Afterall the gulling excitement of recent days, the weather today put paid to it all. Despite being miserably grey and drizzly for most of the day, at around 3pm it miraculously stopped raining and the sun even came out - which is a Bad Thing on the gulling front. When I went down to the Meadow I found the river and floods both rather swollen and precious few gulls around. The ones that were there were floating out in the middle and they kept taking off and heading over the hill to Farmoor so I soon gave up on the whole roost. There was the rather sad sight of a herring gull floating in the water, barely alive. It was on it's last legs and hardly had the strength to hold it's head out of the water. On a happier note, the sunny conditions meant that I was able to check out the wader situation properly and I'm pleased to report that the two REDSHANK and 6 DUNLIN are still around. I even counted the lapwings today (69) though the golden plover spent the whole time in the air today (~500). Plenty of winter ducks about including a long drake PINTAIL. Quite a few fieldfares were "chukking" away as they flew over. Finally, Tom Evans heard a WATER RAIL in the Trap Grounds this morning - it's nice to know that they're back again.
Sparrowhawk (c) Pete Styles