Tuesday, 26 November 2013

December bird watching

I have just been compiling the lists for birds seen at Standlake Common and Rushy Common Nature Reserves in December in previous years. What an amazing variety has been recorded. Great numbers of wigeon and teal and some brilliant rarities; a bittern in 2010 and a hen harrier in 2012 at Standlake. Regular sightings of goosander and pintail can be had at Standlake with goldeneye and shoveler at both sites.  Tufted duck are regulars with pochard and red-crested pochard and lots of great-crested grebe (photos from Graham Lenton) not to mention the mute swans and coot in large numbers.

I tried to count the total number of birds at Standlake last week but got dizzy after 750. If you haven't got a key for the bird hides at these reserves don't forget to come and have a look at Rushy Common on Sunday 15th December when the hide will be open to all from 10.00-4.00. Local enthusiasts will be there to share their knowledge and telescopes and answer questions such as  'How do you count 2463 starlings?' 'What is the difference between a yellow-legged gull and a lesser black-backed gull?' For more information email me at lwvp@oxfordshire.gov.uk

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