A terrific morning in Cuddesdon, with birds still everywhere. And how often have I ever said that?
There was a hard frost overnight, but the surprises began early with this fossil (!) and an approachable Lesser Redpoll:
But the real action was overhead with thrushes passing through constantly: Fieldfares...
... Redwing (yep, check 'em out)...
..and Mistle Thrushes:
And then I entered Old Barns Field and met the largest Golden Plover flock I have ever seen in Cuddesdon, with at least 500 present:
Knowing that an American Golden Plover was present yesterday on Port Meadow, just 7 miles to the west, added to the moment, but I was just greatful for something to look at. As always, these large flocks are very flighty and the birds often left to swirl around, flicking gold and white in the morning sun. Was I really in Cuddesdon or had I woken up in The Wash?
I gave the Goldies a good grilling, but couldn't see anything American in with them and left satisfied that only Eurasian Golden Plover were present. Some proof that these birds were in Cuddesdon, here is some of the Golden Plover flock passing in front of Cuddesdon Church:
There were also several hundred Lapwing in the winter wheat fields, surely one of our most under-rated birds?
The Environment Agency have warned that England's rivers are effectively full and that any further rain will probably bring flooding. Gloomy faces in many places, but music to my ears. Round here winter floods bring birds. The flood meadows along the River Thame valley have been filled with water for 2 days now and this morning held at least 2 Teal and 4 Wigeon in with the usual Mallards:
I even managed to make the local habitat look half decent in one picture. Roll on winter!
86 species for the year.