Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Belting Sunrise

Sunday began with the sort of sunrise that sends a man running for his camera and then off into the blue, gold and pink. It was a belter:

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. 


  1. Cheer up Tom it can only get better and better and better - if only !
    The Oxon Feather.

    1. Tell me it can get better Camboy, please tell me it can!

  2. I photographed the sunrise too and I think it was that shadow in the clouds which made it so magical but also the bright blue at the top and the deep rose over the Chilterns. Also, thanks for commenting on the raven. I just listened to it on RSPB and I saw and heard it too. It flew around Bishop's Wood for a bit and then into the wood with its echoing grackling song. Niki.

  3. Wow! This is great for all photographers. Nice view and very natural.

    I try to look some here Belting . . .