Birds

Bird sightings 2018
(For Bird sightings from previous years see below)

If you’d like to contribute to our bird observations for Aston’s Eyot, please fill in a monthly sightings list and send to us at info@friendsofastonseyot.org

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Aston’s Eyot Bird list

(includes the Kidneys, Long Meadow and for water birds the riverfront down to Donnington Bridge)

Most species listed here have been confirmed in 2010-13.  Several that probably turn up reasonably regularly, but for which we don’t have a recent record, are indicated.  Some others that were recorded in the 1970s & 1980s, but not recently, are indicated as ‘occurred in the past’.  For fuller details see the dated lists available as a download.
[# = flying over only]

Great Crested Grebe  –  Resident in general area, very infrequent in winter at Aston’s Eyot on the Thames or Cherwell
Dabchick/Little Grebe  –  Resident in general area, infrequent in winter at Aston’s Eyot on the Cherwell
Cormorant   –  Resident, seen regularly along the Thames
Grey Heron   –  Resident in general area, seen regularly
Little Egret – Resident; occasional flying over
Greylag Goose (feral)  –  Resident, breeds locally
Canada Goose   –  Resident, sometimes breeds on Boathouse Island/Swan Island
Mallard  –  Resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Teal   –  Winter visitor in very small numbers, usually on Long Meadow pond
Wigeon  –  probably occurs sometimes, no recent records
Shoveler  –  A pair on Long Meadow in March-April 2013 and March 2016 are the only records
Pochard  –  probably occurs sometimes, no recent records
Tufted Duck  –  Infrequent winter visitor on Thames (when local lakes frozen)
Scaup – A female on Thames December 2010 – January 2011 is the only record
Goosander  –  Occasional winter visitor in very small numbers on Cherwell, absent some years; visits usually very brief
Mute Swan  –  Resident, sometimes breeds on Aston’s Eyot/Swan Island
Osprey  –  One old record in the 1980s was the only sighting until one flew over in April 2014  
Red Kite #  –  Resident in general area, often seen overhead
Sparrowhawk  –  Resident; a pair regularly nests on Aston’s Eyot
Buzzard   –  Resident in general area, often seen flying over or perched in trees
Peregrine Falcon – Two flew over in February 2019; birds sometimes hang out around Magdalen tower
Hobby  –  Summer visitor, infrequently seen hunting dragonflies
Merlin – Winter visitor; 1 record, March 2018
Kestrel   –  Resident, breeds locally, regularly seen
Grey Partridge  –  One old record (1980s)
Pheasant  –  Resident in general area, seen sporadically; bred on Aston’s Eyot in 2012
Water Rail  –  Winter visitor to the ditches, single birds only; seen most years
Moorhen   –  Resident, 1-2 pairs nest on Aston’s Eyot
Coot  –  Resident, sometimes breeds on Aston’s Eyot/Kidneys, seen more rarely after 2015
Lapwing  –  Very occasionally seen flying over (one record in 2012; more frequent in the 1980s)
Redshank  –  probably occurs sometimes, no recent records
Common Sandpiper  –  Very occasional, passage migrant
Common Snipe  –  Used to frequent Long Meadow, but only recent record is 2 overhead in February 2015; regular on Iffley Meadows when partly flooded in winter
Jack Snipe – Occasional in winter on Iffley Meadows, not yet recorded on Aston’s Eyot/Long Meadow
Woodcock  –  probably occurs sometimes, no recent records (more frequent in 1980s); One on Iffley Meadows in February 2019
Black-headed Gull  –  Resident in general area, present all year along river
Greater Black-backed Gull – Only recorded in 2002, but probably flies over with other gulls
Lesser Black-backed Gull   –  Resident, breeds locally; seen on Aston’s Eyot all year round
Herring Gull   –  A pair took up a unusual winter feeding territory on Isis school playing field over 5 winters 2012-3 to 2016-7, after which the male disappeared, though by autumn the female seemed to have acquired a new friend; otherwise occasional
Common Gull  –  Rarely recorded, but may be overlooked flying over
Common Tern  –  Summer visitor occasionally seen along Thames, non-breeder
Wood Pigeon  –  Common resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Stock Dove  –  Resident, probably breeds on Aston’s Eyot and Boathouse Island
Feral Pigeon  –  Resident, breeds locally; usually seen flying over, and on the Kidneys after mowing
Turtle Dove  –  Occurred in the past before national decline, no recent records
Collared Dove  –  Resident, breeds locally, occasionally also on Aston’s Eyot and the Kidneys
Tawny Owl  –  Resident,  a pair often breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Short-eared Owl – Exceptional; one seen flying over Aston Street, autumn 2011
Barn Owl – One seen Iffley Meadows in April 2013, not yet recorded on Aston’s Eyot
Cuckoo  –  Regular summer visitor in the past, now usually just on spring passage;  seen prospecting in 2011
Swift #  –  Summer visitor, breeds locally; often seen overhead
Kingfisher  –  Resident, breeds locally; usually seen signly along the Shire Lake ditch or the Cherwell
Green Woodpecker  –  Resident, a pair usually nests on Aston’s Eyot or nearby
Gr.Spotted Woodpecker  –  Resident, 1 or 2 pairs nest on Aston’s Eyot
Lr.Spotted Woodpecker  –  Occurred in the past, no recent records
Skylark  –  Occasionally recorded flying over
Swallow #  –  Summer visitor, breeds locally (under bypass bridge beyond Iffley, Donnington Weirs)
House Martin #  –  Summer visitor (one or two pairs still bred in East Oxford in 2018)
Sand Martin #  –  Summer visitor, occasional passage birds along river corridor
Meadow Pipit  –  Infrequent winter visitor; seen 2009; more frequent on Iffley Meadows
Grey Wagtail  –  Resident, sometimes breeds locally; infrequent in winter on Aston’s Eyot
Pied Wagtail  –  Resident & winter visitor, infrequent on Aston’s Eyot, more often seen near Donnington Bridge and in nearby streets
Great Grey Shrike  –  Two records: one in 1976, and one reported nearby on Iffley Meadows in October 2011
Waxwing – Occasional winter visitor; only two records on Aston’s Eyot (January 2011, March 2013) but seen in gardens in Meadow Lane & Iffley Rd area in winter 2008-9 and December 2010-March 2011 and similarly 2012-13
Wren  –  Common resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Dunnock  –  Common resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Cetti’s Warbler – Resident locally; not yet recorded on the Eyot, but heard (it is rarely actually seen) across the Thames and below Iffley Lock
Grasshopper Warbler  –  Occurred in the past, no recent records; better habitat across river at Long Bridges
Sedge Warbler  –  Summer visitor, breeds Iffley Meadows; infrequent on Aston’s Eyot
Reed Warbler – One singing by the river in July 2013 and July 2014 are the only records; sometimes occurs on Iffley Meadows
Blackcap  –  Common summer visitor, breeds on Aston’s Eyot; Winter visitor in nearby gardens
Garden Warbler  –  Summer visitor, 1-2 pairs generally breed on Aston’s Eyot
Whitethroat  –  Summer visitor, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Lesser Whitethroat  –  Sporadic summer visitor; one sang all summer in 2015, more frquent in the past
Willow Warbler  –  Summer visitor & passage migrant, no longer breeds regularly
Chiffchaff  –  Summer visitor, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Goldcrest  –  Resident, scarce local breeder; infrequently seen but may nest on Aston’s Eyot
Spotted Flycatcher  –  Previously a common summer visitor, but due to national decline now only seen sporadically on autumn passage, as in 2013 and 2018
Robin  –  Common resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Fieldfare  –  Winter visitor, most often in severe weather
Blackbird  –  Common resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Redwing  –  Winter visitor; sometimes a large overnight roost
Songthrush  –  Resident, a few pairs nest on Aston’s Eyot
Mistle Thrush/Stormcock  –  Resident, infrequently seen; formerly much more common
Long-tailed Tit  –  Resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Marsh Tit  –  Occurred in the past; one recent record: November 2012
Willow tit  –  Occurred in the past before national decline, one recent record: December 2017
Coal Tit  –  Winter visitor to nearby gardens, very infrequent on Aston’s Eyot; scarce resident breeder in East Oxford
Bluetit  –  Common resident, breeds in nestboxes on Aston’s Eyot
Great Tit  –  Common resident, breeds in nestboxes on Aston’s Eyot
Nuthatch  –  probably occurs sometimes, no confirmed recent records
Treecreeper  –  Resident, sometimes breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Chaffinch  –  Resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Brambling – Winter visitor; only one record: February 2018
Greenfinch  –  Resident, bred on Aston’s Eyot before recent decline, now seen sporadically
Siskin  –  Winter visitor most years in small flocks of up to 25+, feeds in alders
Redpoll  –  Occasional winter visitor in small numbers, not seen every year
Goldfinch  –  Resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot and nearby gardens
Linnet  –  Resident & winter visitor; occurred in the past, no recent records
Bullfinch  –  Resident, occasionally breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Corn Bunting  –  Occurred in the past, no recent records
Yellowhammer  –  Occurred in the past, no recent records
Reed Bunting  –  Occasional, especially in winter; breeds on Iffley Meadows; bred Kidneys 2012.
House Sparrow  –  Resident, massive recent decline, rarely seen beyond local gardens; still breeds locally in small numbers
Tree Sparrow  –  Occurred in the past, no recent records
Starling  –  Resident, breeds locally
Jay  –  Resident, 1-2 pairs nest on Aston’s Eyot
Magpie  –  Resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot; sometimes a large winter roost of up to 80 birds
Raven – Seen once or twice a year flying over since 2011; has increased generally, so more to be expected
Jackdaw  –  Common resident, breeds locally
Carrion Crow  –  Common resident, breeds on Aston’s Eyot
Rook  – Local resident that probably occurs sometimes, no records since 1988

[last revised 28.3.2019]

Bird Sightings 2017

Bird sightings 2016

Bird Sightings 2015

Bird Sightings 2014

Bird Sightings 2013

Bird Sightings 2012

Bird Sightings 2011

Bird Sightings 2010

Bird sightings 1973-2011