Sunday 25th September: Yellow-browed Warbler!

At last a real Rare to report! This morning Steve Goddard (our man in Wolvercote) was cycling past the common ground near the Wolvercote village hall when he heard the unmistakable call of a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER. Screeching to a stop he had good views of it as it worked its way amongst the trees that surround College Pond (see here). Unfortunately at the time he was in a hurry and so couldn't linger and despite extensive searching later on in the day by both Steve and other people, it wasn't seen or heard again. Still a great record to get on the Patch year list, coming hot on the heels of the first one in October 2013 at the other end of the Meadow. These Siberian sprites have been getting increasingly common in the country over the last few years though they're still rarely seen inland so this is a fantastic find.

Onto more mundane matters, there's not been much to report over the last couple of weeks. It's amazing how we've slipped into winter birding mode now: the Meadow is being steadily populated by Linnets, Lapwings and Meadow Pipit with numbers increasing on a daily basis. In addition, Cherry Robinson reported a couple of Golden Plover and a Greenland WHEATEAR over the last couple of weeks. I've not seen any Yellow Wagtails recently though the livestock are now hanging out at the north end of the Meadow so I've not been able to search in amongst them. A Grey Wagtail has been hanging out down at the southern end of the Meadow the last week or so and indeed regularly flies over my house calling loudly. Adrian Gray reports a few Teal back in the Gullet now.

On the insect front there are still lots of Migrant Hawkers around, both along the Castle Mill Stream and also up at College Pond today. What we really need now is some decent rain to get the floods back in business.

Here's a reminder of the Yellow-browed Warbler from three years ago (c) Roger Wyatt

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