Sunday 7th December

It's been a fairly "samey" few days on the Meadow towards the end of the week with a few PINTAIL, a couple of GOOSANDER, a few Gadwall, some SNIPE and the odd YELLOW-LEGGED GULL the main birds of notes. Overnight on Friday a sharp drop in temperature meant that on my Saturday morning run around the patch I found the floods frozen. In the bright sunshine a few SNIPE were flying about and calling. There were just three groups of birds present on the ice: at the north end where there was a small clear patch of water, all the ducks were huddled together; in the middle section was a small selection of gulls and at the southern end near the boats there was a flock of about 40 Lapwings. In amongst this last group I was very excited to spot the orange legs of a RUFF - normally a fairly regular species on the Meadow but this year somehow we've managed to miss them so this was in fact a year tick. It just shows what a poor spring we had for waders: after all we're still missing Greenshank from the year list!

A Ruff on ice

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