Monday 4th December

Today was the first time in four days that I've visited the Meadow. Partly it was that I had a busy weekend with family activities but also the fact that the floods have been so extensive makes it rather difficult to bird. However, today curiosity got the better of me and I went for a midday walk in the winter sunshine to check out the floods. I found that whilst they are still very much doing a good imitation of a sizeable lake, the north shoreline had now receded so that it was roughly in line with the north west corner of Burgess Field. What's more there is now a very thin sliver of grass along the river shoreline just north of the Perch Inn and this was enough to tempt me to walk up along the river bank to have a closer look. From here I found a nice flock of four RUFF and a single SNIPE in amongst the lapwings on the tiny grass island. A scan of the north shore up towards Wolvercote revealed four distant BLACK-TAILED GODWITS and plenty more lapwings - in fact I reckon there were at least 100 of the latter dotted around the Meadow. In amongst the ducks in the middle of the lake there were 12 PINTAIL and roughly half a dozen gadwall. Over the next few days as the floods recede further the west shore grass island should increase in size and more of the birds should congregate there. I always enjoy it when this happens as one gets excellent close-up views from across the river.

Time for me to wheel out the old joke again about liking a nice bit of Ruff

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