Sunday, 15 February 2009

Cuddesdon WWT

A combination of heavy rain and melting snow have caused the River Thame to burst its banks. And something else has happened. I found myself on Friday evening, actually looking forward to Saturday morning's birding: I was expectant. I was anticipating finding something, not merely assumping I would have a bird-free walk in the local fields. It was a delicious feeling. So, 7.25am on Saturday morning finds me crossing heavily frosted fields and admiring a good sunrise:
There are a few Skylark about, maybe 35, but not the huge flocks of last weekend, but a Great Spotted Woodpecker drums and as it gets light Yellowhammer and Skylark begin singing. It almost feels like Spring. The lower fields are all flooded and I hear the calling Canada Geese before I see them - 14 in total, in one nervous flock. The usual 8 Mallard are about, and I work my way north following the edge of the flood. I scan towards a small wood on the other side of the river and then, "Christ, there's a Wigeon!".

A common enough species at any wetland reserve in winter, but this is Cuddesdon! In fact, there is a small flock of 29 Wigeon of feeding in the shallows, their loud "wee-oo" calls eching about. Then they spot me and they take to the air:
Fortunately they settle and once again the fields near the river resemble the Wetland & Wildfowl Trust! I head back for breakfast, only to be distracted by a big flock of these over fields to the north of the village:

Golden Plover - 58 in total

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