Monday 13th June

I'm now very much in summer blogging mode so will only be updating this blog when I've something to say. The recent rain has topped up the floods nicely though the margins are still very messy and unappealing. There's been the odd wader still going through: Richard Foster had 4 LITTLE RINGED PLOVER recently and the OYSTERCATCHERS have still been out on the Hinterland. I also had a sparrowhawk fly over and the common terns are often about still. On Saturday morning I was sitting in bed with a cup of tea staring out of our Velux window at the sky and as well as the usual swifts and martins I managed to see a great-crested grebe, a BUZZARD, a KITE and best of all a HOBBY all fly over. Richard Foster had a fly-over HOBBY the same day though I don't know if it was the same one.

"Our" spoonbill seems to have turned up at Otmoor now which is probably a better place for it as it's not going to get disturbed there in the way that it was on the Meadow. We've had spoonbill for the last three years on the Meadow now which is remarkable given how rare they used to be.

The main thing of note is all the wonderful new bird life around. My garden is full of fledglings now all coming to my feeders. There have been fledgling great tits, blue tits, goldfinches, greenfinches and blackbirds on view from my window and our cat has been particularly interested in the three fledgling blackbirds though the parents are very attentive at looking out for him and sounding their annoying alarm call whenever he's about. On the floods there are quite a few juvenile black-headed gulls about, looking rather exotic at first glance. In Burgess Field there are plenty of family parties and young birds around of all the usual species that you might expect. The highlight though was yesterday when I spotted three lapwing chicks along the North shore of the floods. It always amazes me that lapwings are able to breed on the Meadow what with the dogs, the walkers, crows and the cows and horses but but somehow they do. Of course now the chicks have to run the gauntlet of these same hazards so let's hope that at least some of them make it to the point when they can fly. The Meadow geese seem to have had a good year and there are loads of half-grown geese around. Sadly Richard Foster found a goose that had been savaged by a dog and had had half its food chewed off. I called the St. Tiggywinkles animal rescue to come and take a look though they couldn't find the bird so it must at least be well enough to fly and may well be able to survive OK on the Meadow.

Mary Gregory reported 2 RINGED PLOVER and a COMMON SANDPIPER today on the Meadow.

An "exotic" juvenile black-headed gull (c) Adam Hartley

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