Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Lesser is definitely more

Heavy rain curtailed my afternoons work today, so I decided a twitch was in order.
 I undertook a trip to Port Meadow on the banks of the River Thames at Oxford.
Leaving Newport in heavy rain and hail, I was pleased that by the time I reached Bicester I was ahead of the rain clouds and the sun had come out.
 Arriving on site the flooded meadows were absolutely full of birds; over a hundred Wigeon, a few Teal and Shoveler, around 300 Golden Plover on the opposite bank and an enormous flock of Greylag Geese with 15 Feral Snow Geese mixed in amongst them. Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits fed around the edges of the flood.
 The bird I had come to see was found easily on my side of the river at about 30 yards range - a juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs. This handsome transatlantic wader showed extremely well all the time I was there along with it's close buddy a Ruff. These two seemed inseparable and were never more than 5 yards apart, if one flew,the other followed - the bright yellowlegs shining out like a beacon behind the American bird.
 After about an hour the rain finally reached me, so this was my cue to head home.

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