Once more I am having to go away for a while so as usual please submit any sightings to Going Birding and I will update the blog on my return.
I'll leave you with some video of some ringed plovers which I took a few nights ago (c) Adam Hartley
A videograb of tonight's Med. gull. It really stood out from the black-headed gulls, partly through it's longer and brighter-coloured legs (c) Adam Hartley
A brief snippet of video before it flew off to the other end of the floods (c) Adam Hartley
A row of eight dunlin (c) Adam Hartley
A pretty crappy record shot of the sanderling with a couple of dunlin but I only had my bins and my point & shoot camera with me and it was dusk by the time I turned up. (c) Adam Hartley
I keep meaning to post some photos but have been rather busy this week. I'll try to catch up in the next day or two.
The Hinterland is look very pretty at the moment with a whole sea of buttercups all the way up to Wolvercote (c) Adam Hartley
The wood sandpiper this evening (c) Adam Hartley
There's still a couple of weeks of May left in which we could get something good, a Temminck's stint at least I would hope! My thanks go to Richard Foster for his sterling work in keeping up his visits to the Meadow and also to James Grundy.
Nightingale song (sound only) (c) Rumi Mohideen
The combination of continual sun and a reasonably strong wind has meant that the floods are drying up quite rapidly now and they desperately need a good dose of rain to freshen them up a bit.
As I've been going out rather late the light has been too poor for any photography so here's a shelduck that I took a few weeks back (c) Adam Hartley
In the absence of any photographs from today I thought that I would share with you some video footage taken by Jeff Pursey of the white stork from Monday.
The stork in flight (c) Jeff Pursey
For more stork photos and video visit Gnome's Birding Diary
With no particularly good photos taken today, here is some footage that I took a couple of days ago of a common and a green sandpiper
The white stork just to the north of the floods..
..before taking off....
...and flying off low to the east.
In a further twist when I came back from my trip to the Meadow I told my eldest daughter who casually mentioned that yesterday she'd seen a "funny large bird" perched on the chimney pot of a house more or less opposite ours though it had flown away as she watched it. When I showed her my photos she immediately identified it as what she'd seen so it had apparently been around in the area undetected for at least one night. I've given her a stern lecture on telling me when she sees anything unusual in future!
Other news, last night's WOOD SANDPIPER was still around at first light (per Justin Taylor) but flew off at 05:55. The GREY PLOVER remained all day and there was a continual passage of BAR-TAILED GODWITS through with perhaps about 80 being reported during the day that I heard of. The three GARGANEY were still about and there were a couple of RINGED PLOVERS down at the southern end.
Apparently this isn't the first White Stork record for the Meadow. Richard Foster found the follow reference in British Birds vol X. (1916-17), p. 273:
WHITE STORK IN OXFORDSHIRE.
On October 15th, 1916, Miss M. Price saw a White Stork (Ciconia c. ciconia) in Port Meadow, near Oxford. She first noticed it on the wing and saw it settle about a hundred yards away. It remained in view for about a quarter of an hour, during which time Miss Price and a friend who accompanied her had good opportunities of observing it, and noticing the differences between it and a Heron which was in sight at the same time. Miss Price is also familiar with the appearance of the Stork in Holland, so that there could be no possible mistake as to its identity. When last seen it was flapping slowly towards Wolvercote. F. C. R. Jourdain.'
The grey plover accompanying this morning's barwit flock
After I'd returned home I got a text from James Grundy saying that there was a WOOD SANDPIPER on the floods but it didn't stay too long before it headed on. Later in the afternoon when Richard Foster checked things out there was nothing there apart from the ringed and little ringed plovers.
At dusk I went for a quick yomp around the floods to see if anything had come in and was rewarded for my efforts with a WOOD SANDPIPER of my own, accompanied by a GREY PLOVER (in more advanced moult into summer plumage) and a single BAR-TAILED GODWIT. Given that there had not been anything about in the afternoon these birds would have been fresh in this evening.
A lovely sunset on a great birding day on the Meadow
As far as barwit numbers are concerned I received an e-mail from Sydney Penner saying that he had a different flock of 12 birds which flew over when he was visiting yesterday. In addition Tom Wickens reckons that his Friday night birds were different from the Saturday morning ones in which case the total count that has passed through so far is 118! That combined with two different wood sands and two different grey plovers on the same day is not bad going. We reported a count of nine different waders yesterday, with today's bird added to the mix we've now had 13 different species in two days. Next up should be a Temminck's stint and possibly even a spoonbill - they're becoming almost regular in May now!