The weather has started to change today: it's still cloudy but the wind has picked up and blown away the mist. This made the visibility better than of late for my afternoon visit to the Meadow where I met up with Tom Wickens. On the wader front there were still the 6 DUNLIN on the far shore with the 1000+ golden plover and the CURLEW was still around. Without the cover of the fog there were noticeably fewer SNIPE though a few dozen still lingered along the soggy North Shore. The gull roost was average with nothing of note. Tom and I ventured into Burgess Field where we had some good albeit brief views of the SHORT-EARED OWL hunting actively over the fields. As it got dark I had to leave but Tom stayed a bit long and managed to see a flock of 20 BARNACLE GEESE come in to roost at last light. It's always hard to know the provenance of such birds but they are most likely from one of the feral flocks in the surrounding counties. Apparently some of these flocks are deigned by the BOU to be self-sustaining and therefore Category C birds (i.e. tickable) though quite how one tells when they're away from their usual haunts is anyone's guess. Anyway, I've got no qualms about ticking them for the year list as at least with that flock size they're unlikely to be escapees and with the Port Meadow total so low this year I need all the ticks I can get!