7th June

So here we are in June already. The second half of May was very quiet on the floods. Thanks to all the rain we've been having, if anything the flood waters were too full to pull in any late waders and they were eerily quiet. However, now that we've moved into June suddenly they have become very birdy again as the Geese and Gulls have returned in good numbers. We have quiet a few Canada Geese and increasing numbers of Barnacle Geese, the latter being rather suprising as usually they are only winter visitors. Talking of Geese, we've had some breeding success with an Egyptian Goose pair having hatched seven youngsters. With 6 Shelduck on the floods, plenty of Mallards and at least a dozen juvenile Black-headed Gulls in amongst hundreds of adults there is lots to look through again.


Egyptian Goose plus seven Goslings, courtesy of Manoj Nair

Away from the floods, there was a calling Cuckoo near Godstow Bridge on the 18th. Cetti's Warblers seem to be established at King's Lock and also at Wolvercote Lakes. Manoj Nair saw a pair of Ring-necked Parakeets by the Walton Well Road car park in the last few days. 

There have also been a couple of records of a pair of Cranes flying over Burgess Field. These will certainly be the Otmoor birds which apparently commute to the Chimney Meadows area and so cross over the north end of Port Meadow airspace on their daily journey.

Flyover Cranes courtesy of Thomas Miller

As we move into summer naturally our thoughts turn to insects and flowers etc. On the Odonata front after a very delayed start due to the miserable weather at last things have kicked off. At the Trap Grounds Hairy Hawkers are to be seen along with Azure Blue Damselflies around the various ponds. However, by far the top sighting is another record of a Downy Emerald from our top insect spotter Nicola Devine. Coming on the back of a sighting last year, we are really hoping that they might become established at the Trap Grounds

Downy Emerald courtesy of Nicola Devine

So what might we expect over the coming month? With the floods still so full I would suggest that Spoonbill is a possibility. June has been a good month for this species in the past and the Meadow has quite a few past records. Indeed with several sightings in the county over the last few days, it's well worth keeping an eye out for them. Apart from that it's going to be insects and flowers for a while. For me, my garden mothing has finally kicked off with the better weather so I will be keenly unpacking the trap each morning.

Sallow Kitten