Reports, with Bird Lists, of our Meetings, Walks and Outings

at Farmoor Reservoir

Date: Sunday 4 October 2015 at 09:30


We arrived at Farmoor Reservoir in sunshine but at 10am the fog came down. However, only for about an hour before it cleared and we had a nice sunny morning.

There were only seven people which was rather disappointing, as it is quite a good bird watching site. We walked across the causeway then round Farmoor Reservoir II, a walk of about two miles. Pinkhill hide was inaccessible due to vandalism. We could see Farmoor Reservoir I from the causeway which goes between them. There were still some Swallows flying about, which won’t be seen for much longer as they will have flown back to Africa.

We also saw Kingfishers, Meadow Pipits, Rock Pipit, Willow Warbler, Wheatear and a large number of  Great Crested Grebes and Little Grebes. The best sighting was the Red-necked Grebe which had been seen there for the last 2-3 days.

We have not been to Farmoor as a group since 2008 when 11 people came.

The total number of species seen was 38 which was quite good.

Click Here to see our photos from the visit

Farmoor Reservoir, 4/10/2015, sunny then foggy then sunny

Mute Swan

Greylag Goose

Canada Goose


Tufted Duck


Grey Heron

Little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Red Kite



Black-headed Gull

Herring Gull

Wood Pigeon





Carrion Crow

Blue Tit

Great Tit



House Martin

Long-tailed Tit

Willow Warbler





Grey Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Meadow Pipit

Rock Pipit


Reed Bunting

38 Bird Species seen

7 People

---- Original Programme Information ----

A causeway crosses a reservoir
Farmoor Reservoir photo © Copyright Tom Pullman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Meet at 9.30 am in the car park at gate 3, off the B4017, 300m north of OX2 9NU.  OS SP452060   lat/long: 51.7514, -1.3460

Click here for a map of car park entrance location

Parking £2, pay on exit

Facilities: Car park, toilets.

Walk length, four miles, level, footpaths can be muddy.

Farmoor reservoir is a popular birdwatching site, probably due to its impressive list of rarities. Sandwiched between the reservoir and the Thames are three nature reserves - Pinkhill Reserve (with hide and feeding station), The Shrike Meadow (with hide) and Buckthorn Meadow. On the southern border of the reservoir is Bushy Leaze Copse, with woodland species and a feeding station.

Our walk includes four habitats - reservoir, wetlands, woodland and meadows. Our autumn visit is timed to see migrating and wintering birds.

Expect wildfowl, waders, divers, rare gulls in the large gull roost, terns and migrants. Wagtails, chats, warblers, pipits.  Possibly raptors.  The following rarities were seen late September, early October.  Not all on the same day, over a few weeks!

2013 - Black-necked and Slavonian Grebe, Little Stint, Black Tern, Rock Pipit, Water Rail, Raven, Spotted Flycatcher, Caspian Gull, Ruff.

2014 - Curlew Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Gull, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin, Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear, Marsh Harrier, Cetti's Warbler, Rock Pipit, Stonechat, Water Rail.

Click here for Oxford Ornithological Society guide to Farmoor

Click here for Farmoor reservoir web site