December is the month when winter gulling gets going properly and we were rewarded with several Caspian Gulls over the month. There was a another 1w Caspian which joined the usual bird on a couple of evenings, a 3w bird one evening and an adult another evening. There were also a few Yellow-legged Gulls of various ages.
|The adult Caspian Gull courtesy of Thomas Miller
The ringed Siberian Chiffchaff was seen a few times near to Burgess Field gate along with quite a few normal Chiffchaff. On one occasion a second un-ringed Siberian Chiffchaff was found (and heard to call) in Burgess Field. Also on the passerine front, there were up to 3 Stonechat in the thistle patch in the south east corner of the Meadow.
The highlight of the month was the brief appearance of a Marsh Harrier hunting over the floods, sending everything up. Whilst this isn't a year tick thanks to the bird seen over Wytham Hill, having one hunting over the actual floods themselves is a great record!
|Matthew Lloyd took this cracking photo of the Marsh Harrier as it hunted over the floods
To round things off a couple of Cranes were seen flying over the Meadow one day, presumably commuting to Otmoor.