Wednesday 18th April: Avocets & Redstarts

It was a very windy day today making birding rather difficult both on the floods and in Burgess Field. Nevertheless, the Patch was visited by a good number of birders today who between them managed to turn up plenty of good stuff. On the floods the Godwit pack was back with 24 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS and the lone BAR-TAILED GODWIT still about. 4 COMMON SANDPIPERS were new ticks for the year, the 2 OYSTERCATCHERS popped in and there were 3 DUNLIN and 2 REDSHANK also hanging around. The highlight for the floods though was yet another pair of AVOCETS, miraculously making 10 individual birds that we've now had this spring.

In Burgess Field the wind made it rather hard to find many birds though Tom Wickens did manage to hear a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER reeling for a few seconds (another year tick) as well as 3 Whitethroats. Late afternoon Ewan Urquhart was back and managed to find two remaining REDSTARTS which were sheltering very elusively in the hawthorn hedgerows at the north end of the reserve that border the Triangle Field. I tried and failed to see these but did find one over on the west side of the North West Field mid way between the West Copse and the North West Gate (see the Google Map on the Maps Page for location definitions). I don't know if that makes it three birds still present or two but the west side bird has been in the same place for the last couple of days. 

Roger Wyatt (c) was on hand today to provide some stunning photography

Mothing news: the best night so far this year in my rather moth-deficient garden with 7 moths of 6 species. The highlight was the first Common Quaker for the garden (even though it's a common species). Steve Goddard has been faring better than me in Wolvercote and he reports 9 different species including Brindled Beauty and Pale Pinion, both year ticks for the Upper Thames Region.
My thanks to Alex Martin, Tom Wickens, Peter Law and Ewan Urquhart who contributed birding sightings today.

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