Despite the wintery conditions there have still been a few birds to see on the Meadow. The reason for this is that whilst it's been snowy and icy it's never been really cold, certainly no more than a couple of degrees below zero and this has meant that the two open pools of water (one by the boats and one by the Burgess Field gate) have remained open. The boat pool has been the best with at least 100 Teal still there along with the odd Wigeon and PINTAIL as well as a few loafing gulls. Especially encouraging has been the waders there as well with four REDSHANK, one DUNLIN and several SNIPE along with quite a few Lapwing and Golden Plover all managing to find enough clear ground to eke out a living.
In my garden I've been dutifully putting out plenty of food but interestingly enough there's been hardly any birds around. The reason for this is a very aggressive male Blackcap has taken a liking to it and he chases off anything up to and including a Chaffinch in size though he does give way to the Starlings and Blackbirds. This means that the usual Goldfinches and Tits are absent at the moment. I presume that they've found another feeder to keep them well fed - I imagine that there are quite a few people in this area who feed the birds.
The highlight of the last few days has been seeing the lovely WAXWING flock again. Seven of these beauties were hanging around by the Aristotle Lane gate onto the Meadow and gorging themselves on the rose hips right next to the gate. They're hungry enough not to fly off as people come through the gate which means that one can stand literally right next to the gate and watch them as they feed. Definitely the best Waxwing views that I've ever had though a shame that the light was so awful. An added bonus was a single Fieldfare also in the bush, the first that I've seen this year. In addition, Jodie & Joe reported one in their garden in Wolvercote a few days ago as well as what was probably a MARSH TIT by the bird feeders by Godstow Lock on Friday morning.
You couldn't ask for better views!