Friday 4th November

Heavy overnight rain has really perked up the Meadow floods which now stretch in a continuous arc all the way from Stint Corner through to half way down the South Channel with only the Southern Tail now still dry. Admittedly they are still rather thin but they are certainly proving attractive to the birds and it was just like old times this evening out there. As I arrived I heard the distinctive call of a GREENSHANK and spotted three of them flying about overhead before they headed off vaguely towards Farmoor.A wonderful murmuring flock of about 500 golden plover (I even did a rough count) were on the west shore of the South Channel along with a single REDSHANK. There were literally hundreds of mallards about on the grass and at last the winter ducks were back with about 60 WIGEON and 20 TEAL looking very much at home in the damp conditions. Not to be out done the linnet flock was numbering about 100 birds and a flock of about 100 pied wagtails flew off to roost with more of them still dotted around the Meadow. About 50 of the ever-present lapwing kept vigil along the shoreline looking as exotic as ever. The only slight disappointment was the gull roost which was rather paltry by recent counts with no more than a handful of larger gulls (compared to about 50 last night) though there were a couple of hulking greater black-backed gulls there for good measure.

I'm afraid most of my photos are going to be pretty poor
for a while as I'm making my visits to the Meadow during the
last hour of daylight at present. Here's a lovely first winter
common gull which has only just started to get it's grey scapular feathers

Some even worse quality video footage of tonight's redshank
feeding in front of the golden plover flock

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