Tuesday 18th November

It was a rather nice day today with calm and sunny conditions. Certainly when I went for my late morning run it was gorgeous. I didn't find anything of especial note with a couple of Fieldfare in the Trap Ground hedgerow probably the most interesting sighting.

The floods had expanded a little more and are now looking pretty good again. The only thing that one could presently complain about is that the gull roost is very panicky at present. My theory is that it takes a while for the birds to get used to the large amount of disturbance that there is on the Meadow. Certainly the ducks are fair tamer here than somewhere like Otmoor but this resilience probably takes a while to develop so at the start of the flood season they're rather flightly. This evening was a case in point: I arrived to find all the gulls flying around in the air for no obvious reason according to birders who were already there. The gulls didn't settle again and without a nucleus of already settled birds to pull others in there ended up being no roost at all this evening. Apart from the usual suspects in good numbers there wasn't anything else of note and even the Redshank had moved on.

I did a quick tour of Burgess Field to see if I could find the Short-eared Owl from yesterday but apart from 30 odd Meadow Pipits and a Greater-spotted Woodpecker I had no luck. James Evry too made a search though when it was darker and whilst he couldn't find the Shorty either he did hear a calling TAWNY OWL which is not at all easy to get on the Patch - we seem to struggle with owls on the Meadow.

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