Saturday 14th September

On Friday mid-afternoon I decided that I'd had enough for the week and elected to have a wander around Port Meadow to see what I could find. In contrast to my previous visit it was overcast and drizzly though with little wind to speak of. The recent rain had at least attracted a few Mallards to the area where they were rooting away in the (still dry) flood area. In amongst the feral goose flock I spotted the leucistic EGYPTIAN GOOSE - it's nice to see it again after what has been quite a while. 

The "ghost" Egyptian Goose back on the Meadow

Down towards the Poplar trees in amongst the horses there were about 20 YELLOW WAGTAILS and along the river shoreline I managed to find a wader (now sadly a rare commodity on the Meadow), in the form of a COMMON SANDPIPER. A Little Grebe was on the river though there was not much else of note apart from a handful of Mallards, a Little Egret and a couple of Grey Herons. A Meadow Pipit was also flying about - the first of what will no doubt be quite a few as autumn progresses. Towards the boats there were large numbers of Hirundines, mostly Swallows and House Martins though I did spot at least one Sand Martin in amongst them. In the drizzle they were congregating in large numbers on the two "Swallow Trees" by the boats before suddenly getting over excited and bursting off in an explosion of wings and chatter. By the old weir a GREY WAGTAIL flew over calling - there have not been many reports of this species on the Patch this year. Along the Castle Mill Stream there was a large mixed tit flock with at least a dozen Long-tailed and a similar number of Blue and Great Tits. These flocks are always worth checking out as you can get all sorts of other species tagging along though today the best I could manage was four Chiffchaffs and a Treecreeper.

One of the"Swallow Trees" with a mix of Swallows, House Martins and two Yellow Wagtails

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