10th December

Another couple of weeks have gone by and there's not been much change on the Meadow. The "floods" are still just about hanging on though we've still had precious little rain. In fact I'm rather hoping that all this snow will finally make a difference to the water levels once it melts.

Since I last posted the BARNACLE GEESE have been seen in the fields between Wytham and the Thames on one day. Talking of geese, I forgot to mention an interesting sighting that I had a while back: I'd just got up and had popped my head out the window to see what the weather was like when a flock of size geese caught my attention as they flew low over the neighbouring roof tops. This is nothing unusual: as we live so close to the Meadow we're always getting Greylag and Canada geese fly over the house but these looked a bit different somehow though I couldn't quite place them. I could only see them in silhouette and they just called once which made me think of Pink-footed Geese. Had they called again then I would have known for sure but as they stand they'll just have to be "possibles".

The Wytham Barnacle Geese courtesy of Gordon Gray
On the floods there has been a REDSHANK one day and we had our first proper flock of Teal with fifty birds there one day. Lapwing are the main residents there at present with numbers varying between 20 and 30 odd and there was a small flock of about ten Golden Plover in the grass just north of the boats one morning. Adrian Grey reported a few Wigeon finally up in Wolvercote so at least we can tick this species off for this winter (who thought that I would be saying that in December?). In my garden I've still been getting regular visits from my female Blackcap and talking of over over-wintering warblers, I did see a Chiffchaff in the Trap Grounds one morning.

The Kingfisher can still be seen regularly down by the river

So, all in all, still desperately quiet and we really need some prolonged rain to revive the birding at what is normally a very productive time of year.

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