14h February

With the floods only just starting to retreat from full-on Lake Mode, it's been quite difficult viewing conditions on the Meadow since my last post. Indeed, the only real place to view from has been north of the Perch along the river towpath which meant that there have been fewer reports recently than usual. Still, larid enthusiast Thomas Miller has kept things going with daily visits to the gull roost and has been coming up with good counts of Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls. There have been several birds of various ages of each species seen most evening. One regular 2nd winter bird, christened "Eric", has been seen most evenings and clearly likes the location.

"Eric" on the Meadow

With the floods receding, narrow strips of exposed grass between the floods and the river are making for great viewing with the gulls much closer than usual. One evening Thomas manage to find a nice 1w Mediterranean Gull (perhaps the same one from a few weeks ago), which turned out to be ringed though despite his best efforts it wasn't possible to read it.

The first winter Med Gull

Apart from gulls there has been a bit of an increase in wader action with a Ruff, 6 Dunlin, 3 Redshank and an Oystercatcher all seen in the last week. This is perhaps a sign that things are starting to be on the move though whether it was just avoidance of the recent bout of cold weather or a prelude to spring I am not sure.

The Ruff

Things have been rather samey on the wildfowl front though there has been a bit of an increase in Shelduck numbers with up to 6 seen recently. There are still up to 10 Pintail about and Gadwall have suddenly appeared in amongst the usual Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler for the first time this week.

February is traditionally a quiet time of year as we wait for spring so I would predict more of the same for the second half of the month.



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