An early morning walk before work found four DUNLIN on the floods in amongst the loafing Black-headed Gulls. These are the first of this species for the year - quite amazing that it should take this long for what is one of our commonest visiting waders. I think that the extreme level of the floods was to blame, the water was just too deep for them over the winter months. Anyway, it's nice finally to have them on the list. Apart from the Dunlin, the floods were remarkably empty with just a handful of duck left and varying numbers of OYSTERCATCHERS (five today) and a three SHELDUCK.
Three of the four Dunlin. I later learnt from Nick Boyd that
they were also present yesterday evening
With the floods now so empty this means that I am spending more time in Burgess Field which is now coming into its own as the warblers arrive though it's still just Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers at present. The best that I could do today was a distant singing (heard only) LESSER WHITETHROAT which sounded like it was working its way up the canal or along the railway line. I'm hoping to get more of them at least passing through even if they do not stay to breed. I've still not heard or seen a Sedge Warbler on the patch - it's amazing how few of these common warblers we tend to get here.
Over in North Hinksey a female REDSTART was spotted by Jeremy Blakey. It's pushing it a bit to claim that as being on the Patch so let's hope that we get one coming through in the next few days.