Sunday 20th October

Since my last post the continuing rainy conditions have meant that the floods have steadily got larger to the point that when I visited this weekend they are looking quite extensive. They are starting to eat into the rank vegetation surrounding the core flood area though at present there are lots of annoying Meadow Thistles still standing and obstructing the view - once they've died off then things will be a lot easier.

Port Meadow was looking particularly photogenic yesterday
In the last week or so we've had some Widgeon and Teal back in residence as well as  quite a few (a couple of dozen or so) Shoveller. There's not been much of a gull roost to speak of so far though it's still quite early in the season: it's mostly been Black-headed Gulls working their way over the newly flooded areas. In amongst the geese there's been a single BARNACLE GOOSE occasionally. I don't know what the origin of this bird is but there are some feral birds that have now taken up residence at Farmoor so it could be one of those.

The recent highlights have been a pair of EGYPTIAN GEESE (a year tick) that dropped in briefly on Saturday, four Gadwall today (more usually a spring visitor) and three (a drake and two females) PINTAIL this morning. To round things off Phil Barnett found a SHORT-EARED OWL (another year tick) a few days back in Burgess Field - it's nice to get this species back on the year list as it's a less than annual visitor. 

Now that the floods are back again we should start to get a decent amount of birds back on the Meadow again. Under good flooded conditions over the winter Port Meadow can be one of the most birdy places in the county - it's when it really comes into its own.

Nicola Devine took this lovely photo of a Chiffchaff in the Trap Grounds.
See the new Trap Grouds Wildlife blog for more photos

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