Friday 30th March

All the beautiful spring weather seems to have vanished overnight and it was overcast and distinctly chilly when I visited the Meadow at around midday today. The combination of the rather large size of the floods and the continuing departure of the wintering ducks makes for a rather empty feel to the place though when you look closely there's still plenty of interest. The highlight of the visit was three LITTLE RINGED PLOVER on the area immediately to the north of the Burgess Field gate - this seems to be the location of choice for this species this year with all the sightings occurring here. There were also three REDSHANK about and a flock of over 100 golden plover was circling and calling. On the duck front there were the two SHELDUCK still about, a couple of lingering PINTAIL and three gadwall. Whilst I was there the Jericho RED KITE flew over and picked up a black-headed gull carcass from the floods. It then proceeded to circle over Medley farm scattering feathers as it picked over it in mid air. The NUTHATCH was still busily piping away in the same general area so it's clearly taken up residence there - let's hope it can attract a mate.

The willow warbler reported a couple of days ago was the first for the county this year as well as the Meadow. I did have a brief walk around Burgess Field this morning to see if I could find one for myself but could only hear chiffchaffs singing.

I forgot to mention that one OYSTERCATCHER is still around. Also Tom Wickens & Richard Foster both reported a fourth LITTLE RING PLOVER this evening. Adrian Gray up at Wolvercote reported a HOUSE MARTIN (the first for the county this year) and a SWALLOW in the last couple of days.

One of the little ringed plovers

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