Saturday 29th October

I've been away for a few day (see Pendeen Birding) and my first visit back to the Meadow found the thin sliver of floods pleasantly enlarged. The recent rain has added sufficient water so that at least it has submerged the cattle footprints which were making it so hard to pick out birds along the shoreline. On the bird front the main difference has been the noticeable increase in golden plover with a flock of about 250 present with about 100 lapwing on Thursday though the fact that the floods are still rather small means that the birds are easily flushed so numbers can vary quite a lot. A couple of teal were also hanging about and numbers should increase substantially as the flood waters expand. Plenty of pied wagtails and linnets, with a smattering of meadow pipits and a passage of skylarks still going on overhead. Burgess Field is rather quiet though there were a couple of jays seen near the copse in the middle.

It's wonderful to have these beautiful plovers back on the Meadow

Whilst I was away a WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was found by Dave Lowe hanging out with the greylag flock though it only stayed for a couple of days. There are no escapee white-fronts around that I know of and I have no reason to doubt the credentials of this bird which will go down as a year tick for the patch. Another patch year tick was provided by Steve Goddard who finally had a MARSH TIT in his garden in Wolvercote. Apparently they're normally fairly common visitors but this was the first one that he'd had all year.

Lapwings in flight

In amongst the black-headed gulls on Thursday were a lesser black-backed and a common gull. With the clocks going back now I might start checking out the Meadow to see if we're getting much of a gull roost yet.

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