Monday, 2 March 2015

Grimsbury Reservoir: goosanders and willow tits on the radio

Another first for Grimsbury Reservoir in the shape of the BBC Radio Oxford outside broadcast van! Reg Tipping and I were live on air for the breakfast show with roving reporter Lilley Mitchell for four slots between seven and nine.
live on air
The birds did not let us down: the noisy yaffling of the green woodpecker, courtship antics from the goosanders, the noisy rookery.......even the elusive willow tit put in an appearance. To top it all we heard a curlew fly over, a genuine addition to the Big Bird Year, bringing us up to 71 species for the year to date.  Have a listen here, it is quite entertaining!  (listen at 21 mins, 57 mins, 1hr 21 mins and 1hr 57 mins)

Later in the day I took a trip across to the Neal Trust BOS reserve near Kineton, where I spent a couple of hours in the shelter of the small valley.  Highlights included a woodcock, pair of marsh tits and the two Exmoor ponies grazing the butterfly meadow.  
Exmoor ponies
I also called into Balscote Quarry BOS reserve, where lapwings are back on territory. One bird was showing some nest "making" behaviour, shuffling around low in the crop behind the reserve.  A flock of teal, drakes in fine breeding plumage, were calling as they swirled around in a small flock on the back pool.  A couple of long-tailed tits bravely attempted to feed alongside a male great spotted woodpecker, but he was having none if it and gave them a quick jab with his bill to ward them off.
great spotted woodpecker and long-tailed tit

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