22nd November

The recent heavy rainfall has done it's job and pushed the floods from being embryonic through to full-grown. What's more the damp conditions have been bringing in birds far and wide and the Meadow is now absolutely heaving with birds. We've even had our first waders of the season back with a lone REDSHANK, a single DUNLIN and a couple of SNIPE. There was also an impressive count of 100 Lapwings today though no Golden Plover.

On the wildfowl front there are lots of Wigeon, Teal and Mallard and loads of geese. These are mostly the feral Greylags but there were at least 50 Canada Geese this evening. The star birds of my visit though were four WHITE-FRONTED GEESE which flew in as the light was fading. I presumed at the time that they were the four Otmoor birds which hung around there for several weeks. If they linger then I'll need to check their ages as the Otmoor ones consisted of two adults and two juveniles. Anyway, there were a most welcome year tick for the Patch.

I'm pleased to report that we're also getting a modest gull roost in the evenings again. As usual, the numbers seem to vary but on good nights we're getting several thousand Black-headed Gulls and hundreds of larger gulls (mostly Lesser Black-backed Gulls). It's time to start looking for Caspians and Yellow-legged Gulls again - hoorah!

A Lesser Black-backed Gull

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