11th October

Things have been ticking along nicely on the patch, especially considering that the floods are still bone dry.

Firstly things really stepped up a gear when Phil Barnett found a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Trap Grounds on Sunday 25th September. This is only the third record for the patch of what is no longer the national or county rarity that it used to be. However, for Port Meadow it is still very much a Mega and although it proved mobile and elusive throughout the day a number of locals and county birders managed at least to hear if not see it.

In the absence of a photo of the Yellow-browed Warbler, here is one of the first one for the patch, found back in October 2013, taken by master lensman Roger Wyatt

We also managed another year tick when Jonathan Parsons found a Whinchat at Wolvercote Allotments along the south boundary facing the meadow. This species is just about annual so it was good to get it on the list.

Talking of chats, we've had a flurry of Stonechats arriving with three found on Monday in the rough grass/thistle area between the Aristotle Lane gate and the southern end. A pair of them lingered in the same place and either the third bird or a fourth relocated to Burgess Field.

One of the three original Stonechats

In terms of other birds, our Grey Plover ended up hanging around for a little while. It wasn't always present at the southern end and was sometimes seen to fly in so it may have been lingering unseen higher up the Meadow. On the wader front, apart from the Grey Plover, 2 Redshank were the only real point of interest. There have been a few Lapwing and the occasional Golden Plover hanging around.

On the water fowl front, the only real point of interest has been a flock of about 180 Barnacle Geese. As they were ringed it was possible to tell that they were from Merseyside, this being the first sighting of them since they were originally ringed. 

Some of the Merseyside Barnacle Geese

One of the Great White Egret dropped into Wolvercote Lake on Saturday 8th October.

There have been 3 or 4 Barn Owls hunting over the fields towards King's Lock (part of the "extended patch") at dusk over the last couple of days along with a couple of Cetti's Warblers.

In general, Meadow Pipit and Linnet numbers have been building up on the Meadow and the first Snipe are starting to be flushed from the longer grass. The first Redwings have been seen and autumn passage birds are becoming hard to find now. We are now definitely well into autumn.