Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Grimsbury Reservoir: redshank and little egrets

An hour spent at Grimsbury Reservoir in Banbury early evening was very rewarding, with excellent views of two birds I've not seen there before.
For some reason I usually walk around the reservoir in an anticlockwise direction, but this evening I noticed a lot of black-headed gulls around the south west corner so I decided to go there first and continue clockwise.  I soon heard the distictive "teu" call of a wader and located a redshank on the concrete shoreline.  I managed to get quite close, then it flew a short distance to roost on the floating pontoons.  I was an immature bird, judging from the slighly paler orange red legs (adults are more vivid) and well spotted wing coverts.
Further on, at the very far end of the reservoir, two little egrets were busy hunting the shallows.  They were a bit more timid than the redshank but allowed reasonably close approach. They then flew off and fished around the pontoons.

It was another lovely warm evening with butterflies, including a few peacocks, on the wing and nectaring on the last few bramble flowers.
Swifts are very noticeable at the moment with large groups screaming around Banbury - I saw about twenty a little later in the evening over the Wood Green swimming pool area.  Make the most of them, in two weeks they will be gone.

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