Finally a morning free of childcare and mist and therefore time to do the BTO's Winter Thrush survey. Winter thrushes are something we usually do well out here in Cuddesdon (see here for example), but with typical timing, today Cuddesdon was nearly thrushless. The tetrad to the east of the village produced a mere 8 Blackbirds, 5 Song Thrush, 4 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing. Weather depending, I have recorded 800+ Fieldfare alone in some winter months. Fortunately the survey is carried out a few times over the next couple of months, so perhaps next time will be more representative. No faulting the leaf colour this year though, some hedgerows were glowing gold:
And there were other birds around. Its been a good early winter period for Lesser Redpoll and today they were everywhere. A single flock of 15 was a local record and I recorded at least 20 "chett-chett"-ing away this morning. Some other birds seen were to be expected...
... but this one wasn't:
While scanning the hedgerows for Thrushes in particular and anything in general, finding a juvenile Peregrine Falcon perched in one of the local hedgerows was a real surprise. It is the first record for the year and the first that I have seen that was not zipping overhead at 60mph.
87 species for the year. But we are ready for the next. With some estimates claiming 5000 Waxwings having arrived in the north, it is only a matter of time before some of these stunning Scandinavian berry eating hordes reach Oxfordshire. And we have just what they need: