Sunday, 22 January 2017

Chacombe: Glaucous Gull

Adult Glaucous Gull, Chacombe - I think this is the first in the BOS area since 2010
This was a great weekend to be out and about in Banburyshire - crisp, cold and generally sunny.  Today I was able to spend most of the day out in the field, aiming to visit a couple of sites with the hope of finding Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, a bird I have yet to encounter in the BOS recording area.  Needless to say I failed in my main quest, but there were more than ample rewards - some special places with surprising numbers of birds, and an icing on the cake towards the end: finding a splendid adult Glaucous Gull, amongst the gull gatherings in Chacombe.  The Glaucous Gull was not too unexpected as several have been seen recently in Warwickshire but it is still a very scarce bird here. Fortunately Gareth was parked just 100m down the road, and obligingly it flew towards him and landed in a pasture field where we enjoyed a prolonged view before it took flight yet again.  This was not the last we saw of this bird as it arrived at Boddington Reservoir to join the gull roost there, just as the light was failing - a very good spot by John.

early morning light on the edge of Chacombe - frost on the ridge and furrow pasture
Wroxton College - rear view
Wroxton College - front view

Ravens over Radway
Wild bird food strip near Radway - 100s of buntings (mostly Yellowhammers) plus a few Tree Sparrows
Adult Glaucous Gull - flight shot (canon slr + 400mm lens)
Adult Glaucous Gull - phone-scoped.  Also in this area: an adult Caspian Gull, a first winter Great Black-backed Gull and five Tree Sparrows
Fieldfare, Chacombe - one of my best phone-scoped efforts so far
Wren, Wroxton College
gates often get in the way!
but not always  - Fieldfare (heavily cropped photo!)
Yesterday afternoon I walked southwards down the Oxford Canal from Aynho Wharf, to see what birds were left on the receding flood waters of the River Cherwell.  The day before yesterday there were good numbers of Wigeon and Teal reported, plus a few Pintail.  This afternoon the wildfowl numbers were lower and the Pintail had left, but there were plenty of thrushes and a Buzzard that was happy to let me point my lens towards it!  Also a lovely sunset.
Buzzard on a barn roof
Pollarded willow
Middle Cherwell Valley at sunset

wildfowl and gulls on the floodwater (which had mostly frozen over)

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