Monday 23rd January

I made my usual later afternoon visit to the Meadow today. Unusually, there were quite a few other birders and photographers around today though of course they didn't stay until dusk to grill the gulls - bunch of lightweights! The highlight of the trip was a lovely kingfisher buzzing around the boat mooring area, another patch year tick. Waders were well represented with the two RUFF, 3 REDSHANK and two bonus DUNLIN as well as the golden plover flock which must be getting on for 1500 birds now. Duck numbers still seem somewhat down on previous counts, could the mild weather mean that they're starting to head off already, surely not? Back to the gull grilling where a rather dark-eyed bird had me initially thinking of Caspian though it turned out to be a YELLOW-LEGGED GULL. Still no white-wingers though there was a 2nd winter Iceland at Appleford recently so they are at least in the area now.

The dark-eyed yellow-legged gull

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