3rd January: Waxwings

Here we go for another year! It's been quite a good start with a flock of up to 60 WAXWINGS being the highlight. Yesterday afternoon 6 were reported by Peter Law in Aristotle Lane and then Jarrod Hadfield and Tom Wickens had a flock of between 20 and 30 in Burgess Field. Today Gareth Blockley reported up to 60 of them again on Aristotle Lane, feeding in various locations between the canal bridge and the start of the footpath to the railway bridge and the Meadow. When I came down a short while later I found about 30 of them hanging around in the trees in the south east corner of the playing field before they all flew off west towards the Meadow.

Other news: the Meadow is in full-on lake mode at present with the floods extending all the way up to the north end of Burgess Field. Access via Aristotle Lane necessitates wading through quite deep water so it's probably easier to enter from the Walton Well road end. Viewing the north shoreline is best done either from the north west corner of Burgess Field or from the Thames tow path up past the Poplar trees. Yesterday Jarrod and Tom reported a PEREGRINE and a BAR-TAILED GODWIT as well as 6 REDSHANK. The Barwit was still present today (per Gareth).

This afternoon I went owl hunting at dusk to see if I could get Little Owl on this year's Year List but I was unsuccessful. I did notice a reasonable Starling roost over toward Burgess Field - they were even making the pretty flock patterns. I'm guessing they're roosting in the reedbed in the Gullet or somewhere nearby.

Aristotle Lane Waxwing (c) Peter Law

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