Monday 11th November

The Meadow really is getting into its stride now and is in fact now on top winter birding form. The continuing rain has increased the floods still further and it is now heaving with birds again. The Golden Plover flock is at least 1500 strong and today there were about 25 DUNLIN in amongst them - a very large count by Oxon standards. Duck numbers are very good with now about a dozen Shoveler as well several hundred Wigeon and Teal. The gull roosts are now finally pulling in reasonable numbers of large gulls. On Saturday there were three YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS though some walkers managed to put up the entire flock rather early on.

This evening, this gull caught my eye though as you can see from the above grab it was nearly completely dark by the time I found it so videoing it was not much use. I decided to try a still photo instead and with the ISO cranked up to 3200 and the exposure up 3 notches I managed to get the following shot with a shutter speed of 0.8 secs!!! Fortunately the bird was standing very still.

I'm amazed at how well it turned out. You can even see the large white mirror and the small white tip on the P10 primary underside that marks this out as an adult Yellow-legged Gull.

There are a few Caspian Gulls now knocking about the county with an adult roosting at Farmoor tonight so one could easily turn up on the Meadow. Finger's crossed!

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