September 3rd

It's been a pretty reasonable start to autumn on the Meadow. Given that there are no flood waters at all we've had to make do with migrating passerines but fortunately we've been well served on this front. We've had at least two Redstarts in Burgess Field, a male and a female. I say "at least", this is because after no reports of the female for about a week, one was caught in the ringing nets there. It could be the same one or it could be a new bird. 

Female Redstart in the hand courtesy of Thomas Miller

We've also had a couple more Spotted Flycatchers: one in the north east corner of Burgess Field and one in the Trap Grounds. Sadly both were single observer sightings. That does bring the tally for this species to three birds already this autumn, which is pretty good!

We had our first Great White Egret record of the year with a couple of birds seen flying south along the river before heading back north again. Since then there have been several more sightings so they seem to be migrating regularly to the area, probably from Cassington GPs though they may well be finding the Meadow a bit too noisy for them to linger. Vidya Menon did capture a nice photo of one on the river early one morning which would tend to support this thesis.

Early morning Great White Egret courtesy of Vidya Menon

Yellow Wagtail numbers have increased dramatically since my last post and we are now getting over 20 birds in amongst the cattle. 

There have been quite a few sightings of Hobby around the general area, including over Kingston Road and one over the Trap Grounds. 

Hobby courtesy of Nicola Devine

Geese numbers are starting to climb again despite the lack of water on the Meadow. In amongst them have been 3 Egyptian Geese recently which seem to have taken a liking to the Meadow.

On the insect front there have been more sightings of Willow Emeralds on the Trap Grounds with up to 10 seen at a peak count. They are also discovered up at Wolvercote Lakes as well as other new sites throughout the county so they have definitely colonised Oxfordshire now. Apart from that, records of other Odonata species are starting to decline now as we head into autumn. There is one interesting record to report, that of a Southern Migrant Hawker on the Castle Mill Stream opposite Worcester College. Whilst this is strictly off-patch it is certainly possible that this species, another recent colonist of the county, will become more regular in years to come.

Migrant Hawker courtesy of Nicola Devine

Willow Emerald courtesy of Nicola Devine

Southern Hawker courtesy of Nicola Devine

Looking ahead, until we can get some flood waters back, it's going to be more of the same. We still need Whinchat, Stonechat & Marsh Tit which are reasonable possibilities but beyond that it will have to be something rather unexpected. 

No comments:

Post a Comment