There's not been a great deal of change in the birds on Port Meadow over the last few days. The "new" geese are all nicely settled in and looking very much at home: the BARNACLE GEESE, the two WHITE-FRONTS, the three hybrids and the four BAR-HEADED GEESE are all around on the narrow grass strip near the Sailing Club. Dai John did phone this morning to say that he saw what he thought was a large flock of White-fronted Geese flying over the hill from Farmoor towards the Meadow but there was no sign of them.
Barnacle Geese (c) Badger
The SHELDUCK count has gone up to four today and there are still 13 or so PINTAIL about in amongst the usual winter ducks. On the wader front there were four DUNLIN and 6 REDSHANK yesterday and 11 RUFF today as well as continuing good numbers of lapwing.
Some of today's Ruff (c) Badger
Yesterday the gull roost was severely curtailed by the combination of two low-flying helicopters and a rampaging dog which between them almost completely cleared the floods. A 3w YELLOW-LEGGED GULL was the pick of the few gulls that remained.
Today's highlight was the return of some WAXWINGS with at least a dozen this morning in the hawthorns that line the footpath that descends from the Aristotle Lane railway footbridge down to the Meadow. There seem to be a few favoured spots for these birds so anyone looking for them should try one of the following spots:a) the berries by the bike racks at the entrance to the Trap Grounds
b) along Aristotle Lane anywhere from the canal bridge through to the hawthorns where they were today
c) Burgess Field NR on the main path towards the north east corner.
Let's hope that the forthcoming cold snap brings a few weather-vagrants our way in the next few days.