Thursday, 22 April 2010


I set out this morning with little hope. Ten patch visits in twenty days this month has so far produced no migrant species of note. I wish I was the fully rounded person that could celebrate PRB finding a Hoopoe yesterday at Marsh Baldon, only 5 painful miles away, but I have to admit my first reaction was "bastard". And that was also the content of the text I sent moments later. What is so special about Marsh Baldon I ask? A look on GoogleEarth reveals a depressing number of hedgerows and good habitat, in stark contrast to the wide open agricultural monocultre of Cuddesdon.  Still somebody has to cover Cuddesdon and so I head out, empty of expectation. Then I spot a suspiciously interesting shape running across the field by the set-aside:

Wheatear! And all is forgiven. In fact there is a small flock feeding together, regular scans of the field reveal 8 Northern Wheatear in total (easily a Cuddesdon record) including 2 stunning males:
I had set myself the target of finding three good migrant species this spring - a massively optimistic target for a few fields of wheat and oilseed rape, but following Ring Ouzel, Wheatear will count as number two. Can May produce one more?

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