Monday 21st October

The near continual rain has meant that the floods are growing on a daily basis at the moment. This was just what incoming wintering duck were looking for and on Sunday evening Steve Lavington reported about 200 Wigeon and Teal. This morning I went for a quick look and the Meadow was positively awash with birds. There were at least 200 Wigeon, a similar number of Mallard and perhaps 50 or so Teal. What with all the feral geese flocks and quite a good number of Black-headed Gulls, it was a great sight to behold after these lean times.

I went back in the evening for a proper look only to discover that the combined efforts of some dog walkers and some kids in wellies had pushed quite a few of the duck off though they were gradually coming back whilst I watched. In terms of a gull roost there were perhaps 1500 Black-headed Gulls but only two Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A small flock of about a dozen Golden Plover were flying around but didn't appear to settle. The most interesting bird was a rather strange RED-CRESTED POCHARD hybrid. Superficially looking like a female of that species I initially thought that it was the Farmoor bird popping over for a visit but whilst the head was pure RCP the body was out of proportion to its head looked much more Mallard like, including a Mallard tail. If anyone else has any thoughts on this bird then do please let me know.

The strange Red-crested Pochard/Mallard hybrid (well at least that's what I think)

One further snippet of news, Mary Gregory reported a single SNIPE in Burgess Field.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Adam, I have written a piece for the Oxford Times including your discovery of the Yellow-Browed Warbler and letting my readers know about your blog. It will be published 7/11/14 and I have titled it 'HighBrow-Eyebrow' but the editor often's changes the title.
    It looks like your dirty duck was a Red c Pochard that got careless with a Gadwall, but as you know Ducks are always at it and they don't seem too fussy.
    The Oxonfeather .