Tar Lakes and Farmoor reservoir, early February 2023

Tar Lakes are working and ex-working gravel pits south of Witney. A public footpath takes you round several of the lakes although the view is often obscured by trees and shrubbery.  There were a few waterfowl species evident, geese, Mallard, Gadwall, Coot and GC grebes in particular. The highlight was a distant view of a Great White Egret perched on top of a very tall tree. It did not exactly blend in to its environment.

Farmoor reservoir is a recreational resource run by Thames Water, with sailing and fishing allowed. There is a paved walkway around the two main lakes.  On this visit the obvious birdlife on the lakes was restricted to Coot, Carrion crows, Pied wagtails, Cormorants, Little grebe, Tufted duck and a single Dunlin.


Tucked away, adjacent to the pumping station is an area of wetland that runs between F2 and the Isis (Thames). Part of this has been sculpted into the Shrike meadow and there is a well placed hide. On view were Mute swan, Grey heron, Moorhen, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Great tit, Reed bunting, Mallard plus the three winter thrushes, Fieldfare, Redwing and Song thrush.  It is a lovely spot and I would like to return when I’m next in the area.


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