Saturday, 13 September 2014

Finally connected with the EGYPTIAN GEESE...

Thanks to Ian Williams, I finally connected with the family party of 4 EGYPTIAN GEESE this evening, all four roosting beneath the 'cormorant' trees on the Drayton Bank (see pic). Just prior to dusk, Ian and I watched them fly north towards Wilstone village, presumably to grazing fields...

Otherwise, PINTAIL up to 3 and Wigeon increased to 43, but nothing else different. Usual rollcall: all 4 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS, the juvenile DUNLIN, very long-staying GREENSHANK, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 140 Lapwing, 4 RINGED PLOVER, 1 remaining juvenile LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, 4 Common Snipe, 4 Common Tern, 4 Little Egret, 2 Whooper Swans, 2 Little Grebe, 23 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Hobby

Thursday, 11 September 2014

First PINTAIL of the Autumn.......

The light Northeasterly winds continued, with low grey cloud covering the Chiltern skies for much of the day. Continuing dry......
In NORTHALL VILLAGE, at least 230 Common Starling remained, and a Jay flew west, whilst vizmigging at IVINGHOE BEACON from 0830-1000 hours yielded extremely little, despite optimum conditions. A single COMMON REDSTART on GALLOWS HILL was the highlight, with just 1 House Martin west and the continuing flock of 90 Goldfinch; 3 Skylark and 15 Meadow Pipit also noted.
Not much to shout about at COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT either - wildfowl counts producing 3 Mute Swans, 292 Atlantic Canada Geese, 2 Greylag Geese, 16 mallard, 4 Gadwall, 4 Common Teal, 2 Shoveler, 2 Moorhen and not a single Coot; Common Kestrel, 2 Stock Dove, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Great Tit, a singing Common Chiffchaff, Greenfinch and 10 Goldfinch completed the rollcall.

Over at WILSTONE RESERVOIR (TRING) with Steve Blake and Mike Campbell, little in the way of fresh arrivals - 2 NORTHERN PINTAIL constituting the first of the autumn. On the wader front, a single DUNLIN was new, with 4 Ringed Plover, the 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, the COMMON GREENSHANK, 4 BLACK-TAILED GODWIT and around 400 Lapwing.
Still a lot of birds present as the water levels continue to drop, including 23 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, 9 Sinensis Cormorant (including 4 still occupying nest space on the Drayton Bank), 3 Little Egret, 8 Grey Heron, 52 Mute Swan, the 2 Whooper Swans, 46 Greylag Geese, 2+ Shelduck, 220 Mallard, now 27 Eurasian Wigeon, 33 Gadwall, 415 Common Teal, 52 Shoveler, 24 Pochard, 31 Tufted Duck, 33 Moorhen, 400+ Coot, adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Common Tern, Grey Wagtail, just 1 Barn Swallow and 1 Greenfinch.
STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR additionally produced 5 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Egret, 12 Moorhen, 130 Coot and 4 Common Tern, but there was no sign of the 4 EGYPTIAN GEESE that MC and SB had seen on Wilstone just before I arrived.
Northwest of CHESHAM, HERBERT'S HOLE was clear of migrant chats - just 12 Red Kite, 2 Common Buzzard, 3 Stock Doves, 40 Meadow Pipits and 1 Goldfinch of note; none at neighbouring PEDNOR BOTTOM either - just more Red Kite, Common Chiffchaff and 2 Greenfinch.
A dusk visit to SHARDELOES LAKE (OLD AMERSHAM) resulted in the largest local gathering of LITTLE GREBE I have ever seen - no less than 29 being counted on the lake - a new record. This follows an exceptional breeding season on the Misbourne - one pair still feeding 3 small young this evening.
Two Great Crested Grebes still present, as well as all 6 GREYLAG GEESE still, 44 Canada Geese, 6 Gadwall, 54 Coot, 4 Black-headed Gulls, Stock Dove, COMMON KINGFISHER, Grey Wagtail, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Red Kite, 2 Common Buzzard, Common Treecreeper and Common Chiffchaff.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


Steve Rodwell had a party of 5 EGYPTIAN GEESE on Wilstone this evening but flew off after just a few minutes. Otherwise, just a few waders - 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Ringed Plover

Monday, 8 September 2014


This evening (Monday 8th), Steve Rodwell, Dave Bilcock, Mike Campbell and I had a flock of 6 juvenile RUFF on Wilstone, along with 4 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS, 3 Ringed Plover, the 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plovers, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpipers and at least 1 Greenshank; also the 2 Whooper Swans, 4 Common Shelduck and Hobby...

Sunday, 7 September 2014


This morning, Ian Williams had a flock of 10 juvenile RUFF on Wilstone Reservoir - present from dawn until 0750 hours when they flew off........

An hour or so later, Tim Watts was fishing at Weston Turville Reservoir when he noticed 2 GREAT WHITE EGRETS appear overhead, both birds then being relocated at Wilstone, where they remained on view for about half an hour

Ian's pix to follow........

My Photos from FRIDAY (5 September)

The long-staying BLACK TERN...

Juvenile COMMON TERNS, seemingly all ringed...

One of the 'piebald' COOTS resident on Startop's


On Wilstone, up to 600 LAPWING are present... well as 2 juvenile LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS