It's been a few weeks since my last post. Part of the reason for this is that I've had a change of work circumstances so am now confined to weekend visits. However, also there frankly hasn't been a great deal to report and the annual autumn peak when the best rare birds are supposed to be found seems to have passed by the Meadow and indeed the whole of Oxfordshire.
Still there have been one or two noteworthy sightings. The highlight was an AVOCET on the last day of October, found by Nick Boyd, that sadly only stayed a couple of hours despite the great condition the floods are presently in.
|The Avocet courtesy of Nick Boyd|
Talking of waders we had the first BLACK-TAILED GODWIT of the winter season last weekend. Apart from that Lapwing numbers have been increasing steadily and we've started to get a few (up to a dozen or so) Golden Plover either flying over or loitering along the flood shoreline.
Nick also managed to find a BLACK REDSTART on top of the Radcliffe Observatory in Jericho though this too didn't linger. It's a bit of a grey area as to whether this counts toward the Patch year list total or not but given that there's not much else that we're likely to get this year I'm going to include it.
The floods have been gradually getting larger and the numbers of Wigeon and Teal have been increasing steadily and there are presently reasonable numbers of Shoveler about as well. There are plenty of Greylag and Canada Geese and today we were graced with the presence of about 150 BARNACLE GEESE.
Thomas Miller has been checking out the gull roost which is starting to get to a reasonable size now with quite a lot of large gulls though he's not yet found anything of particular note.
Winter Thrushes have been on the move and both Redwing and Fieldfare have been seen flying over the Meadow though I've not seen any in the hedgerows so far.
Looking ahead, the flooded Thistles are still making viewing rather difficult though this should improve over time and the numbers of winter duck should carry on increasing over the coming weeks. We might also hope for our first Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls of the winter.