Saturday, 3 January 2015

SP54 Short Day Count


Rather wet out there today and not the best day for me to commit to a Banbury Ornithological Society Short Day Count in the south of the county! At 8am I commenced my day at Thenford, moving on to Middleton Cheney and then Farthinghoe Local Nature Reserve. And it didn't stop raining! At least three Little Grebes and a Kingfisher were useful early finds at Thenford as the small birds began to wake up and call. The mature trees at this site including large numbers of yews attract Nuthatch and Treecreeper, and these birds were up and about despite the constant rain and low temperatures.

Travelling the short distance towards Middleton Cheney added a couple of sodden Common Buzzards and the first Meadow Pipits of the day. A visit to the village sewage treatment works was interesting as it was the first time I had ever seen a flock of Long-tailed Tits feeding on the filter beds in a similar manner to that adopted by wagtails and pipits! A Grey Wagtail was the first of five birds seen during the day and some Bullfinches were the first of small numbers logged at most sites.

Bird feeders next to the Farthinghoe reserve were busy with small birds including Marsh Tits and Tree Sparrows. A Jay on the reserve was the only one noted all day and the adjacent farm attracted a healthy flock of Chaffinches and Yellowhammers. Another large flock of Yellowhammers were feeding on stubble between Thenford and Thorpe Mandeville and included a few each of Reed Bunting and Chaffinch. Nearby a small flock of Golden Plovers fed in their traditional field.

The wet weather began to abate in the afternoon and I went for a hike around Edgcote and Trafford Bridge where the final new species for the day included a Sparrowhawk, some Linnets, five Snipe and a Water Rail.


Neil M
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