Sunday, 21 February 2010


Due to a combination of business, being in Spain and illness it feels like months since I've been out in the fields of Birdless Cuddesdon, so I thought I would head out this morning to check nothing was about.  Suddenly, despite last nights snow and the fact it was -5 degrees on Friday night, it feels just a little like Spring. Skylarks and Yellowhammers are in full song, this male even allowing a kind of close approach... for a Yellowhammer:

Reminders of winter are not far away however, as 310 Fieldfare in fields east of the road remind me. I flush a couple of Red-legged Partridges and head towards the floods. As always the wildfowl (if there are any) see me well before I see them and getting to grips with duck identification in these parts usually means tiny sillhouetted shapes blasting past with the local Mallard. Like this:
Clearly Teal! And at least the Mallard have the decency to pretend to be wild round here, you can't get within 150 metres of them. Today I count 21 Teal, a figure only surpassed by the first flock I found of 50 last year. 2 Mute Swan on the River Thame are a surprise, but its obviously a day for figures as I smash my record Linnet count in the set-aside - a majestic 180 Linnets, give or take 15 or so. Its good to be back.

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