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HomeBirdOxon Birding Weblog: September evaluation

Oxon Birding Weblog: September evaluation

2022 Evaluate


Birding in September, even in Oxfordshire, can typically
result in a sense of anticipation within the air – an environment, a sense that
something can flip up anyplace irrespective of how unlikely though this sense is
normally tempered by harsh actuality. That been stated, for many of us September was
going fairly good with patches throughout the county producing respectable birding and
some good rarities have been being discovered. On the 26th September although,
all hell broke free and there could be just one headline fowl!

Widespread Nighthawk

Courtesy of Brian Walker.

Bonkers, unbelievable, insane or superb – decide your
adjective. Nobody, not even probably the most optimistic amongst us, had
on their radar inside Oxfordshire’s borders – particularly not on a
backyard fence in city
Wantage. Initially thought by the finder to be an
nightjar, a great county fowl in its personal proper nowadays, it was
our astute county recorder who rapidly realised this was in reality a full blown mega
and a primary for the county. Information rapidly broke and the chaos and pleasure
that ensues was quickly underway, this actually was a drop every little thing and go second.
The locals have been the primary to reach and a mixture of bewilderment and pleasure might be
noticed on most of their faces, everybody in a state of disbelief on the sheer
outrageousness of this file. The positioning of this unbelievable Atlantic crossing fowl
sitting nonchalantly on a colorless backyard fence above a brilliant purple Audi couldn’t
fail to place a smile in your face, an expertise unlikely to ever be repeated
actually not inside Oxon.

Twitchers watching the Nightjar courtesy of Conor MacKenzie.

The nighthawk continued in its
place for the rest of the day, sometimes turning 180 levels or
stretching a wing a lot to the delight of the rising crowd. In direction of nightfall the
fowl began to get extra energetic and ultimately took flight hawking briefly
earlier than flying strongly south, an unbelievable finish to an unbelievable day. With
upwards of 500 individuals making the journey from far and vast and several other thousand
kilos raised for charity it was efficiently run twitch with many a cheerful
birder! This constitutes the 26th file for the UK, a truth the
belies how extremely tough this species is to meet up with particularly on
the mainland. Greater than half these data come from Scilly, and I’m certain
there are loads who experience regaling tales of legendary encounters with these people
through the years. Nicely Oxon and this encounter has now entered itself firmly into
birding folklore for the five hundred or so individuals who made the journey for this unbelievable

Courtesy of Badger


Curlew Sandpiper, courtesy of Richard Tyler

Final month I recommended we have been overdue a curlew sandpiper
within the county and identical to that the birding gods answered. One was current
on Ardley ERF on the night of the 6th a well-earned patch
fowl for the blokes up within the north of the county, sadly for the remainder of
us it departed in a single day. Fortunately on the 22nd Farmoor hosted
one other particular person and it remained till the 23rd. One other a lot
wanted inland wader, little stint, additionally had a great exhibiting within the
county with 10 birds in complete recorded throughout three websites. Three birds at Otmoor
have been current on the 6th earlier than been flushed by sparrowhawk a
brief whereas later. One other 3 have been at Farmoor on the 21st with
one remaining till the 23rd permitting for some nice photograph
alternatives of this enigmatic little wader. 4 dropped into Pit 60 on the thirtieth in inclement climate , a welcome reward for all of the hours put in there by the native and a cracking depend for our landlocked county.

Gray Plover, courtesy of Nick Truby

A single gray plover flew by and round Farmoor
on the night of the 21st calling however refusing to land. Doubtlessly
the identical fowl was then current on Port Meadow on the 22nd and
though it took a hammering from the native canine walkers it remained till the 28th.
An incredible file of 14 on the 22nd got here from Farmoor however sadly,
they didn’t land. Information of Turnstone bookended the month with a single
fowl on the 1st and one other single on the 24th, while a
nice depend of 8 got here on the 4th with all data regarding Farmoor.

Little Stint, courtesy of Richard Tyler

Farmoor had an virtually steady
presence of Ruff all through the month with a max depend of 8 on the 8th
and 1 remaining till at the least the 25th. Extra data got here
from Cassington with 6 on the 7th, Pit 60 from the threerd
– 6th and Ardley ERF internet hosting a pair from 20th
till the 29th. Greenshank have been recorded from 3 websites
(1st), Appleford GP’s (6th) and Radley
GP’s while
solely a single Redshank was recorded outdoors of Otmoor
with one at Farmoor on the 7th.  Black-tailed godwit had a poorer
exhibiting this month with virtually all data coming from Stratfield Brake normally
relating to at least one fowl however sometimes two recorded from the 1st
till at the least the 19th. A single file got here from

Ringed plover additionally had a semi
steady presence on the nice concrete bowl of Farmoor with birds
recorded all through, a most depend of 6 got here on the 7th till the
8th. Solely two websites produced additional data with Pit 60 (1-3rd
& 24th) and Ardley ERF (20th– 24th)
with 2 birds at every.  Dunlin have been
picked up at a least 4 websites and principally associated to single birds, with the
highest depend coming from Farmoor with 8 birds on the 22nd.
Extra birds got here from Pit 60 (1st-4th and the
25th), Bicester (19th-23rd) and Tar

Inexperienced sandpiper have been recorded from at
least 10 websites from throughout the county with Ardley ERF producing the
largest depend of 16 on the 9th with Bicester wetlands the
solely different web site to supply double digit counts. Widespread sandpiper data
have been unfold extra thinly with 7 websites producing principally ones and twos with Farmoor
holding 7 on the 8th of the month.

& Terns

An unexpectedly quiet interval for gull and tern
data with the standout rarity a flurry of sandwich tern on the
starting of the month.  Three have been om Farmoor
briefly on the 1st frequenting each F1 and F2. A single fowl
turned up, once more on Farmoor, and fished round F2 earlier than departing a
brief whereas later.

Sandwich Terns, courtesy of Ewan Urquhart

Solely a single
Caspian gull file got here this
month with a lone 1
st winter on Farmoor on the 8th.
Yellow-legged gulls have been additionally skinny on the bottom with just one file of
3 birds frequenting
Pit 60 between the 1st and 4th
of the month.
Pit 60 additionally performed host to this month solely file of Mediterranean
with winter plumaged fowl current on the 1st.  

and many others

Ferruginous Duck, courtesy of Ewan Urquhart

The standout rarity this month was our 2nd
ferruginous duck of the yr after the lengthy staying drake again in February,
discovered on the twond and departing in a single day. A surprising discover on Grimsbury
of a drake, in all probability relocating from our neighbouring county of
Northamptonshire. The finder has some type of selecting up rarities having discovered
the county’s first pallas’s warbler earlier this yr.

4 frequent scoter have been an important file coming
from Blenheim Palace introduced in by inclement climate on the 19th,
they have been current for less than a few hours departing shortly after they have been
discovered. A single file of black-necked
got here from Dix Pit on the 24th while a single scaup was reported from Farmoor on the 18th though it was not relocated.

Black-necked Grebe, courtesy of Ian Elkins

Widespread Scoter, Blenheim, courtesy of Dave Doherty

There have been a number of data
garganey from 4 websites within the county this month. An eclipse
drake at
Blenheim current from the 5th-9th with
presumably the identical fowl recorded at
on the 12th and
Appleford on the 25th. A file of three birds on Sonning eye GPs on the 5th was the primary a number of data
for the reason that summer season months however they didn’t linger lengthy.

herons and many others

Final months shiny ibis pair relocated from the
summer season hang-out of Cassington GP’s to Stratfield Brake on the
outskirts of Oxford. The pair have been first picked up on the 6th and
remained collectively till the tenth usually associating with a black-tailed
. One fowl departed and seemingly ranged across the county picked up
in Oxford (11th), Cassington GP’s and Otmoor (17th
– 18th). A single fowl remained at Stratfield Brake on
and off from the 11th till the 27th.

Courtesy of John Workman

Cattle egret continued within the county with a number of
birds recorded throughout 9 websites, presumably all regarding birds from the now
established breeding colony from Blenheim. The standard websites recorded
birds by the month specifically Pit 60, Otmoor and Chimney.
Birds turned extra cell although, with a big flock of 18 recorded at Wytham
on the 15th while a whopping 42 have been recorded at Kings lock on
the 24th.  

Courtesy of Steve Liptrot

After remaining at principally two websites in the summertime months nice
white egret
turned way more cell with further birds seemingly becoming a member of
the lengthy staying birds within the county. At the very least 11 websites recorded birds and it
would appear a minimal of 4 birds have been current by September, presumably extra.
4 birds have been reportedly all collectively at Stratfield Brake earlier in
the month. A number of websites recorded 2 birds – Chimney (3rd), Blenheim
(8th) and Appleford (17th & 25th).
Just one Crane file got here this month with one over Grove on the
5th, while a single Bittern was recorded briefly at Pit
on the 22nd earlier than been flushed by the native gulls.


In what might need been the spotlight in a earlier
September, if not for a sure mega upstaging, a Yellow-browed warbler was
picked up calling within the Lure grounds by Port Meadow on the 25th.
Usually, elusive and cell just a few fortunate observers managed to meet up with it,
however as is the case for a lot of of data it was a one-day surprise and gone the
subsequent day.

Wryneck, courtesy of Amy Get

September continued its run of kind with Wryneck data
with no fewer than 3 particular person birds recorded within the month. Sadly, all
3 weren’t extensively out there with one in Chipping Norton backyard on the threerd,
a fowl ringed in Little Clanfield on the 11th and a
unlucky fowl that flew right into a window in Kennington on the 18th
though fortunately it did survive. A really younger trying juvenile black
appeared briefly in Stonesfield on the 13th however
sadly was solely current briefly. Rock pipit began their annual
actions by the county with the primary returning fowl on the 21st
at Farmoor the place it remained till at the least the 24th when it
was joined by a 2nd fowl. A single tree pipit was heard
calling amongst a big flock of meadow pipits at West Ginge, while
two pied flycatcher have been in Buckthorn on the 4th.

Rock Pipit, courtesy of John Workman

Whinchat have been recorded from 8 places with a excessive
depend of 5 recorded from Appleford on the 6th and Otmoor on
the 8th with Lark Hill additionally recorded 4 birds. In the meantime
18 places recorded wheatear principally in singles and pairs however a
cracking depend of 9 people got here from Lark Hill on the 18th,
with solely Devils Punch Bowl and Sarsgrove recording greater than 2
birds with 3 on the 6th and 4th respectively. Redstart
have been principally recorded in singles from at the least 12 places with solely Muswell
and Lark Hill recording a couple of, with 3 on the threerd
and a pair of on the 7th respectively. Yellow wagtail continued to
transfer by the county with some nice double-digit counts recorded. Wytham
had one of the best of those with a cracking depend of 60 on 10th, while
30 have been seen to roost on Otmoor on
the threerd and at the least 20 recorded at
Port Meadow on the twond.

Juvenile Black Redstart in a backyard in West Oxfordshire, courtesy of Colm O’brien

Whinchat, courtesy of Jessia Crumpton


A tantalising file of a slim harrier species flying over Standlake
on the 11th sadly didn’t linger and its identification
stays a thriller, with a number of data of inland pallid harrier round
the identical time this must be chalked down as a close to miss. A hoop-tailed hen
up on the downs on the Devils Punch Bowl on the 24th
was in little question nonetheless and hopefully an indication of extra to return. Osprey continued
their lengthy journey to west of Africa by Oxon airspace with 4 data relating
to in all probability 3 birds, a single fowl at Otmoor on the 4th and
one other at Farmoor on the 11th. A fowl briefly at Blenheim
on the 17th was in all probability the identical fowl seen flying over Shillingford
later within the day.  

Merlin Otmoor rspb courtesy of Graham Parkinson.

The primary returning short-eared owl got here from Otmoor on
the 21st and remained till 22nd, while merlin additionally
returned with one over Milton Widespread on the 21st while a
showy particular person was current at Otmoor on the 28th. Pastime continued
to stay within the county in small numbers with at the least 5 places nonetheless
internet hosting birds with a most depend of two at Pit 60 all through the month.

Osprey courtesy of Brian Manston

Look forward

One is likely to be forgiven for being complacent
for the remainder of yr given what has simply transpired, however October nonetheless has the
potential to supply some respectable birding and nonetheless would possibly but throw up the odd

Given we’ve simply had a yellow-browed
already this month we would have had our justifiable share of jap
sprites for 2022 what with a pallas’s warbler again in January. However October
is often an excellent month for locating these most cherished of Siberian wanderers.
Since 2013 we now have had 8 data in October with a number of birds in 2020, 2017
and 2013, so now is an effective time as any to get out and pay attention out for a ‘Tswe-eep!’

Transferring onto one thing just a little
rarer – pectoral sandpiper has a great observe file of turning up in September.
Who can neglect the extraordinarily confiding fowl at Port Meadow final yr? Port
has additionally hosted two birds manner again in 2007 throughout this month and also you
wouldn’t guess towards the subsequent file coming from there both. An excellent rarer wader
turned up right here again in 2010 when a lesser yellowlegs remained all through
the month and into early November, with one turning up in Yorkshire not too long ago
and really rapidly disappearing it will be a welcome fowl certainly if it have been to
make its manner south!  



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