We're now into the start of February and to be honest it's been a rather unremarkable first month. Not that one normally expects much on the Meadow at this time of year but the prolonged floods are making the birding rather difficult and the gull roost remains disappointingly small.
In terms of specifics, it's been more of the same this week with the 5 REDSHANK still roosting in their regular tree, around 10 or so GOOSANDER coming into roost each evening and a smattering of gulls with the occasional YELLOW-LEGGED GULL the only species of note. There are still loads of duck with double digit counts of PINTAIL as well as a few Gadwall, The highlight of the week was a lone SHELDUCK on the floods on Wednesday.
By way of a bit of a change today, this morning in the sunshine I went for a walk along the canal north to Wolvercote and back. En route I managed to add to my personal Patch year list the following species: Bullfinch in the Trap Grounds, Goldcrest and Reed Bunting along the canal, Tufted Duck in the Gullet and a couple of squealing WATER RAILS, one in the Trap Grounds and one in the flooded field opposite St Edwards playing fields. In fact the Goldcrest and Water Rail were official Patch year ticks as no one has yet reported them. We're now on 78 for the year which is a reasonable total given that we've had no waders to speak of so far apart from Redshank. Steve Goddard added Coal Tit from his garden this week and Keith Dancey reported a SPARROWHAWK on Oxonbirds as part of his RSPB Garden Bird Watch results. We still need Buzzard, Kingfisher and Pheasant which no doubt we'll pick up at some point.
Some of the Tufted Duck on the Gullet this morning