Sunday, 13 January 2013

There's a Chiffchaff down the sewage works that thinks it's tristis

"I wandered lonely as a cloud...". This line from Wordsworth has never resonated with me, as I've never seen clouds as lonely. This single pink beauty looks as if it has no other purpose than to give us pleasure, lit from below by the sunrise:

This is Cuddesdon as viewed from the south-east. The village is on the hill, the fields all contain winter wheat. Note the cut back hedges and general lack of wildlife friendly habitat. Ever wondered why I don't see much?

Still, it was  a nice morning and reasonably productive. The wet patches by the river held 17 Snipe - still no Jack - and the fields above 50 Lapwing and 20 Golden Plover. Fieldfares barely reached 200, but there has been a significant increase in Redwing movements after last nights cold spell, small flocks passed over all morning. There was a distant Fox and the usual Buzzards:

I checked out the single filtration bed at the grandly named Cuddesdon Sewage works, always worth a look in cold weather when all other standing water is frozen. 10 Starlings, 4 Blackbirds, 2 Pied Wagtails and .... a wintering Chiffchaff. From memory the first in January I've seen round these parts. Conscious that Abingdon Sewage works has attracted the occasional Siberian Chiffchaff (subspecies tristis) in winter, I give it a good grilling. The Chiffchaff that is, not the sewage. The bird remains silent, which makes things much less definitive, but there was nothing about it that shouted tristis to me. Maybe next time. At least I have a good excuse to try to come up with a creative blog title...

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