Saturday, 7 May 2022


Lucky me - I had most of both the Bank Holiday Monday (02/05) and also the following day (03/05) for birding.

With conditions looking half-decent, I decided to stay local and really hammer the patch and maybe another couple of sites, to hopefully dig out some decent migrants.

I predictably began at Grimsbury Res, Banbury super early on Monday. Things began well, with a fly-through Common Tern, Yellow Wagtail, 4 Common Sandpiper, a Little Grebe, Mistle Thrush and best of all, a nice Dunlin pottering about.

Best though was yet to come, as I got the briefest of views of a larger wader dropping down at the southern end of the res. I hot-footed it down from the northern end and was super-chuffed to discover a cracking brick-red Bar-Tailed Godwit sat on the concrete ledge of the reservoir, towards the SE corner. I cautiously approached, but the bird was pretty chilled, in fact it looked pretty knackered and it's right foot seemed to be bothering it. It hung around for about an hour and a half, by which time it looked far more perky and was wandering about. Thankfully, fellow patcher Gareth also caught up with it (a patch tick for him), after finally getting hold of him!

The patch was on very good form with 56 species in total. Following the Barwit, Dunlin etc, I also saw a female Redstart found earlier by others, which showed for me for about 3 seconds, a distant female Whinchat, 1+ Swift, c3 Yellow Wags, an increase in Sedge Warbler (c9) and Lesser Whitethroat (c5) and all x3 Hirundine species among other things.

I also popped over to Boddington Res on a quest for Arctic Tern. While there were no Arctics, I did have my first Cuckoo of the year, plus 2 Hobby overhead for a while, a male Wheatear and my first 2 Garden Warbler of the year too.

The next day (Tuesday 03/05), I had another crack at the patch early on and was pleased to chance upon a singing Gropper just across the river, plus 4 Yellow Wags and 4 Meadow Pipit through. Gareth popped up to try and connect with the Gropper and after a bit of a wait, it began a decent spell of song thankfully. We had a bit more of a look about and came across a male Whinchat at distance, plus a Wheatear, 3 Common Sands and a brief LRP, before he had to get back to work. Later, there were 2 Wheatear, plus 3 Swift.

I headed home but later on that afternoon, news broke of 3 Black Terns at Boddington Res and so I headed over and enjoyed some decent views on what a bright, warm evening in the company of birding pal Dylan.

The rest of the week was quiet from a birding point of view, however I did pop into Bicester Wetland after work and caught up the the pair of Shelduck that had been around for much of the week - not a common bird in these parts.

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Lucky me - I had most of both the Bank Holiday Monday (02/05) and also the following day (03/05) for birding. With conditions looking half-d...