4th March

Well, that's February out the way at last. It's a tricky old month: the heady excitement of the new patch year list has long faded and there are no migrants yet so there's not much to keep the interest going during this month. I've found over the last couple of weeks that most days the biggest excitement is merely the exact counts of OYSTERCATCHERS, SHELDUCK and GOOSANDER (in case you're interested it's generally 4 to 6 for the first two and anything up to 10 for the last one). 

There have actually been a couple of new year ticks since my last posting: Mary MacDougall heard a CURLEW flyover (on a day when one was also seen at Farmoor) and Tom Wickens spotted a single DUNLIN a couple of weeks ago. Apart from this a couple of BLACK-TAILED GODWITS, a flock of 160 Golden Plover and the occasional appearance of the usual REDSHANK have been the only other wader sightings of note.

The gulling has been predictably hard of late. I had one false alarm on the Caspian Gull front though Ian Lewington soon put me straight. Now that we're into March it's the Med. Gull passage season so it's time to start scanning through those Black-headed Gulls. With the first Sand Martins seen in the county today, it's also time to starting looking out for their arrival on the Meadow. It's all about to kick off!

The two recent Black-tailed Godwits

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