Apart from these birds it was a case of scratching around for birding scraps really. Up to three Smew were seen in Henley Road GP's between the 10th and the 30th, with an accompanying Red-breasted Merganser on the 16th. A Rock Pipit was seen at Farmoor on the 11th and was still present on the 30th in what was otherwise a quiet month for the Reservoir. Otmoor provided the usual suspects with Hen Harrier and Bittern and good counts of wild fowl.
There has been a smattering of winter waders in the county with an Otmoor count of 40 Ruff worthy of note.
Finally there have been various Brambling sightings around the county, always a difficult target for county year listers.
Looking ahead, a trawl through past county Scarce or better birds on RBA shows that February is not exactly known for its good birds with Great White Egret and a couple of Lesser Scaup the only things of note apart from of course a certain Oriental Turtle Dove which livened up 2010. Let's hope for something just as exceptional for this coming month.
by Paul Chandler