Sunday, 15 January 2017

Middleton Stoney & Stow-on-the-Wold :: 14 January 2017

At the recent monthly meeting of the Banbury Ornithological Society (BOS) it was reported that during the Short Day Count, held the previous day, three cattle egrets had been found on a farm along the B4030 just outside Middleton Stoney towards Enstone. The birds could be found down the 'Restricted Byway Aves Ditch' on left, approximately 500 metres to view muddy field of pigs with metal shelters. The farmer kindly allows the BOS to survey the land twice a year. This is a first recorded sighting in the BOS monitoring area!

I had so far been unable to visit (due to having to go to work) and got up early before the rest of the household had stirred. Cattle egretDirections were good and as I got my boots on I hooked up and chatted with a nice chap from Slough who had travelled up for a look. We found the field but talking with the observer in residence the birds had been pretty static at the other side of the field all morning - after an hour and a half he then packed up and went. An hour passed and we were only afforded distance views of one of the egrets in flight, landing briefly, then repeating. Eventually it came closer and I enjoyed watching the egret following the pigs around as they disturbed the ground and, as the pig moved on, it dived in to see what might have been uncovered.

While talking with Mike Pollard he said his next port of call was going to be the long-staying blue rock thrush over in Stow-on-the-Wold. Why not I thought. So off I went, passing John @987jonty and Gareth @grimsbury_birds as I left.Blue rock thrush

Rained most of the way to Stow - was supposed to be sunny all day! Parked up, found Fishers Close and a small group watching the blue rock thrush low in the tree. They had talked with locals and it appeared that it was being fed with mealworms in the bad garden of a house. It dropped low for quite extended periods and showed behind branches. Got a slightly better view before it dropped to feed again. Then off home - time for lunch.

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