5th March

Despite the lack of floods it's been quite an interesting week. It started off quietly enough: I did a tour on Monday around Burgess Field with only a singing male Lesser Whitethroat worthy of reporting. Then on Tuesday we had a report of an OSPREY flying south from the Wytham University Field Centre. Now, just how strictly this is within the Patch catchment area is a matter of debate but in the current floodless circumstances I'm going to stretch the rules a little - we need all the ticks we can get!

Thursday was very interesting when a possible Red-footed Falcon was reported as seen sitting on the wires along the A34 as someone drove by. Unfortunately the view wasn't good enough to confirm the identification but this would be a very rare county bird indeed if it were to be firmed up.

Today (Friday) I did in fact go down to the Wytham and spent half an hour in a lay-by on the Wytham approach road scanning the hillside for raptors. I turned up a few Red Kites, Buzzards, a Kestrel and best of all a RAVEN (a Patch year tick) but nothing rarer. The Red-foot may still be around of course (if it was one) so it's worth keep a look out. From the north end of Wolvercote I did also spot a BLACK-TAILED GODWIT flying rapidly up the river.

We did get a report by Martin Frend of a Falcon this afternoon in the area though it was a HOBBY (another year tick) that flew over Godstow Abbey. He also found a COMMON SANDPIPER working its way northwards along the river shoreline.

A Common Sandpiper from the archives
Forgot to mention that I had my first SWIFTS of the year over my house today as well.

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