The so-called Great Storm of 2013 (see here) proved a bit of an anti-climax, at least here in Oxford but it did at least provide a nice top-up of the flood waters which are now looking not quite so anaemic. Ideally though they still need to be much bigger so that the birds aren't so easily flushable and to start attracting a decent gull roost. Nevertheless they are getting quite "birdy" now with good numbers of Wigeon and Teal and today the first few Shovelers appeared as well. Golden Plover numbers are fluctuating on a daily basis with a peak count of about 200 recently. The only gulls roosting so far are moderate numbers of Black-headed Gulls though I hope that this will change in the next few weeks. The Jericho Red Kite has been knocking around again recently - it was over my house today and was seen from the Meadow by Steve Lavington.
The first Shoveler of the season
So we're getting back into typical winter birding on the Meadow. As always anything can turn up but realistically perhaps the most likely good bird might be another American Golden Plover - last year's bird was found at the end of October so fingers crossed. Apart from that it's probably going to be gulls that keep us occupied over the next couple of months: November and December are the easiest months for finding Caspians as other large gulls are very streaky-headed during this period.