Saturday, 16 September 2017

Grimsbury Reservoir: Grey Phalarope gallery

Much excitement at Grimsbury Reservoir this week with the discovery of a Grey Phalarope on Monday evening by John Friendship-Taylor.  Within a hour, a small gathering of local birders had assembled to enjoy great close-up views.  This ocean-faring wader was one of several blown off course by recent gales and taking temporary respite on our inland lakes and reservoirs.  The first ever recorded at Grimsbury, and only the fourth in the BOS recording area. 

It stayed for four days, enabling many to catch up with it, and no doubt many thousands for full frame images were taken!  It spend nearly all it's time feeding along the eastern shore of the concrete-lined reservoir, continually picking around for tiny food items. Incredibly confiding, it was content to walk or swim within a metre or so of the anglers and photographers sitting along the shoreline. I took a series of photos during it's stay in different weather and light conditions.  Here are a selection:

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Banburyshire: early autumn reflections

Grey Heron, Bicester Wetland Reserve
The transition from summer to autumn has happened pretty quickly - nights are cooling down rapidly, birds are on the move and hedgerow fruits have ripened.
A few calm and sunny early mornings created nice conditions for photography, especially for waterbirds with mirror-like reflections in the water.
Little Egret, Boddington Reservoir
Grey Heron, Bicester Wetland Reserve
Grey Heron, Grimsbury Reservoir
Grey Heron, Grimsbury Reservoir
 Even the cows at Bicester Wetland Reserve got in on the act:

A single juvenile Black-tailed Godwit was spend the past few days at Bicester Wetland Reserve, quite at home wading around in the gloopy mud and showing well.  The first two photos were taken just after dawn this morning in the lovely glow of early morning light.

Last weekend, Yellow Wagtails were on the move and I was really surprised to discover a flock of 35 just outside Upper Wardington, with about a dozen Pied Wagtails.  A couple of Meadow Pipits were also around, my first of the autumn.  This weekend, there were lots of Meadow Pipits in fields on the high ground above the village, though the Yellow Wagtails were down to just one or two birds.

Out and about in the farmed countryside, birding highlights have been limited - a Redstart, a couple of Lapwings, a few small flocks of Linnets and the occasional Tree Sparrow.  I did manage to sneak up on a Yellowhammer that seemed very relaxed and unconcerned about my presence, and captured some nice close-ups.
Yellowhammer near Farnborough

Bicester Wetlands scene, early morning
Bicester Wetland at sunset
Boddington Reservoir