What a stunning day.
Started with a Colin and I hearing a distant Lesser-spotted Woodpecker drumming as we waited for 46201 Princess Elizabeth to appear out of the early morning mist at Wormleighton and she did not disappoint as she charged past a couple of minutes down to disappear back into the gloom. Also in the area were Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff and 6 Tree Sparrow.
We had time to spare so checked out Avon Dassett and found 3 male Wheatears feeding on the eastern side of bonfire hill along with a few Chaffinch and Meadow Pipits heading north.
After breakfast we called in on the pond and had a winter plumage Sanderling on the island followed by a wader fest late morning when a partial summer plumage Grey Plover, 2 Curlew and a Redshank flew over farborough spit. The plover was just above our heads calling loudly. Also present were Oystercatcher, Sparrowhawk, 2 Shoveler, 43 Goldeneye, 18 Wigeon and 3 Yellow-legged Gulls (3rd year and 2 adults including one with no tail)
Sparrowhawk taken by Bob earlier in the week at the pond
The most intriguing bird of the day was a call we heard on farborough bank that sounded like a Tree Pipit going over but alas no bird seen and would have been mega early if it could have been confirmed.
Out again in the afternoon to Napton on the Hill with the unusual record of a Snipe flushed from the main common otherwise very similar to previous visits this week with 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, 4 Mistle Thrush, 3 Fieldfare, 6 Buzzard, 2 Raven and a Sparrowhawk. With the temperatures in the high teens butterflies were plentiful with 2 Comma, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral and 2 Brimstone plus a tatty Shoulder Stripe moth.
Napton Reservoir was quiet probably due to the Peregrine feeding on a Wood Pigeon and at Broadwell there was a Chiffchaff and Great-spotted Woodpecker in millbank spinney.
This evening a waxing crescent moon sits below Venus and Jupiter making for a fantastic sight.