Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th May

A quiet weekend bird-wise in Oxfordshire and also particularly on the Meadow. The floods have retreated enough for the long grass now to create a rather difficult shoreline with lots of bird hiding places so one has to scan rather carefully to ensure that nothing is missed. Not that there has been anything to miss really, rather it's been the same birds as usual: the two LITTLE GULLS still together with a band of non-breeding black-headed gulls; two SHELDUCK and a variety of straggler ducks. The highlight of visits to the Meadow at present are the wonderfully large numbers of hirundines. Today I estimated that there were at least 100 of just swallows alone, all hawking very low over the water and surrounding grass because of the remarkably cold weather pushing all the insects right down. Still the forecast is finally for some decent hot weather this week. Perhaps this will finally bring out the reeling grasshopper warblers!

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