It's been another quiet week or so on the Meadow. There have been one or two noteworthy snippets but nothing too exciting. On Saturday 20th I noticed the first GOLDEN PLOVER of the autumn back on the Hinterland in amongst the lapwings though I've not seen it since. There are plenty of YELLOW WAGTAILS passing through which, as usual, tend to hang out near the cattle or horses. There was a single late SWIFT flying over Kingston road also on the 20th. There have also been a couple of HOBBY sightings in the neighbourhood. A few times now I've heard the hooting of a passing TAWNY OWL from my bedroom though it never calls more than a couple of times before moving on. The LITTLE EGRETS are still around with a couple of them being seen fairly regularly hunting along the river. The leucistic EGYPTIAN GOOSE is still around in amongst the feral greylags and there have been a few COMMON SANDPIPER sightings along the river shorline.
On the butterfly and dragonfly front things are very much winding down now. A gatekeeper was visiting the garden a few times last week and I had a southern hawker drop in on one occasion as well. In Burgess Field the only ones on the wing now are a few small heaths.
Today on my run around the patch there were loads of chiffchaffs, especially around the Trap Grounds including one or two that were "chiffchaff"-ing rather than just "huweet"-ing. One encouraging news is that as a result of the recent rain there is now a thin sliver of flood water along the North channel. Normally I would be fairly dismissive of such as small amount of water but Richard Foster's diligence in turning up some good birds on very paltry flood area makes me more careful about this. Today there were just lapwings, yellow and pied wagtails and the obligatory black-headed gulls there but I'll keep an eye on it over the coming days.
Today I met the Oxford Rare Plants Group on the Meadow doing a survey of the Creeping Marshwort which used to be found in this country only on the Meadow though apparently it has now been introduced to a few other locations in order to avoid the risk of it getting wiped out by a few bad years. Apparently summer flooding is not at all good for this plant though a few new plants have come up from seeds that have lain dormant during the flooding.