Sunday 23rd December

I had an errand to run down the Botley Road this afternoon so I thought that whilst I was in the area I'd check out the Binsey area to the west of Port Meadow. In particular I was interested in the owls that Tom Wickens had reported on Friday: not only had he heard and seen several Tawny Owls but he'd also heard a possible Little Owl though it had only called twice and he'd not been sure of it. 

I arrived at around 3:30 by which time it was getting rather dark. The Meadow is back in full-on lake mode with the waters reaching all the way up to the top of Burgess Field NR. When it's like this it's rather difficult to bird as all the birds are up along the North shore. I wandered along the river as far as the Poplars to get a better view but it was getting too dark to see much though I did make out a few GOOSANDER floating about in the distance. 

At dusk as I was wandering back I did manage to hear a LITTLE OWL calling several times at a reasonably close distance which is a great result as there have been no reports of any for several years on the patch. Back near Medley Farm despite hanging around for quite a while I only heard a TAWNY OWL call briefly twice. As I drove along the road I kept seeing moths in the car headlights. At this time of year there are only a few on the wing and they would have Winter Moths. I even nipped out of the car to photograph one that was resting momentarily on the curb though it never put its wings down so I could get a full view of it.

A Winter Moth

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