail

In what has been an important yr for
uncommon breeding species within the county (see Cattle Egret, Goosander, Noticed
and Black Redstart). A implausible document of a Quail household
celebration at Otmoor on the 22nd provides some uncommon affirmation of profitable
breeding for a species that’s more likely to breed yearly inside the county however
extremely tough to substantiate. In any given yr it may be tough to pin
down precisely what number of birds have been recorded as a consequence of their elusiveness and their
nearly ventriloquist like means to sound in a number of locations directly. Actually
the final solidly confirmed breeding document (i.e bodily proof of success)
got here again in 2011 when our personal Roger Wyatt staked out a subject due for harvest
which resulted within the survival of the brood and a few implausible images (see
beneath). This yr, though not fairly at ‘Quail’ yr standing, has seen a
good unfold of data throughout the county with Otmoor seeing a number of
singing males current in summer time, a website that surprisingly data few Quail yr
to yr. With Noticed Crake seemingly added to breeding hen assemblage there
this yr, Otmoor has had cracking 2023.

Breeding Oxon Quail again in 2011, courtesy of Roger Wyatt


The primary returning Wooden
of the autumn was most likely the standout rarity for this group in August.
A lone hen at Peep-o-Day Lane was current from the 21st
till no less than the 27th, sadly preferring the furthest half
of the flood and solely affording people principally distant views. 


Wooden Sandpiper at Peep-O-Day Lane, courtesy of Badger

A pair of Turnstone
on the Farmoor causeway on the 13th as anticipated afforded
observers significantly better views. A juv and a stunning summer time plumaged grownup had been
current for a single day with the grownup hanging on till the 15th. A
2nd hen appeared on the 15th with two nonetheless current up
till no less than the 23rd.   

Farmoor Turnstone, courtesy of John Workman

lone Sanderling on the 16th additionally got here from Farmoor in
the corporate of a number of different wader species. Presumably a 2nd hen
was current on the 23rd. Additionally current on the 16th was a cracking
juvenile Ruff and was sometimes confiding up till its departure on the 17thPit 60 additionally hosted a single juvenile on the 26th with two
birds then right here on the 28th till no less than the 29th

Farmoor Ruff, courtesy of Steve Liptrot

nice vis-mig document of 4 Whimbrel over Fyfield Wick on the 24th
had been the primary of the autumn and simply goes to show what we may be lacking
flying straight over our heads throughout this busy interval.

Greenshank had been noticed
at 3 areas this month. With the primary coming from John Allen Pit in Dorchester-on-Thames
on the 9th. A hen calling over Farmoor presumably was
searching for someplace to relaxation up however didn’t stick round on the 23rd
while two birds had been on Hatford Pit on the 27th. Ringed
data solely got here from Farmoor in August with two
birds calling over the reservoir on the 14th, a lone hen on the 19th
and a trio of birds there on the 23rd. A single Black-tailed
was on Pit 60 on the threerd with probably one other
right here on the 15th, while a bunch of 4 had been clocked heading over Fyfield
on the 24th. Dunlin data had been nonetheless principally
confided to Farmoor by means of August with solely Bicester Wetlands
and Hatford internet hosting another birds this month. A most of 5
had been on Farmoor on the 4th with three remaining till the 6th,
with a brand new pair of birds additionally right here on the 23rd. Bicester hosted
a single hen on the 7th and it continued to be recorded up till at
least the 13th, while a juvenile was at Hatford on the 28th.

As anticipated, Inexperienced Sandpiper and
Frequent Sandpiper made up the majority of wader data this month with a
giant unfold all through the county. Inexperienced Sandpiper had been reported type eight
websites this month with a number of websites recorded a number of birds. The very best depend
got here from Bicester Wetlands which retains its standing as the most effective website in
the county for Inexperienced Sandpiper throughout each migration durations, a most
of 15 had been right here on the 9th. Peep-o-Day Lane recorded the following
highest depend with three birds on the 23rd. Frequent Sandpiper on
the opposite hand had been noticed from no less than 12 websites. Most data relate to
single birds with the best depend of three coming from Grimsbury on
the 1st and Chinnor on the 29th. Non Otmoor
Redshank data got here from Farmoor on the tenth &
28th, Pit 60 on the 15th and Rushy Frequent on
the 28th.

Farmoor Dunlin, courtesy of Mark Chivers

Wildfowl, recreation and crakes

Apart from the superb document
of the household celebration at Otmoor, with two birds subsequently seen in
flight on the 27th, the one different document this month was of a tragic
document of a useless hen up on the ridgeway within the early a part of August. Though
it has been an important month for Garganey data with a number of websites have
a number of birds current in the course of the late spring, there was no confirmed
breeding data forthcoming. A number of experiences of a feminine down Peep-o-Day
confirmed no indicators of younger in attendance regardless of seemingly being current
since April. A juvenile on Church Farm Scrape could hopefully level
to native breeding someplace however may simply have simply come from anyplace in

The Ruddy Shelduck continued
on Peep-o-Day Lane spending a lot of its time with giant and seemingly
rising flock of Egyptian Goose. The hen was reported on and off
all through the month with a 2nd hen becoming a member of on the 28th.
A Shelduck noticed on Venn Mill on the 28th was the
solely document of this species this month, while the one Mandarin document
got here from Pit 60 on the 5th.

egrets and so on

After one other profitable breeding yr Cattle Egret noticed
extra widespread data inside the county this month, as juveniles and grownup
feeding events started to wander off from their natal grounds at Blenheim. Breeding
this yr seems to have been staggered with a number of nests at totally different phases
nonetheless current all through August. The utmost depend got here from Otmoor on
the 19th with no less than 12 birds which included no less than three
juveniles, while on the 18th there was no less than six juveniles
throughout two nests with a unique nest containing one juvenile on the 23rd.
All of this factors to very productive yr for the now properly established colony.
Away from Otmoor and Blenheim 5 further websites recorded at
least one Cattle Egret this month. A number of had been flyover data i.e Frilford
on the 7th or 11 over Farmoor on the 24th. Singles
had been current at Church Farm Scrape and Ardley ERF on the 6th
and 11th respectively, while 4 had been at Woodstock on the

Juvenile Cattle Egret, at Otmoor, courtesy of Peter Barker

Nice White Egret continued their ever presence in
the county by means of August. 5 websites recorded birds this month with a
most depend of three birds current on Pit 60 on the 26th,
while two birds had been current all through the month at Blenheim and Otmoor.
A color ringed hen at Church Farm Scrape on the 29th was a
1st summer time hen ringed this yr down at Ham Wall in Somerset,
the possible supply for the whole lot of our data in the course of the summer time months.
With a seemingly document yr down on Shapwick Heath with 88 chicks
fledged this yr, one has to hope we’ll finally see the primary breeding in
Oxon someday quickly.

and Terns

Sadly most good data this month relate to birds
flying by means of Farmoor on not lingering very lengthy. The spotlight for the
interval got here within the type of a shocking grownup Little Gull on the 16th
from Farmoor while a pleasant flock of 11 Sandwich Tern bombed
by means of Farmoor on the 14th with a single hen hanging round
a short while longer. A single Black Tern was current on Farmoor on
the afternoon of the 18th which finally grew into 13 birds later
that night. As anticipated, these birds had been passed by the next morning. Virtually
too late for the assessment got here one other document of single Black Tern on Farmoor
on the night of the 31st and possibly this one will grasp round into

Farmoor Yellow-legged Gull courtesy of Nick Truby

A one legged grownup Caspian Gull on the 20th
was the one document of this species albeit an intriguing one at that, with the
hen current at Gill Mill Quarry. A single juvenile Mediterranean
was current on Farmoor on the 25th with attainable the
similar one current the following day at Pit 60. 

One legged Caspian Gull at Gill Mill Quarry, courtesy of Paul Hicks


After a couple of early migrants within the latter half of final month Passerine
migration received into full swing this month with good numbers of all of the
frequent and anticipated species. Whinchat had been recorded from no less than 11
areas. By far the biggest depend got here from Otmoor had been a minimal of 18
had been seen on the 23rd, a whopping depend and an particularly painful
quantity for these us who would take only a single hen on their patch. Usually,
an apparent bias was in direction of the downs with the following highest depend coming from Cholsey
with 6 on the 15th. Trio’s had been famous on Kings Lock and the
Chilton Downs on the 26th and 16th respectively.
Singles had been famous from Cholsey, Farmoor, Woodstock, Childrey Area, Lark Hill,
and Gramps Hill. 

Whinchat alongside the Bunk Line, Cholsey, courtesy of Alan Dawson

Wheatear adopted the same trajectory by means of the
county though apparently in much less numbers. The most important group got here from Lark
the place 4 had been current on the 15th. Trios had been current at
the Devils Punchbowl, Childrey Area and Letcombe Regis on the 6th,
24th and 26th respectively. Different areas included Farmoor,
Hatford, Gramps Hill
and Caterton. Redstart had been definitely essentially the most
widespread migrant this month with data from no less than 16 websites. Otmoor recorded
birds essentially the most steadily, because it typically does, with birds recorded on and off all through
August. Solely two websites recorded greater than two birds with three people
at Gramps Hill and Letcombe Regis on the 23rd and 26th

Redstart, Burgess Area, Port Meadow, courtesy of Matthew Lloyd

Notable counts of Yellow Wagtail got here from two websites
this month. Moreton Golf Course recorded 40 birds on the 25th
while Childrey Area recorded 39 birds on the 23rd

Yellow Wagtail on the Bunk Line, Cholsey, courtesy of Paul Chandler


Tree Pipit had been recorded from 4 websites with the
most notable of those coming from town of Oxford with two birds over
Warneford Meadow on the 19th. One other notable document and positively
the rarest of all of them inside its personal distinctive context was the document of a Corn
additionally from Warneford Meadow in Oxford on the 17th.
Extremely the primary Oxford document in 43 years! A extremely cracking
city document and proves what can discovered with sustained effort even in essentially the most
constrained of greenspaces. 


Sadly it was a quiet month for Raptor data with
essentially the most notable document coming very early within the month when a White-tailed
was seen alongside the Berks/Oxon border on the 1st. Virtually
definitely a hen from the IoW reintroduction venture and was fairly
probably G452 a 3cy feminine that has travelled extensively all through the
nation since her launch. She was seen at Rutland later that month and
presumably travelled by means of Oxfordshire en route. No matter its origin
and identification with the success of the venture, having had their profitable
breeding and fledging this yr we’re more likely to get increasingly data from
now on!

An early Merlin was additionally fairly notable when a single hen
was seen at Childrey Area on the 27th and presumably the
similar hen caught across the downs when a Merlin was additionally seen round Churn
the next day. 


Patchwork problem







Proportion of goal

Aston eyot

Ben Sheldon













Dix pit




Black Tern



Grimsbury reservoir




Sandwich Tern
and Greenshank



Lye valley

Tom Bedford



Corn Bunting –
first Metropolis document for 43 years!



River Thames

Geoff Wyatt



Wooden  Sand #Patchtick. Gray Plover #Patchtick.



Sutton Courtenay




Wooden Sandpiper, Marsh Harrier
(patch tick) and Redstart




Glen Pascoe






East Challow

Mark Merritt






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