Sunday 31st January

It's been a reasonable few days on the Meadow on the birding front. The floods are still a good size and there are so many birds about when I come for the evening gull roost that it's hard to do them all justice in the time that I have. SHELDUCK numbers have been gradually increasing with up to 8 having been around over the last few days. PINTAIL numbers too are on the increase with several birds now about. In contrast, there have been fewer GOOSANDER roosting over the last few days with just five birds there today. Our DUNLIN have still been hanging out with the Lapwings with six birds now with us. On the other hand Golden Plover are only noticeable by their absence - I've not seen any over the last few days.

Three of the Dunlin
I've not managed to turn up anything really interesting on the gull front though I did see really interesting bird this week that at the time I couldn't ID and dismissed as some kind of hybrid without photographing it. Having subsequently seen some photos on the internet I'm now starting to wonder if I've just passed over something mega like a Slaty-backed Gull or something. I'm really kicking myself for not photographing it - I'll know better in future.

Tom Wickens managed to find the first CHIFFCHAFF of the year, flycatcher along by the Thames last weekend. Mary MacDougall turned up another Coal Tit (surprisingly rare on the patch), this one was in Burgess Field. Adrian Grey reported half a dozen Goosander in the Gullet in Wolvercote along with a few Tufted Duck. The highlight of the week though was when Tom Evans heard a singing CETTI'S WARBLER in the Trap Grounds. Whilst we've had the odd record on the Patch, this is the first one within the Trap Grounds that I know of.

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