Help birdwatchers make this year a big one

Grimsbury Reservoir and the surrounding area including Spiceball Park and stretching up to the new flood defences north of the M40, is one of Oxfordshire’s best places to see birds.

It’s remarkable that we have such a gem so close to town, where just over 100 bird species were recorded in 2014.

In 2015 the Banbury Ornithological Society is going all out to see and record as many different birds as possible in this area. They are asking for help from anyone who is watching out for birds in this particular area. You could be a keen walker, fisherman, runner, photographer, nature lover or birdwatcher.

The woodland nature reserve at the north end of the reservoir attracts a numberof more familiar birds; winter might bring a good number of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, and spring brings warblers including Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler and Blackcap. Willow Tits are a rare breeding bird in our area that may be making a comeback here too.

There’s lots to see in the neighbouring fields and along the canal path that leads to the new flood alleviation scheme, where there are plans for a new country park. BOS club secretary Frances Buckel said: “The Reservoir attracts a great range of birds, particularly on spring and autumn migration. It’s hard to predict which unusual birds we might see – this year‘s highlights included Black Tern, Great Skua and Grey Plover.

“So who knows what might appear in 2015? We can expect the unexpected to appear at some stage!

“Can we record every species that is reserve in 2015? With your help we can! Please help us make it a Big Bird Year for Grimsbury.”

To find out more, visit www.banburyornithologicalsociety.org.uk