Three Counties Birding

Today I decided to have a ride out on the motorbike. Planned route was into Farmoor, Brize Norton, Fairford, Pit 306, Twitchers Gate and back home. This took in Wilts, Oxon and Glos. I arrived at Farmoor at around half twelve and having been greeted by a yaffling Green Woodpecker then spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering along the causeway, stopping to eat my sarnies, and then back again. The main feature was the large amount of Geese around F1 which has been partly drained. Several hundred Greylag and Canada were seen. Numbers of Pied Wagtail ran into three figures and a couple of Grey and Yellow were also seen. For a change I managed some half decent (by my standards anyway) pictures of them as well. It was pretty slow on the wader front with singles of Ringed Plover and Black-tailed Godwit along with four Dunlin. As usual with waders here they were all very confiding. Not many gulls around with  most of what was there being Black-headed along with a few Lesser Black-backed and a single Greater. A handful of Swallows passed through and Red Kite and Sparrowhawk were seen passing over. As was a Global Express Business Jet heading for Oxford Airport. Then it a cross-country ride to the Water Park via Brize Norton and Lechlade. Nothing going on at Brize and a quick stop at Lake 125 found four Common Tern. After another look at Air Force One and a couple of other planes at Fairford it was along to 306. No Great White Egret today, just one Little, A Greenshank and forty or so Lapwings. At 305 I was surprised to see a total of just thirteen birds which included three Little Egrets. Usually there are many more here. Finally it was Twitchers where I was hoping to find the Marsh harrier that has been around for a while. No sign of the Harrier but a hunting Hobby was nice to see. A Cetti’s called ad there were thirty-two Cormorants on the rafts. Duck numbers are building up with Pochard, Tufted, Shoveler and Gadwall all noted along with a single female Goldeneye. Seventyish Lapwings were flying around and a single Greenshank was calling.

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