Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The F-word

Friday 3rd September: a late afternoon patch visit produces a record total of 7 Corn Buntings in the unusual location of the set aside, rather than in their breeding territory - a wintering group? The only other action revolved around a bull in the field by the river, standing firmly on the public footpath, blocking my way. After two failed attempts, I walk past him, and he does not even blink:

Above and below, more juvenile Buzzards, one passing in front of the derelict windmill at Great Milton:

Today was a different story. On my birthday, and 15 years to the day since a Long-tailed Skua graced these fields, I set out to try and replicate the find. Strangely Cuddesdon is seabirdless. But not birdless. In fact the hedgerows by the set-aside are rammed with birds. 50+ Yellowhammers, 30+ Reed Buntings, 70+ Linnets, smaller numbers of Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, plus Whitethroat, Blackcap, Corn Bunting, Bullfinch and 4 Lesser Whitethroats. Four! To give this figure some context, that equals the total number recorded in the last two years. I don't like to use the f-word, but am I experiencing something of a fall here? I desparately try and pull out something mega, like a Whinchat or Redstart (Otmoor, 7 miles away has had nearly double figures of both this week), but don't quite succeed.
LWT action, in all it's grey glory.

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