11th April

This Meadow purple patch just keeps on giving! This morning I arrived on the Meadow at around 8:15 a.m., a bit later than I'd been intending to. It turned out to be perfect timing however because just as I was walking towards the floods I noticed a couple with bins looking intently at something over towards the bridge. It turned out to be an OSPREY being mobbed by a few crows. It circled around over the floods for a few minutes before eventually heading northwards. What was undoubtely the same bird was seen about 15 minutes earlier flying north along the Thames between Sandford and Iffley Lock by Colin Williams. This clearly reinforces my theory that they follow the river north at this point which is why we have been lucky enough to get quite a few sightings over the years on the Meadow.

A fairly useless photo of the back end of the Osprey!
Apart from this great sighting it's actually been remarkably quiet over the last couple of days. There have been hardly any waders of note, just the usual two SHELDUCK and two OYSTERCATCHERS though there has been a sudden influx of immature Mute Swans with 15 yesterday. There's also been a notable increase in Herons and LITTLE EGRETS no doubt drawn by the trapped fish in the flood waters. Indeed there seem to be some rather large ones there judging by the monster that this Egret was trying to Swallow yesterday.

quite a mouthful!
There have been a smattering of HOUSE MARTIN and SWALLOW sightings about but they're not really "in" yet. The first Mallard ducklings are now appearing on the Meadow, always a delight to see. In Burgess Field it's been quiet as well with just a single WHITETHROAT on each of the last two days and a few WILLOW WARBLERS of note there. Still we can't really complain about the quietness as it's been a pretty good week all in all!

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