Saturday, 30 August 2014

Grimsbury Reservoir and Upper Cherwell Valley: Greenshanks make a short stop then move through

A great selection of birds this morning, highlight being a pair of greenshanks that first caught my attention as they called overhead about 7.40am.  They circled around flying lower and lower, almost landing a couple of times, then finally decided to make a landing.  Sadly for me, right on the opposite side of the reservoir.  I didn't have time to walk around to get a closer view before they decided to move on, but I managed to capture some flight shots "for the record". They are always a special bird for me, especially since last summer when I saw two pairs with chicks in the north-west Highlands of Scotland.  This pair may be heading to wintering grounds around Chichester Harbour, or perhaps crossing the Channel with their sights on the coast of France or Spain.
two greenshanks, right hand bird calling "teu teu teu"

Nice to see the black tern has stayed from yesterday so more people can enjoy it.  Actively feeding around the reservoir, it regularly dips down to the water, presumably to pick off small insects of some description.
black tern
Other birds around included kingfisher, little ringed plover, common sandpiper, all three wagtails (yellow, grey and pied) again, five swifts and four blackcaps.

Wandering on up the the pool east of the M40 (we must agree a good name for it), I was pleased to fiund two whinchats sitting amongst the dead seedheads of docks.
juvenile whinchat
On the water, the regular group of little grebes (5), coot (3) and tufted ducks (5) were present, plus a couple for grey herons standing around the edge.

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