9th September

September has started with a nice period of high pressure, giving us lovely Indian Summer days. Nevertheless there are definite signs of autumn where ever you look. On the Meadow, the usual non-water autumn birds are starting to accumulate with the Linnet flock now numbering about 50 birds, quite a few Meadow Pipits and between 20 and 30 Lapwings loafing around most days though I've not seen any more Golden Plover. We've been getting good counts of YELLOW WAGTAILS of late with up to 30 of them seen in recent days. Hirundine numbers seem to be reducing as birds start to move southwards and there are still plenty of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs in the hedgerows. There are plenty of Hawker dragonflies about at present with Southern Hawkers buzzing around in various locations including my garden. Along the Castle Mill Stream there are a couple of Migrant Hawkers  along with a single Brown Hawker though the Damselflies have now gone.

Migrant Hawker - on the far side of the Castle Mill Stream

Various exotic fungi are now starting to appear in Burgess Field, some of which have great names.

Lawyer's Wig...
...also known as Shaggy Ink-Cap
Weeping Widow (probably)
Of course there are lots of spiders around at this time of year as well with the Garden Spider the most common species in our garden present.

Garden Spider - the white cross on it's back is very distinctive
The highlight since my last posting though was a TREE SPARROW that was seen briefly by Steve Goddard in his Wolvercote garden. Whilst in days gone by this species used to breed on the Meadow in abundance now they're never normally seen there. The Tree Sparrow Project run by the Oxford Ornithological Society is making great strides in turning around the fortunes of this delightful sparrow and they are now starting to spread, often along the Thames so it's possible that we may get a colony re-appearing at some point. In the mean time this is a most welcome year tick in what are lean times on the floodless Patch.


  1. I'm no expert but I think the the two mushrooms are the same species, just at different ages. In a few days the second photo will look like the first.
    All the best JD

  2. Doh! You're right: I got the ID's from iSpot and it turns out that Shaggy Ink-Cap and Lawyer's Wig are two different common name for the same thing, namely Coprinus comatus. I'll correct the captions now