Friday 30th October

Since my last posting things have been gradually picking up on the Patch. Whilst the embryonic floods haven't increased in size yet at least they've held their own and it's been enough to start attracting a regular flock of 20 or 30 Lapwings and up to 50 Black-headed Gulls. Today for the first time the Teal were back with them with about 40 of them sleeping by the North Channel water. There was even a flock of a couple of dozen Golden Plover this week and Mary MacDougall had a flock of about 60 last weekend. Winter Thrushes have been at least flying over the Meadow this week if not actually feeding on it and there has been a regular light passage of Skylarks going over the last week or so, some compensation for the fact that they didn't seem to breed on the Meadow this year for the first time since I can remember.

There are finally a few year ticks to report with a couple of fly-over Lesser Redpolls during the week, a calling TAWNY OWL in the small hours this morning and best of all a Dark-bellied BRENT GOOSE that spent half an hour or so today grazing on the grass down near the boat moorings this morning before being flushed by a dog walker. A singleton Brent was seen at Farmoor about a week ago so it may be the same bird. This species is less than annual on the Meadow and is in fact not that common in the county at all so it was nice to see this morning. Let's hope that it's the prelude to more interesting sightings over the coming weeks.

The Brent Goose

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