Sunday 1st September

So here we are in September already, I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. Still there's actually been a bit of bird action to report and a whole flurry of year ticks. After his Spotted Flycatcher in Burgess Field, Thomas Miller managed to turn up a few more good passage passerines. The star of the show was a WHINCHAT which he found late one afternoon at the end of the very hot period of weather that we recently had. This species is certainly less than annual on the Meadow so its finding prompted a bit of a mini twitch by some of the Port Meadow local birders. As well as the Whinchat, Thomas also turned up a COMMON REDSTART (another less than annual passage migrant) and a few LESSER WHITETHROATS. To add to this list whilst I was there I kicked up a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER from in the undergrowth though sadly it didn't linger. Still with Whinchat, Redstart and Grasshopper Warbler that was three ticks on one day!

Whinchat courtesy of Thomas Miller
The tick bonanza continued a day or two later when Thomas (who's been the stand-out bird finder of the year on the Meadow by a long chalk) spotted a HOBBY over the Meadow. What was probably the same bird was see later in the day by Mary MacDougall over Hayfield Road. This species is usually annual on the Meadow though we did miss it last year so it's good to have it on the list again. 

To add to the action Matthew Lloyd recently found a WHEATEAR up at the northern end of the Meadow by the boundary with Wolvercote Common.

In terms of passage passerines, the only bird that we might hope for still that we haven't yet seen would be Tree Pipit which is quite a county rarity though we do have a history of having them turn up in Burgess Field. Beyond that it will have to be something altogether rarer that we've not had before. I did once see what looked suspiciously like a Melodius/Icterine Warbler in Burgess Field. It was huge compared to the neighbouring Chiffies though the views were all too brief and it flew off never to be seen again so you never know what might turn up there. Apart from that, there are a number of waders that we still need though without the flood waters we are going to be lucky to get those on the year list.