It's been very quiet this last week and a half on the bird front on Port Meadow. The main reason for this of course has been the weather: with it being persistently cold the floods have been frozen for most of the time which dramatically reduces the birds that hang out there. That's not to say that the Meadow has been completely deserted: as long as there are some gaps in the ice there are always some hardy ducks and gull hanging out there. The main points of interest since I last posted have been three REDHSANK eking out a living along the shoreline for several days, a couple of GOOSANDER on one of the ice pools mid week as well as a single drake PINTAIL. Apart from that it's been mostly Teal and Black-headed Gulls.
|Hardy birds in one of the ice pools|
On recent visits there have been a few Linnets and Meadow Pipits along the southern shoreline of the flood water which I've been dutifully checking through carefully but so far there have been no hidden gems in amongst them. There have been lots of winter thrushes about foraging on the ground of late. I presume that all the berries have now gone and they're switched over to worming. When it's quiet on the sports field at Aristotle Lane you can get more than fifty of them all working their way over the ground. The flock is mostly Redwings with usually a few Mistle Thrushes and Fieldfares thrown in for good measure. It's always worth checking through the flock for something rarer - you never know!
The cold weather has brought more birds in to my garden and we are now getting regular visits from a female BLACKCAP. We put out half apples impaled on a nail for her which she seems to appreciated. I also had a CHIFFCHAFF in the garden briefly a week or so ago.