Highlights from Monday to Wednesday were singles of each sex of Tufted Duck and ten Great Crested Grebes, the most we have had for several weeks. On Wednesday morning there was flooding all around the area and I was very surprised that the Cherwell at Grimsbury hadn't flooded. However, it did at some point over Wednesday night. It seemed very delayed compared to the rest of the area and we should be very thankful the river was so low to start with as things could have been much much worse.
The flooding resulted in lots of gulls feeding in the wet fields and on Thursday I estimated c.700 Black-headed Gulls and 30 Common Gulls were present. There were also five Goosanders (one drake) at the reservoir, which I assume were displaced from the river. Four Goosanders were present on Friday but with most of the water gone from the fields the gull numbers were much reduced.
Today I managed to get a full patch visit in and it was a bit quiet to start with. A Herring Gull flew over south and a Willow Tit made a very brief appearance in the wood. Some very fresh Otter signs were under the railway bridge and there was some large rodent prints that must be Brown Rat.
As I walked up into the Upper Cherwell Valley it became very foggy and I was cursing the weather forecast, again! It cleared again soon enough and I managed to see three Snipe, two Teal and a Green Sandpiper still along the river. Scanning through gulls in the wet fields revealed very little of interest. Back at the reservoir a group of gulls had dropped in to bathe and I picked out the first winter Mediterranean Gull above. I was really searching for one since John had his and there has regularly been birds in the Boddington roost. So, something of interest at last!