The wet mild weather meant I had no expectations of any birds of note, except the hope that the floods would have attracted the first ducks of the year. I was half-way down to the floods when when the distinctive noise of a calling Raven rang out. To my surprise it was perched in a large solitary Oak tree, my first record of Raven in Cuddesdon that wasn't just flying over. Which is what it was doing by the time I raised my camera:
As I headed east I could make out large numbers of thrushes in the fields. I counted about 500 Fieldfares and 200 Redwings between the village and the river. The floods were pretty high, with at least one field either side of the river under water:
Although it was barely light I scanned the water and immediately flushed a Snipe, then found a small flock of duck dabbling at the waters edge. First Wigeon:
And then a pair of Gadwall. Patch gold! This may be one of the few records of the year of this species:
I worked my way south along the River Thame. The floods were even more extensive near Chippinghurst, here looking towards the church in Little Milton:
And so by 5th January I have recorded 42 species of bird around Cuddesdon. Depressingly, this is probably nearly half the species that will be recorded in the year as a whole. My challenge this year is to add a new species to the Cuddesdon list, having only added one since August 2011 (Woodcock on 20th January 2013). Total species for the year 42.