I had quite a productive outing to the Meadow today. As the floods were still frozen I thought that I'd have a wander down by the river to look for displaced diving ducks - we sometimes get things like Tufted Duck on the river when all the local lakes are frozen. Sure enough, I'd just got past the sailing club when I spotted a TUFTED DUCK flying down the river. It turned around and headed back towards the Perch where I soon managed to catch up with it on the river. This is a comparatively rare bird for the Meadow though we usually do manage to get it on the year list each year.
Talking of ducks there was a single SHELDUCK opposite the Poplar Trees. Also of note was a (heard-only) calling PHEASANT in the fields over towards Medley Farm. This is another species that surprisingly difficult to get on the list though we do usually manage it. We also had the first wader of the year when I spotted four DUNLIN in amongst the Lapwing on the strip of grass between the frozen floods and the river. There were loads of winter thrushes along the Castle Mill Stream with at least 50 Redwing, lots of Blackbirds and a couple of Fieldfare. Several displaced Teal were lurking along the stream though they are always very wary compared to the more complacent Mallards there. Finally, to round off what was a four year list tick day, Steve Goddard reported a RAVEN flying over the canal at Wolvercote.