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

Farmoor Reservoir 2017
Sunday morning walk

Date: Sunday 24 September 2017 at 09:30


We made our way to Farmoor on a very nice sunny morning. On arrival the car park was rather full due to a sailing event. As well as our group of 14 there were also at least 20 - 25 other bird watchers hoping to see the red-necked phalarope that had been reported at Farmoor for a few days.

Leaving the car park and walking up past the sailing club towards the causeway, we saw the usual greylags, coots, moorhens, mallards and tufted ducks. We had heard that there was a shag at the reservoir but trying to find it was not easy because of all the cormorants. We tracked it down in the end.

Half way across the causeway was the area where the red-necked phalarope had been seen. We were not disappointed. It was a lovely little bird, feeding and preening within feet of the assembled birders, twitchers and photographers. It was a first for some of us and for the East Berks group.

Having seen the red-necked phalarope in winter plumage we moved on to the far end of the causeway and turned right towards the Pinkhill Hide which was open again, following vandalism.

Walking further round we did see a common sandpiper and also a yellow-legged gull. It had been reported that a scaup had been seen but after scanning a large flock of tufted ducks we could not find it.

Moving on we did see a buzzard and a sparrow hawk being mobbed by a small flock of pied wagtails.

The total number of species recorded by the group was 41, which is three more than in 2015.

Click Here to see a few photos from the walk

Farmoor, 24/9/2017, sunny

Mute Swan

Greylag Goose

Canada Goose


Tufted Duck



Little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Red Kite


Common Buzzard



Red-necked Phalarope

Common Sandpiper

Black-headed Gull

Herring Gull

Yellow-legged Gull

Wood Pigeon

Collared Dove

Green Woodpecker (H)





Carrion Crow

Blue Tit

Great Tit


House Martin

Cetti's Warbler (H)



Robin (H)

Grey Wagtail

White Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Meadow Pipit



38 Bird Species + 3 heard

Other Wildlife

Red Admiral Butterfly

Small White Butterfly


14 People

---- Original Programme Information ----

Reservoir edge with people
Farmoor Reservoir

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 machine 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.

The area 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.

Click here to see the report and photos of our 2015 visit.

The following were reported in September 2016. Not all on the same day, but over a few weeks!

Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Avocet, Osprey, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Shoveler, Blackcap, Black Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, House Martin, Sand Martin, Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Little Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Turnstone, Snipe, Sanderling, Little Stint, Greenshank, Knot

Click here for Oxford Ornithological Society guide to Farmoor

Click here for Farmoor reservoir web site