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Oxfordshire

Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis ©Malcolm Schuyl Website

The land-locked and agricultural county of Oxfordshire is not the most prolific as far as rarities are concerned, but there are a number of active and prestigious birding organisations and individuals based in the county. And we do have a few decent sites, especially with the exciting development of the RSPB reserve on Otmoor, and some special species, such as the reintroduced Red Kites around Watlington and the Chilterns.

The county has two ornithological societies, the Oxford Ornithological Society and the Banbury Ornithological Society (which covers the north of the county). There are also RSPB Members Groups in Oxford and the Vale of the White Horse. Also based at the University of Oxford is the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, which has carried out research for many years in Wytham Woods. The County Recorder is Ian Lewington, the renowned bird illustrator.

Top Sites

RSPB Otmoor

Satellite View

reserve north of Beckley village.

Farmoor Reservoir

Satellite View

on the B4017 west of Oxford (fee payable for car park and day permit).

Dix Pit

Satellite View

near Stanton Harcourt (access not 24 hours).

Port Meadow & Burgess Field etc.

Satellite View

Port Meadow and adjacent bird-watching territory. Car parking info: Walton Well Rd., Oxford - car park SP 502074. Binsey - The Perch, Binsey SP 493077 parking along Binsey Lane near Perch. Wolvercote - car park SP 487095. Aristotle Lane, Oxford SP 501078 little parking near - the Grid Reference is for end of approach on footpath over railway.

Contributor

Barry Hudson

Secretary - Oxford Ornithological Society

secretary@oos.org.uk

OSS Website

County Recorder

Ian Lewington

119 Brasenose Drive, Didcot, Oxon. OX11 7BP

01235 819792

lewbirder@btinternet.com

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 304

County Bird - Swift Apus apus […has been the Oxford Ornithological Society`s logo since it was founded in 1921]

Useful Reading

Birds of Oxfordshire

Brucker, Gosler & Heryet Paperback - 284 pages (1992) Pisces Publishers

ISBN: 0950824593

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2009 [07 July] - Hans Schick

Report

From July 19 – 27, 2009 I was in Oxford and London. Although this visit was not devoted to birdwatching all birds seen on walks through the cities of Oxford and London were registered. Most of the birds were seen in the ornamental waterfowl collection of Regent's Park in London…

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Cottage in the Country

Accommodation

Welcome to Cottage in the Country 2001 Offering a superb collection of self-catering holiday homes. Modern or traditional, town, village or rural locations - something to suit all!

Bird in Hand

Accommodation

Whether you are looking for a relaxing few days away or a convenient stop-over, The Bird in Hand offers a friendly and informal atmosphere in which to unwind from the rigours of life. Situated amid the rolling countryside of West Oxfordshire, fifteen miles west of the city centre, the inn is ideally located for visiting the Dreaming Spires, Blenheim Palace, Stratford or touring the nearby villages of the Cotswolds.

Bruern Holiday Cottages

Accommodation

Cottages to rent in the Home Counties and Cotswolds…

Organisations

Oxford Ornithological Society

Website

The Oxford Ornithological Society welcomes all who have an interest in birds and birdwatching in Oxfordshire, whether young or old, expert or novice. Activities are designed to cater for a range of interests and levels of experience….

BBONT

Website

BBONT looks after 90 nature reserves in the three counties. These are often sites for rare and endangered species, many being Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

RSPB Oxford Members Group

Website

The Oxford RSPB Members Group offers local members, students, and the general public, a forum where they can assist the RSPB in its aims, whilst developing their knowledge and interest in birds through talks, and organised field trips. We also support the RSPB's work in Oxfordshire by providing volunteers and wardens for the RSPB reserve on Otmoor.

Wolfson Ornithological Society

The Wolfson Ornithological Society was founded on the 9th of October 1996 by three fanatic birdwatchers. Our aim is to promote all aspects of ornithology within College with maximum satisfaction for all involved. Our activities reflect the great range of interests and experience of our College members: birdwatching (trips and excursions!); birdstudy (talks and slideshows!); conservation (further development of College grounds!); etc.,etc. WOS is a very flexible society where individual members can pursue their own interest with the organisational help of the committee. Non-College members are very welcome to join our events, however they will not be eligible for subsidy (if appropriate) and numbers may be restricted.

Earth Trust

Website

At Earth Trust we believe that the best way to look after the places we love is to change the way we live. We provide special, life changing experiences and reconnect people to the natural world. The Earth Trust is all about people and the way we feel, think and act towards the environment.

Banbury Ornithological Society

Website

Founded in 1952, the Society studies the bird life in the twelve 10km squares surrounding Banbury and includes parts of Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. Fieldwork is the core of BOS activity, however, the Society also holds regular monthly meetings, publishes a monthly newsletter and Annual Reports, manages 5 bird reserves and is pro-active in local conservation matters…

Lower Windrush Valley Project

Information

The Lower Windrush Valley is found to the south east of Witney in West Oxfordshire and is an area that has been extensively modified by mineral extraction over the last 60 years. The Lower Windrush Valley Project was launched in 2001 and works closely with mineral operators, landowners and the local community to co-ordinate a range of environmental initiatives throughout the valley…

Museums

Edward Grey Institute

http://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk/egi/

The Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology is a sub-Department of the Zoology Department, founded in 1936 in memory of the former Chancellor of the University, Earl Grey of Fallodon. The Institute houses the Alexander Library, which is the best ornithological library in Europe and one of the best in the world. It is much-used by research workers from other parts of the UK and we welcome ornithologists from other parts of the world.

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History

http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/

Holds both Darwin`s and Burchell`s collections…

Oxford Navigation Group

Website

Our group's research focuses on behavioural and ecological aspects of animal navigation and spatial cognition, using a number of different species and a variety of state-of-the-art sensor technologies. We study the contribution of individual cognitive capabilities and navigational strategies, and of the ecological, sensory, and social environments to animal movement...

Reserves

Hartslock SSSI

Website

Satellite View

The reserve is an 11-acre (4.4 hectare); south facing, unimproved chalk downland hill overlooking the Thames in South Oxfordshire. Although it is small it is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, some of which are nationally rare.

Little Wittenham Wood

Webpage

Satellite View

Sitting within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Little Wittenham Nature Reserve is the jewel in the crown of Earth Trust at Little Wittenham. The site has been designated as both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation, reflecting its international importance for wildlife. The nature reserve is particularly important for the great crested newt. This seldom seen amphibian uses the many ponds on the nature reserve to breed but it spends the majority of time in the surrounding Little Wittenham Wood...

RSPB - Otmoor

Webpage

Satellite View

Otmoor is a magical nature reserve of wet meadows and reedbeds. It is a haven in winter for thousands of waterfowl, such as teals and wigeons, and in spring and summer for songbirds and breeding wading birds, such as lapwings…

Farmoor Reservoir

Information

Satellite View

Situated three miles west of Oxford City and lying alongside the River Thames, the Reservoir is ideally situated to attract migrating, wintering and breeding birds. Although surrounded by a concrete embankment the shoreline and wavewall can still hold good numbers of waders, wagtails & pipits etc. There is a large gull roost from late July through to mid April. The Pinkhill Reserve was established in 1990 and this has added to the species diversity of the area…

Standlake Common Nature Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

Standlake Common Nature Reserve is a tranquil place to relax and watch wildlife, situated on the Windrush Path, between Standlake and Newbridge. It used to be a typical arable field but when when Oxfordshire County Council granted permission in the 1990's to extract gravel from this area of farmland between Standlake and Newbridge it provided the opportunity to create a new nature reserve next to the River Thames…

Rushy Common Nature Reserve (& Tar Lakes)

Webpage

Satellite View

Rushy Common Nature Reserve is a haven for wildlife and so public access is not permitted across the reserve. However, the bird hide on the southern shore offers good views across the site and is accessible to wheelchair users. Keys for the hide can be purchased from the project office (contact details opposite) and enable you to visit this and other hides in the Lower Windrush Valley at any time…

Forums & Mailing Lists

Oxford Birders Information Service

Mailing List

To post to list: OBIS@yahoogroups.com

List contact: OBIS-owner@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: OBIS-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Mailing List – Discussion Group - This group is an information system for active Oxfordshire birders participating in OBIS.

Oxonbirds

Mailing List

To post to list: Oxonbirds@yahoogroups.com

List contact: Oxonbirds-owner@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: Oxonbirds-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

This list is for anyone interested in wild birds (and related subjects) in Oxfordshire, England. It is intended as a forum for news of rare bird sightings in the county, requests for bird-related information, information on birdwatching sites and events in Oxfordshire. For more information see: http://www.oos.org.uk

Thames Valley Bird Forum

Forum

Local forum for anyone with an interest in birds and wildlife…

Blogs

Otmoor Birding

BLOG

Birding at Otmoor RSPB…

Port Meadow Birding

Blog

Birding in and around Port Meadow, Oxford…

Cholsey Wildlife

BLOG

A blog of wildlife seen in and round the village of Cholsey, Oxfordshire…

Oxfordshire Bird Log

Blog

Sightings in Oxon…

The Birdless Cuddesdon BLOG

Blog

Bringing you the pain of watching wildlife in intensive agricultural systems in Oxfordshire, UK…

Black Audi Birding

BLOG

I live in Kingham, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom -I am now semi retired but doing consultancy work in the alternative medicine sector. Birding for as long as I can remember mainly in the UK and Africa although with the passing years many other countries have been visited worldwide. Author of Stonechats - A Guide to the Genus Saxicola published in 2002. A qualified bird ringer and member of more societies than I can recall...

Ramblings and Scribblings - Peter Law

BLOG

...Wildlife and travel diary of an Oxford naturalist - Hello and welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your visit and may find some of its content to be entertaining or instructive. The “Ramblings and Scribblings” here are intended to have a relaxed and wistful tone. They will present a log of wildlife sites visited through 2015 and then future seasons, but since I got going in the autumn of 2014 some of the earlier posts were retrospective...

Mark Chivers - The Early Birder

BLOG

Birder & Photographer...

The Listless Birder

BLOG

Birding in Oxfordshire & Beyond...

Wayne Bull's Wildlife Blog

BLOG

Welcome to my Wildlife Blog I hope you enjoy your visit...

The Birdless Cuddesdon Blog

BLOG

Tom surveys the Cuddesdon area for the British Trust for Ornithology...

The Oxon Feather

BLOG

OXON FEATHER is a personal mainly birding blog, from a birder who is not a great twitcher as my identification skills leave a lot to be desired, and my real interest lies in the birds we used to be able to take for granted but now need our help, including many farmland species...

The Otmoor Blogger - Peter Coombes

BLOG

Otmoor blogger is a personal diary of my visits to Otmoor RSPB reserve. I have been birding for over thirty years and have had a love of nature for as long as i can remember. Otmoor is a fantastic place that never ceases to amaze....

The Tall Birder

BLOG

Stephen Burch's BLOG on Oxon birds and more...

Other Links

Mike Rogers Bird Pages

Website

Mike has run a ringing group, based at the Northmoor Trust, for many years. This works mainly on the Little Wittenham Nature Reserve, but in winter at the nearby Little Wittenham Manor in order to monitor birds from the reserve which come to feeders in the Manor gardens. Other birds also drop in from time to time. In the summer the group does the Constant Effort survey for the British Trust for Ornithology. Over the years many trainees have learnt to endure the pecking of bluetits in order to move on to handling more delicate items…

Stepehn Burch's Birding Website

Website

Welcome to my website on birding in Oxfordshire, the UK and overseas! Much of my birding (and digiscoping) is done in Oxfordshire where I live, but is mostly confined to weekends, as I have a full time job! My home county may not be the best for rare birds, and it can be difficult to find sites where it is possible to gain the close approach to birds needed for good results. Farmoor Reservoir is a notable exception to this…

Red Kites

Website

Welcome to redkites.net Here you will find information about the Red Kites in the Chilterns. You will also find a selection of photographs mostly taken around the Chiltern Hills in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Jarmo Holopainen

Gallery

Gallery of Birds of Oxfordshire…

Artist - Ian Lewington

Gallery

I have been watching and drawing birds for as long as I can remember. My fascination was kindled at the age of five when my father began taking me on nature walks in the south Oxfordshire countryside (it was Berkshire then). During my early teens it was the diversity of birdlife, the subtleties of plumage variation and the unending learning curve of birding that captured my imagination…

Photographer - Malcolm Schyul

Gallery

Malcolm Schuyl is now based in S Wales