6th November

Our star Pectoral Sandpiper ended up staying for exactly a week. It was nice to go down to the Meadow each day and to find it still picking its way along the shoreline. It remained faithful to its small pool for the entire time apart from on one occasion when a dog must have scared it as it moved away into the grass. Various out of county birders came to pay homage though numbers were never that large and everyone was well behaved.

The Pectoral Sandpiper courtesy of Steve Burch

The flood levels have held their own but we haven't really had enough rain to increase them in size so far and they are still a bit too small to hold any large counts of birds. Still, the winter duck numbers are starting to increase and this morning there were probably about 100 Wigeon there along with a smattering of Teal. There has been a noticeable increase in Canada Geese numbers with the flock now numbering serveral hundred though I haven't seen the Barnacle Geese for a few days now.

There has been noticeably large counts of Pied Wagtails on the floods in the evening. I think that lots of them come to the Meadow before heading off to roost in the city somehwere. Golden Plover numbers have increased noticeably with several hundred to be found hunkered down on the grass between the two pools most days along with a dozen or so Lapwing. It's the time of year for searching through them carefully for one of their American cousins though no luck so far.

Golden Plover courtesy of Steve Liptrot

One of the highlights since my last post was a Little Grebe that was seen up at Wolvercote Lake by Nick Boyd - a Patch year tick no less! A red-headed Goosander was seen on the river and then on the Castle Mill stream recently. Ollie Padget had a Great White Egret on the floods briefly though there is not enough cover there really and it didn't linger.

The Great White Egret courtesy of Ollie Padget

This morning Ollie and Thomas Miller saw a Brambling (another year tick!) in Burgess Field though sadly it didn't linger. Winter thrushes have started to appear in numbers in Burgess Field with lots of Redwing about and one flock of Fieldfare as well this morning. Siskin are often to be seen flying over and there have been one or two Redpoll as well. 
With all these winter birds, the change of the clocks and the nights drawing in, there is no doubting the change of the season. It's very much back to winter birding now.

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