Thursday, 28 February 2013

Whooper Party poopers.

I have been told the recent distant sighting of Whooper Swans on Buscot Lake are plastic , that is they are wing clipped birds given to the lake owner and not a worthwhile tick. The dozen Goosander were absent from the lake also.
More Linnets

Monday, 25 February 2013

Super dooper Whoopers.

Ace birder and friend Dr Bill Haynes sent a text yesterday telling me there are four Whooper Swans on Buscot Lake. So a trip to the lake this morning gave me distant views of the Whoopers and a dozen Goosander, another good bird seen today was a Merlin on the Faringdon side of Clanfield.
Far distant Whoopers

and Goosanders

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Tadpole Linnets

Popped in to my mates Alan's near to the Bampton road Great Brook turn-off today and enjoyed good and close views of Bullfinch, Brambling and several hundred Linnets.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Alongside the Lasher

As soon as I got out of the car the intense cold wrapped itself round me freezing my hands and stinging my face. I had parked by the path on the Witney to New Mill road, and took the winding footpath that runs down to the lasher field, after hopping over the stile I was rather taken aback by the sudden appearance and flight of a Green Sandpiper that settled a little further away. A walk to the lasher confirmed my suspicions that there is far too much water coming down the Windrush at the present time to offer any attraction for the Dipper.
A continuing walk round the meadow turned up a pair of Mistle Thrush and soon after a pair of Meadow Pippit, with the cold now becoming increasingly uncomfortable it was away to join a friend for a bite at the Harcourt Arms, and very nice it was too particularly as I had forgotten my wallet (at least thats my story -and i'm sticking to it) and my mate paid.
Mistle Thrush

Meadow Pippit

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Black & White & Red All Over.

The answer to this little puzzle used to be a newspaper but in this case it describes an Avocet that is currently resting and feeding on a large stretch of floodwater lying between the A420 and the minor road running from Fernham to Watchfield the bird seems quite lively but has an obvious wing injury that has bled leaving a patch of stained feather and a drooping wing. Possible explainations are it may have hit something like a pylon or it has been shot , this is mere speculation of course. My thanks to Dr Bill Haynes for bringing this bird to my attention.


Friday, 15 February 2013

Love is in the Air.

Song Thrush proclaiming his territory and no doubt showing off to his lady love in trees across the road from my Bampton bungalow. I guess it's all kicking off now in spite of the atrocious weather our birds and indeed our wildlife generally has had to cope with for many months now. I see the bovver boys are out with their flail hedge cutters pulverising one of the countys best wildlife resources - sacrilege. camboy.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

S-I-T-V garden today.

A very nice visitor today to the Stanford garden in the shape of a colourful male Bullfinch, although a long way off at the bottom of this large garden it was as is usual with this species a delight to behold, also a couple of Reed Buntings and a collection of the more common garden birds. camboy

Friday, 8 February 2013

A Royal Invitation.

Swindon birder Malcolm Royal had sometime ago offered to show me a part of his Wiltshire birding area just over the Oxon border that has often caught my attention, not least because of the regular ringing of this site that has thrown up high numbers of the common and not so common. Nightingale Wood is a large expanse of differing habitats including open and also close planted woodland, wet marshy areas with wader attractive scrapes and reed beds. The river Cole runs for some lenght of the site and forms the border between Ox&Wilts. It was this stretch that gave us our best bird of the day a Brambling. We saw a good variety of Finch including Bull, Chaff, Gold and good numbers of Green. Winter Thrush were represented by Redwing and Fieldfare and also noted were Greater and Green Woodpecker. Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and many of the more common species were seen and i'm so grateful to Malcolm who had come straight from work to introduce me to a really super birding site less tha a couple of miles over the Oxon border. I will be visiting again.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Out and About.

A very cold wind blew today and felt most uncomfortable nevertheless walked round the fullers earth pit by Baulking and noted some 200 fieldfare, 2 kestrel, 8 long-t-tits, 30 wigeon, 25 tufted duck, 6 pochard, 40 mallard, 40 coot, 8 canada geese and a flock of about 30 goldfinch. Later driving between Shellingford cross roads and Faringdon on the a417 several fields to the west held what appeared to be a corvid pre-roost with literally thousands of corvids presumably waiting to turn in for the night. Yesterday at Kilmester Farm were 20 redwing and at Shellingford Quarry on the ploughland close by were 10 common snipe and on the adjacent grassland 12 skylark were noted and on the now back to the amount of water it used to hold were 15 tufted duck and 20 teal. camboy.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

I Wonder Why.

A couple of seasons ago in the village of Aston just up the road from me I enjoyed the magnificent sight of a flock of Waxwings feeding on the berries of a tree and because of the lack of natural food in their usual winter haunts, this year has seen Oxfordshire along with the rest of Britain seeing large numbers of these delightful birds. The tree in question has again produced copious amounts of berries but for some unfathomable reason not a Waxwing has been noted in our locality in fact the nearest they were reported from were just a few briefly at the nearby Chimney Meadows. The berries are now rotting and it leaves me wondering why, when there has been a desperate shortage of this type of food for not only Waxwings but also Winter Thrush that this tree has been overlooked. Another bird noticeable by its complete absence in my garden has been Yellowhammer and once again i'm not sure why unless due to the hard winter they moved further south this year. camboy