Saturday, 18 January 2020

Aynho to Souldern Wharf :: 18 January 2020

I'd attended the Banbury Ornithological Society talk on Monday which described Alan Peters' time birding in Columbia during 2018. PintailHis talk covered all sorts of terrains visited, as well as discussed drugs and the various fighting factions. The meeting made me consider where I should go this weekend - no not Alan's bit, but the call out which indicated that there were (4) pintail in the floodplains by Souldern Wharf. Just the ticket.

I slept late and had a leisurely breakfast before heading off and parking by the Great Western Arms, by Aynho Wharf. I put on walking boots and set off past the boats and several fisherman. PintailI talked to one who lamented at the lack of curlew which he said used to be visible from just where he sat. Several of the boat owners appeared to have hung out feeders which attracted the usual array of small birds. Across the river a great-spotted woodpecker landed in the tree, worked its way upwards, and then headed off in the opposite direction to where I stood.

Red kites and buzzard spooked the gulls but there was no specific species of interest as I went along. It was an enjoyable walk as the weather was bright, but on the cold side.

Red kiteEventually I reached Souldren Wharf and decided to forge onwards as there were at least gulls visible in the floods ahead. As I had almost cleared the trees on the right I saw a pair of duck in the floodwater and sure enough they were pintail. As I noted this down a flock of ducks flew passed and then circled back, heading south. I was amazed to see that it was a flock of 12 pintail. Made my day.

The kites could be seen in trees, on fence posts and on the wing. As I made my way back I started to encounter a flock of redwing feeding in the trees on my side of the canal - up to 20 or so. As the red kite soared past again, several small birds darted around a bush and allowed views of dunnock, blue tit, wren and house sparrow. More of these could be seen on the other side of the canal, near the farm.

A little muddy but the visit paid off with numbers of pintail I'd only hoped that I would see.

Sightings (28) included: black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, buzzard, canada goose, carrion crow, coal tit, dunnock, great black-backed gull, great spotted woodpecker, great tit, greylag goose, house sparrow, jackdaw, lesser black-backed gull, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, pied wagtail, pintail, red kite, redwing, robin, rook, woodpigeon and wren.

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