A beautiful weekend. Lovely blue skies, little wind, and even the air feels a little bit warm. down the reserve at Maple lodge on Sat morning. Nothing exciting by way of birds, but lots of song. Greenfinches, great tits, robins, song thrushes all giving it full volume. Strangely though, there were still good numbers of both fieldfares and redwings on Lynsters Farm (along with the usual 7 or so Egyptian Geese). You could almost see the blossom coming out as you watched it.
In the afternoon I took a trip out with Derek. Firstly to Gallows Bridge Farm, a new reserve, where there was a stone curlew. Took about 40 minutes getting there. About 10 birders on site scoping a hedgerow at long distance. This is where the nice weather didn't help. The heat haze over the bare field made it really hard to make anything out (Derek was watching a lump of mud for a few minutes before he realised it wasn't the curlew!). The photos hopefully make the point.
After this we crossed the county to go to Otmoor. Surprisingly I hadn't been here before, but a ferruginous duck was present, plus a few other tasties like hen harrier and garganey - and we dipped them all. well, really we didn't have time. By the time we got there we only has about 30 minutes on site and the birds were at the far end. Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous afternoon for a stroll, which many of the locals seemed to be enjoying as well. At least I've got an idea of the layout now, so perhaps I may be able to fit in a trip later this week if the fudge duck hangs on.