Natural History Diary : 2011
Sunday 18th December
I went to Farmoor today. I saw three Redshank, a Shoveller, two Little Grebes, two Herons, a Kestrel, a Greenfinch, a Goldeneye, around twenty Pochard and the same number of Redwings, and lots of Fieldfares, Great Crested Grebes, Tufted Ducks and Coots.
Saturday 27th November
I went to Slimbridge today. A new species for me was a Common Redpoll. There was a huge flock of Lapwings and a smaller one of Golden Plover. I also saw lots of Greylag and Canada Geese, Pochard, Pintail, Wigeon and Shelduck, a few Bewick's Swans, White-fronted Geese, Teal and Shoveller, and a couple of Ruff.
Saturday 19th November
I popped over to Otmoor this afternoon to see the Short-eared Owls (successful, albeit at a distance), and the Starling roost (not successful). Other species of note were Treecreeper and Peregrine Falcon. Mammals seen were a Grey Squirrel and a Roe Deer. No butterflies or dragonflies today.
Sunday 13th November
The butterfly season still hasn't finished - there were two Red Admirals basking in the sun at home today.
I visited Farmoor specifically for the Snow Bunting, which was quite obliging for photographs.
Sunday 6th November
The butterfly season still hasn't finished - I saw two Red Admirals at home today.
I visited Farmoor this morning. The water level in both reservoirs was much lower than usual. I couldn't find any of the recent sightings there (GG Shrike, Twite, Snow Bunting), but I did see a Red Kite, two Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, a Bar-headed Goose, a Kingfisher and lots of very noisy geese.
The dragonfly season hasn't finished either - I saw around ten Common Darters at Farmoor (mostly to the south of Shrike Meadow).
Friday 28th October
I visited Otmoor today. As the range wasn't open I walked north from the Roman road to South and North Pill with a couple of other birders. There was no sign of the Great Grey Shrike or Short-eared Owls which had been reported recently, but we did see a ring-tailed Hen Harrier, a Red Kite, a Kestrel, a couple of Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk. A couple of Skylarks were singing, and quite a few Meadow Pipits were flying around. A single Snipe also flew over. About a hundred Greylag geese were on Big Otmoor. Two Grey Herons were busy fighting each other on Greenaways, and a flock of about fifty Lapwings flew over. A very smart cock Pheasant was picking up food under the feeders.
Some Common Darters were around on the Pill ground, but there were many more along the bridleway on the afternoon - about 20 altogther. I also found a female Migrant Hawker along the track to the car park. A couple of Red Admirals also put in appearances.
A Muntjac Deer was seen crossing Saunders Field - they are not usually seen out in the open like that.
Tuesday 25th October
There wasn't anything unusual among the birds at Radley Lakes this morning, but I did see some late Common Darters and a Southern Hawker, and also a Speckled Wood and Red Admiral. This is the latest I've ever seen a Speckled Wood.
Monday 24th October
Half a dozen Fieldfares flew over the allotment this afternoon.
Sat/Sun 22nd/23rd October
The Hebe was attracting bees on both days. Again they were mostly honey bees, but I also spotted a White-tailed Bumblebee. A hoverfly also put in an appearance.
A Skylark was singing on the allotment.
Saturday 16th October
I saw two more Red Admirals in the garden today. The Hebe was still attracting lots of bees. On the allotment I saw five Grey Partridges. There was a Hedgehog in the garden again this evening.
Saturday 15th October
I had a walk in Bagley Wood this morning, mainly looking for fungi. This was a total failure, as I couldn't find any. However I saw a Jay (and heard several), lots of Blue Tits, a couple of Grey Squirrels, a Red Kite, two Red Admirals, quite a few Hornets, and finally an old Common Darter. I don't know what that was doing there.
At home, a flowering Hebe in full sun was well patronised by bees. Most of them were honey bees, but there were a few other species as well.
Sunday 9th October
There were two Red Admirals in the garden this afternoon. One spent a long time nectaring on Choisia flowers.
Saturday 8th October
The Hedgehog was in the garden again this evening.
Sunday 2nd October
Otmoor was pretty quiet on the bird front today. Water levels are low so there were hardly any waterfowl. The only things of note were a juvenile Chiffchaff, a Grey Heron, some Meadow Pipits, a Little Egret, a Sparrowhawk and a Red Kite. There were lots of Common Darters, a few butterflies and moths, and a Hornet.
Saturday 1st October
A third-brood Holly Blue was in the garden today.
Thursday 29th September
There was a Hedgehog in the garden this evening
Sunday 18th September
Had a walk round Dry Sandford Pit, but apart from four Dexter cattle there wasn't much about. A few butterflies appeared in a brief sunny spell before it started raining.
Sunday 11th September
Quite a good (but windy) morning at Farmoor reservoir. I saw three of the uncommon species which were present: White-winged Black Tern, Little Stint and Black-necked Grebe. A few butterflies and dragonflies were about in sheltered areas on the west side of the reservoir.
Sunday 4th September
I had a walk round Thrupp and Bullfield Lakes today. There were still lots of damselflies about, and a few dragonflies and butterflies. Nothing notable on the bird front except a Grey Heron.
Monday 29th August
Otmoor was pretty thin as far as birds were concerned this morning, but I found quite a few butterflies (Common Blues were the most numerous), as well as several Southern and Migrant Hawkers which were prepared to sit still for photographs.
Sunday 21st August
Adonis Blues did much better at Pewsey Down today. Some Wall Browns took my total to 45 species for the year. Birds of note were four Wheatears, three Goldfinches, three Linnets and three Kestrels.
Saturday 20th August
The weather for the Upper Thames Branch field meeting at Lardon Chase today wasn't too good, and only a few Adonis Blues were found.
Sunday 14th August
Saw my first Adonis Blue of the year at Aston Upthorpe Down SSSI today, as well as four juvenile Wheatears.
Friday 12th August
Despite the cloudy (but warm) weather I spent some time today looking for Brown Hairstreak butterflies, and finally found three on Otmoor. The female was not unexpected, but finding two males nectaring on the same thistle certainly was, as they usually hang around at the top of oak or ash trees and don't descend to ground level at all.
Sunday 7th August
I went to Wicken Wood on the Bucks/Northants border today. I couldn't find any Wood Whites but I did record 13 species of butterfly and four of Odonata. I also saw a Hornet.
Friday 5th August
I haven't seen any Swifts all week, so I assume they've departed and are headed back to Africa.
Sunday 31st July
I had a poke around Cothill Fen and Parsonage Moor today. A couple of juvenile Buzzards were overhead, but not a lot in the way of dragonflies.
Saturday 30th July
I recorded my first Silver-spotted Skippers of the year at Aston Rowant this morning. A Humming-bird Hawk moth made an appearance in the garden today - the first one I've seen here since 2007.
Tuesday 26th July
There were two Speckled Bush Crickets sitting on a bush in my garden this morning.
Sunday 24th July
I went to Sydlings Copse looking for White-letter Hairstreaks but couldn't find any. Lots of other butterflies though, including my first Oxfordshire Painted Lady of the year, and my first Migrant Hawker of the year. On Otmoor I saw a Silver-washed Fritillary and a Purple Hairstreak, both of which I'd never seen there before. There were lots of Common and Ruddy Darters, and Common Blue Damselflies.
Saturday 23rd July
I went to Greenham Common looking for Grayling butterflies today. Weather conditions were not too good but I did see a few of them. Later in Bowdown Wood I found an aberrant Meadow Brown with white instead of orange on its wings.
Friday 22nd July
I was attacked by a Grey Partridge on the allotment this morning! But I had nearly stepped on its chicks, so this probably wasn't too surprising. Afterwards I recorded fourteen species of butterfly at Dry Sandford Pit, with many Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. I saw a couple of Holly Blues and a Common Frog in the garden at home.
Tuesday 19th July
I visited Durlston Country Park on the Isle of Purbeck today. Conditions were not good for the Lulworth Skipper but I did manage to find a few individuals, as well as some second-generation Small Blues.
Sunday 17th July
I visited Wootton Copse in the New Forest today, where I recorded more Silver-washed Fritillaries (it does seem to be a good year for this species) and other species. I then visited Keyhaven marshes. I counted at least 26 Gatekeepers here, and a Common Blue (which is not having a good year). Birds seen were Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, juvenile Whitethroats, Shelduck and a Common Sandpiper. I returned to Wootton Copse later and recorded Red and White Admirals.
Saturday 16th July
I returned to Crockford Stream in the afternoon, and got more pictures of Silver-studded Blues.
Friday 15th July
I stopped at Stockbridge Down on the way to the New Forest. I recorded thirteen species of butterfly here (but no White-letter Hairstreaks or Dark Green Fritillaries). I continued on to Crockford Stream on Beaulieu Heath, where I saw two new species: Common Goldenring dragonfly, and Silver-studded Blue butterfly.
Thursday 14th July
I walked all the way round Thrupp Lake this afternoon. Many Common Blue Damselflies were in evidence. I also saw Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies, Brown Hawker, Emperor and Black-tailed Skimmer dragonflies, several species of butterfly, a Kingfisher and a Grey Heron.
Monday 11th July
I visited Aston Rowant NNR today and recorded twenty butterfly species, including Dark Green Fritillary and Chalkhill Blue. That takes my species count to 38, higher than last year, and there are potentially ten more to come.
Later at Dry Sandford Pit I recorded fourteen butterfly species. I saw a Green Woodpecker and a couple of Jays.
Sunday 10th July
The BBOWT reserve at Chimney Meadow was heaving with butterflies today, mainly Meadow Browns and Ringlets. Also my first Gatekeepers of the season. There appears to have been an emergence of Red Admirals - I counted at least eight. Not much in the way of dragonflies and damselflies, though. Several Red Kites and Buzzards, and a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel were active over the fields being cut for hay. I saw three Yellowhammers and two juvenile Willow Warblers.
Later I saw at least six Small Tortoiseshells on the allotment.
Saturday 9th July
A field trip looking for Purple Emperors in Bernwood Forest was not very successful for HIM (only 1 seen by me), but much better for Silver-washed Fritillaries (14), and lots of other butterflies and a Beatiful Demoiselle. Later I found two more SWFs at Bernwood Meadows and an Essex Skipper on the allotment.
Monday 4th July
There were two Hedgehogs in the garden this evening - a large one and a small one.
Sunday 3rd July
I saw Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Marbled White, Small White and Green-veined White on the allotment today. Later at Parsonage Moor and Cothill Fen I found ten Scarlet Tigers and a few Keeled Skimmers and Small Red Damselflies.
Saturday 2nd July
I visisted Whitecross Green Wood, Bernwood Forest and Otmoor today. The most numerous butterflies were Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Marbled White and Large Skipper. I found two of the species I was looking for: White Admiral and Purple Hairstreak. The Purple Emperor remained elusive. There were some dragonflies about as well: Brown Hawkers, Emperors, Ruddy and Common Darters, and several Emerald Damselflies on Otmoor (one with a bent abdomen).
Monday 27th June
Some interesting things in the garden this evening: a small Hedgehog, Old Lady and Scarlet Tiger moths, and a large Frog.
Sunday 26th June
I went to Dry Sandford Pit this morning, where there were good numbers of Marbled Whites, Ringlets, Meadow Browns and second-generation Green-Veined Whites. I also saw two Southern Damselflies and a Jay.
There was a very small Hedgehog in the garden in the evening - this suggests that they are breeding locally.
Sunday 19th June
I made a brief visit to Bowdown Wood in Berkshire this morning. I couldn't find the butterflies I was looking for, but I did find two Roe Deer fawns and a couple of Slow-worms.
Saturday 18th June
Although there were frequent showers today I managed to find some butterflies at Farmoor Reservoir, as well as a moth I'd never seen before (the Blackneck). The only Odonata were two male Common Blue Damselflies.
Friday 17th June
The Hedgehog was in the garden again this evening. It had climbed on to the ground feeding table and was eating bird food.
Thursday 16th June
There was a Hedgehog in the garden this evening.
Tuesday 14th June
I visited Collard Hill in Somerset today. This is the only Large Blue site which is open to the public during the flight season. Although this involved a 200+ mile round trip, it was worth the effort to see this rare butterfly for the first time.
Saturday 11th June
I went to Whitecross Green Wood on a further search for Black Hairstreak butterflies. I eventually found one, but it wasn't in a good position for photographs. I also failed to photograph what looked like an immature male Beautiful Demoiselle. I did get a photo of a Partridge chick which I nearly stood on.
Sunday 5th June
I went to Bernwood Meadows looking for Black Hairstreak butterflies, and managed to find one at before the rain got too heavy.
Saturday 4th June
I went out looking for Adonis Blues at Lardon Chase and Aston Upthorpe Down, but there were none to be found at either site. Lardon Chase was quite disappointing, with only five species recorded, and not many of them. Aston Upthorpe was a lot better, with twelve species, some of them quite numerous. The most unexpected thing was finding Orange Tips and Meadow Browns at the same site on the same day. Usually the former are long gone by the time that Meadow Browns emerge, but not this year.
Wednesday 1st June
I managed to find and photograph a cock Grey Partridge on the allotment this evening.
Saturday 28th May
The windy weather today was rather difficult. I only found three butterflies at Dry Sandford Pit in the afternoon (a Large Skipper and two Common Blues).
Wednesday 25th May
I had a look for Odonata on the Cherwell flood plain (the other side of the river from the University Parks) at lunchtime today. I didn't find a great deal: two Banded Demoiselles, two Blue-tailed Damselflies and a Four-spotted Chaser. Also some butterflies, Speckled Woods and Common Blues. Birds of note were a Sedge Warbler and a family of Long-tailed Tits.
Saturday 21st May
I visited Bentley Wood near Salisbury today, which is the nearest place to Abingdon where Small Pearl-bordered and Pearl-bordered Fritillaries are to be found. I had not seen either of these species before, and was able to see both, although the PBFs I saw were pretty faded. Odonata were quite good too, with Downy Emeralds, Broad-bodied Chasers and an Emperor being seen. Other things of note were lots of Speckled Yellow moths, a Hornet and masses of tadpoles. I heard a Cuckoo.
Thursday 19th May
There was a pair of Swans in the ditch in Hinksey Park this morning with no fewer than eight cygnets. I don't think I've seen that many cygnets in one family before.
Wednesday 18th May
I went to a fascinating talk about Swifts this evening, given by Edward Mayer, the founder of www.swift-conservation.org. I hadn't realised that they were in quite so much trouble, caused mainly by the destruction of nesting sites and the way that modern buildings are constructed. You can help them by putting up Swift nest boxes on your house - see the web site for details.
Sunday 15th May
Another poor day weather-wise, but I managed to find a few butterflies and Large Red Damselflies at Dry Sandford Pit, and then a Dragonflies at Parsonage Moor (one Four-spotted and two Broad-bodied Chasers).
Saturday 14th May
I went down to Radley Lakes this afternoon, but the weather was too cool and showery for dragonflies, and only a few butterflies came out in a brief sunny spell. There were quite a lot of Common Blue Damselflies (teneral and mature), and a few Blue-tailed Damselflies. There were lots of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins about,
Sunday 8th May
In the garden today I saw two Small Whites, a male and a mating pair of 14-Spot Ladybirds, and two Frogs.
Saturday 7th May
I visited the Seven Barrows reserve near Lambourn today. I found some Small Blues (which was one of my target species). Also a Yellowhammer and Whitethroat, and several Swallows. As I was leaving I saw six Roe deer at the edge of a wood.
Monday 2nd May
The continuing strong easterly wind made things a bit difficult at Farmoor, but I did see my first Swifts, Banded Demoiselle and Common Blue butterfly of the year.
Saturday 30th April
I saw my first dragonflies of the year at Otmoor today: the Hairy Hawkers and Downy Emerald were expected, but the Four-spotted Chasers were about 3 weeks earlier than usual. I also saw an adult Red-eyed Damselfly which was much earlier than usual. Still plenty of Orange Tips, Brimstones and Green-veined Whites about, and I saw two Small Coppers as well. Birds of note were a Cuckoo, a Mallard with about ten ducklings, a pair of Lapwing with two chicks, and a Raven.
Wednesday 27th April
A quick visit to Dry Sandford Pit this afternoon produced no fewer than ten species of butterfly, including the first Green Hairstreak, Small Copper and Brown Argus seen there this year. These are two to three weeks earlier than usual, obviously as a result of the warm weather.
I saw a Hedgehog on the allotment - that's the first one I have ever seen there.
Monday 25th April
I visited Rodborough Common in Gloucestershire today, in search of butterflies. In a remarkable 15-minute period I recorded Duke of Burgundy, Green Hairstreak, Small Heath, Brown Argus and Dingy Skipper. This was the first time I'd seen Dukes, and they were very agressive, chasing after anything that might be invading their territories (mostly other Dukes and Dingy Skippers).
On the way home I stopped at Whelford Pools nature reserve, where I logged eight species of butterfly, as well as dozens of teneral and mature Common Blue damselflies (one pair seen in tandem), and fewer than twenty Blue-tailed damselflies. No sign of any dragonflies though. Birds seen included a Coot with five young, ten Common Terns, many Swallows and five Red-crested Pochard on the adjacent private lake. I also saw another Hornet.
Sunday 24th April
I visited Aston Upthorpe Downs for the first time today. I saw eight species of butterfly including my first Grizzled and Dingy Skippers of the year. Birds seen were Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Red Kites and a Lapwing.
Saturday 23rd April
I visited Bagley Wood today. There were lots of Speckled Woods about, aggressively defending their territories from rival males. I also saw a Red Admiral. On the bird front Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were singing, and I saw a Coal Tit. Other things of interest were a Hornet and a Roe deer.
Friday 22nd April
A visit to Dry Sandford Pit this morning didn't produce any new butterfly species, but I did see one teneral Large Red Damselfly.
Wednesday 20th April
I had some time on St Mary's before the Scillonian departed, so I walked up to the Lower Moors nature trail where I saw a female Holly Blue, more Speckled Woods, and a pair of Gadwall on one of the pools. I continued up to the Carreg Dhu garden, which has certainly developed a lot since I last saw it in 2003. Here I saw more Holly Blues, Speckled Woods (including one ovipositing female), Red Admirals, Large Whites and a Small White. While waiting to get on the ship I saw a Greater Black-backed Gull steal a crab from a Herring Gull.
Tuesday 19th April
I spent the whole day on Bryher walking round most of the coastline. First up were a pair of Curlews, then a Sandwich Tern, several Oystercatchers, Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Smaller birds were a Kestrel, a Great Tit, a Chiffchaff, Rock Pipits, more Wheatears, and Linnets. I heard a Sedge Warbler. Butterflies did pretty well, with at least eighteen Red Admirals, four Large Whites and four Speckled Woods. In the afternoon I found six Small Coppers near the Great Pool, as well as a couple of Silver Y moths. There were many Swallows and House Martins over Gweal Hill.
Monday 18th April
Today I went to Tresco and visited the Abbey Gardens. In the garden I saw a couple of Blackcaps and a single Red Admiral. Returning to New Grimsby I saw a Comma, and also the Scilly Islands subspecies of the Speckled Wood. At New Grimsby I found a couple more Speckled Woods, and also saw a Kestrel. Back on Bryher I had a walk around the Great Pool and environs, where I recorded a Red-legged Partridge, Wrens, a pair of Northern Wheatears, about four Rock Pipits, a few Swallows, and two Small Copper butterflies. Getting close enough to the Wheaters for a photo was a real challenge, as they were very flighty.
Sunday 17th April
This morning I walked up to Shipman Head Down and saw more Red-legged Partridges, Linnets and Oystercatchers. I also saw a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly. I then went on a boat trip round the Norrard Rocks, ending up on St Agnes. From the boat I saw Shag, Cormorants, Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Puffin, Guillemots, Razorbills and Fulmars. There were lots of Atlantic Grey seals on the Maiden Bower rocks. On St Agnes I saw three Red Admiral butterflies. On the way back to Bryher the tide had come in, and there were quite a few Curlew sitting on exposed rocks.
Saturday 16th April
I took the Scillonian over to the Isles of Scilly today. I stayed at Hell Bay Hotel on Bryher. The weather was fine and sunny for most of the time, although the NE wind was quite brisk in exposed places. On the way from St Mary's to Bryher I saw a lot of Shag, a couple of Oystercatchers and some Razorbills. After lunch I had a walk up Gweal Hill and recorded Red-legged Partridge, a Greenshank, Linnets, Wrens, Swallows, a Grey Wagtail and a Song Thrush.
Sunday 10th April
Dry Sandford Pit had many Orange Tips today. It also turned up the first Holly Blue and Speckled Wood of the year for the site. The usual Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were singing, and I heard a couple of Green Woodpeckers. The site is very dry at the moment. The lake at the south end of the marsh was only about a foot deep. The fencing seems more intrusive than it did before. Is all that really necessary just so that a couple of cows can be put on the site?
Saturday 9th April
Otmoor was awash with Orange Tips today. I also saw my first Speckled Woods of the year. An unexpected sighting was of two teneral Large Red Damselflies. On the bird front there were many Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers, and a few Blackcaps and Sedge Warblers. I also saw a Grass Snake.
Friday 8th April
There were two butterflies in the garden at 6pm today: one Small White, and one Orange Tip.
Wednesday 6th April
Saw a number of butterflies in the University Parks and the other side of the Cherwell at lunchtime, including two Small Whites. Several Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were singing. On the way home I saw a Swallow on a wire in Grandpont. On the allotment a Skylark was singing, a Great Tit was calling, and two Grey Partridges flew over.
Sunday 3rd April
Farmoor was fairly quiet in the late afternoon today, with 40-50 Sand Martins, 3 Swallows, two Dunlin, the Garganey and a Slavonian Grebe being the only items of interest.
Saturday 2nd April
I saw a Small Tortoiseshell on the allotment, and then my fifth butterfly species of the year (an Orange Tip) at Dry Sandford Pit. Lots of birds were singing at DSP, including several Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap.
Sunday 27th March
I went over to Farmoor today to photograph the drake Garganey which had been there for a few days - a very striking bird. There were lots of Black-headed Gulls making their usual racket. Three drake and one female Gadwall were seen. The only migrants were several Chiffchaffs (heard and seen). Despite the huge number of insects there were no hirundines to feed on them. One Red Kite put in an appearance. I found at least eight Small Tortoiseshells along the river.
Thursday 24th March
The warm sun today brought out more butterflies. I saw three Small Tortoiseshells, a Brimstone and a Peacock in the Oxford University Parks.
Sunday 20th March
Quite a few Ladybirds in the garden today, all 7-spotters. A Skylark was singing at the allotment.
Saturday 19th March
The first really spring-like day of the year today. On Otmoor I recorded five or six Chiffchaffs (and quite a few other birds), four Brown Hares, two Commas and two Small Tortoiseshells. A lot of small midges were active, as well as a few Red-tailed Bumblebees.
Sunday 13th March
A trip round Radley Lakes produced a lot of birds (mostly Black-headed Gulls); there were two Green Sandpipers and around 60 Lapwings on Lake G.
Saturday 12th March
The spring sunshine today brought out some insects. At home I saw around a dozen 7-Spot Ladybirds, a couple of honey bees, and a White-tailed Bumblebee. No butterflies, though.
Tuesday 8th March
Two items of interest today. There were seven female Goosanders on Hinksey Lake this morning. At lunch time I saw my first butterfly of the year, a Peacock in the University Parks.
Saturday 5th March
A sure sign of spring was two Skylarks singing down at the allotment this afternoon. In general the unseasonably cold weather is holding everything back.
Monday 14th February
There was a Frog in the garden pond this evening.
Saturday 12th February
I caught up with the Abingdon Waxwings again today. Around 20 were feeding on berries along the Wootton Road at lunchtime. A couple of Red Kites were around as well.
Later I went to Dry Sandford Pit and was rather alarmed to see the damage that had been done to some parts of the reserve while fencing was put in. This is in preparation for cattle being brought in to keep the scrub under control. Hopefully it won't have too much of an effect on insects later on in the year.
On the reserve lots of Hazel catkins were out, and Sallow flower buds were just beginning to break. Nothing unusual on the bird front, though.
Sunday 5th February
Two Daffodils were in flower in the garden today.
Sunday 30th January
The Big Garden Bird Watch was a bit of a non-event for me. Two Robins, two Blackbirds, one House Sparrow and one Song Thrush was all that I recorded today.
Sunday 23rd January
I visited Witney Lake today to see the Slavonian Grebe which has been there for a couple of weeks. It stayed well out in the lake, which made photography difficult (I was only able to take a record shot). Several small flocks of Siskin was the only other avian item of note. Alder catkins were out.
Thursday 20th January
The Song Thrush was singly loudly again this morning near my house. Two Goldfinches were poking about in the nearby Ash tree.
Friday 14th January
I found a couple of Primrose flowers in the garden this morning. Winter Aconites were in flower in St Mary Magdalen churchyard in Oxford.
Sunday 2nd January
I visited Otmoor today. Most of the open water was still frozen, so there weren't many water birds about. The highlights were a very smart Marsh Tit at the feeder station, and a flock of 30 White-fronted Geese at the Noke end of Ashgrave.


Redshank | Farmoor | 18 Dec

Bewick's Swan | Slimbridge | 27 Nov

Snow Bunting | Farmoor | 13 Nov

Common Darter | Farmoor | 06 Nov

Great Crested Grebe | Radkey Lake | 25 Oct

Hornet | Otmoor | 02 Oct

Little Stint | Farmoor | 11 Sep

Dunlin | Farmoor | 11 Sep

Southern Hawker | Otmoor | 29 Aug

Adonis Blue | Pewsey Down | 21 Aug

Brown Hairstreak | Otmoor | 12 Aug

Speckled Bush Cricket | Abingdon | 26 Jul

Ruddy Darter | Otmoor | 24 Jul

Meadow Brown | Bowdown Wood | 23 Jul

Common Blue | Greenham Common | 23 Jul

White Admiral | Wootton Copse | 17 Jul

Whitethroat | Keyhaven | 17 Jul

Silver-studded Blue | Crockford Stream | 16 Jul

Common Goldenring | Crockford Stream | 15 Jul

Red-eyed Damselfly | Radley Lakes | 14 Jul

Chalkhill Blue | Aston Rowant | 11 Jul

Dark Green Fritillary| Aston Rowant | 11 Jul

Gatekeeper | Chimney Meadows | 10 Jul

Beautiful Demoiselle | Bernwood Forest | 09 Jul

Scarlet Tiger | Parsonage Moor | 03 Jul

Emerald Damselfly | Otmoor | 02 Jul

Green-veined White | Whitecross Green Wood | 02 Jul

Marbled White | Whitecross Green Wood | 02 Jul

Silver-washed Fritillary | Whitecross Green Wood | 02 Jul

Blackneck | Farmoor | 18 Jun

Small Skipper | Farmoor | 18 Jun

Large Blue | Collard Hill | 14 Jun

Black Hairstreak | Bernwood Meadows | 05 Jun

Grey Partridge | Abingdon | 01 Jun

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary | Bentley Wood | 21 May

Broad-bodied Chaser | Bentley Wood | 21 May

Small Blue | Seven Barrows | 07 May

Four-spotted Chaser | Otmoor | 30 Apr

Brown Argus | Dry Sandford Pit | 27 Apr

Common Blue Damselfly | Whelford Pools | 25 Apr

Duke of Burgundy | Rodborough Common | 25 Apr

Dingy Skipper | Aston Upthorpe Downs | 24 Apr

Grizzled Skipper | Aston Upthorpe Downs | 24 Apr

Small Copper | Bryher | 19-Apr

Northern Wheatear | Bryher | 18-Apr

Red Admiral | St Agnes | 17 Apr

Oystercatcher | Bryher | 17 Apr

Greenshank | Bryher | 16 Apr

Red-legged Partridge | Bryher | 16 Apr

Holly Blue | Abingdon | 10 Apr

Speckled Wood | Otmoor | 09 Apr

Large Red Damselfly | Otmoor | 09 Apr

Small White | Abingdon | 08 Apr

Dunlin | Farmoor | 03 Apr

Orange Tip | Dry Sandford Pit | 02 Apr

Small Tortoiseshell | Farmoor | 27 Mar

Garganey | Farmoor | 27 Mar

Comma | Otmoor | 19 Mar

Buzzard | Otmoor | 19 Mar

Waxwing | Abingdon | 12 Feb

Red Kite | Abingdon | 12 Feb

Song Thrush | Abingdon | 30 Jan

Slavonian Grebe | Witney Lake | 23 Jan