Sunday, 23 November 2014

A brief grey KNOT......


Well it rained, and it rained, and it rained; all day long in fact, leading to localised flooding. Much cooler than of late also, with a high of just 6 degrees C.

Following an early morning call from the great Dave Bilcock, I whizzed over to WILSTONE RESERVOIR and the comfort and dry of the Drayton Bank Hide. Dave and Francis Buckle had both seen a KNOT in with the Golden Plover flock and after a lot of searching, I eventually located it just before the 400 or so birds took flight - the single grey KNOT and a DUNLIN both heading off directly east at 0950 hours and not returning. A single BLACK-TAILED GODWIT was still present too - showing well in front of the hide - and with the water levels rising and so much drenched mud, no fewer than 31 COMMON SNIPE were on view.

Otherwise, much the same as Friday, with 38 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Little Grebe, 19 Mute Swans, 96 Greylag Geese, 330 Wigeon, a mammoth 464 Common Teal (largest number present this autumn), 21 Gadwall, 5 Common Pheasant, 43 Moorhen, 370 Coot, 370 Lapwing and 15 Pied Wagtails.

MARSWORTH held 58 Shoveler and 2 Great Crested Grebe, while STARTOPSEND added 1 Mute Swan, 16 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, 4 Little Egret, 20 Teal and 9 Wigeon; TRINGFORD had Little and  Great Crested Grebe, just 6 Red-crested Pochard, 2 Goldcrest and 12 Redwing

Friday, 21 November 2014

A bumper increase in GREAT CRESTED GREBE numbers and the first COAL TITS of the year in Tring vicinity

A right dreary day with rain setting in from about lunchtime; pretty cold too with temperatures rising no more than 8 degrees C. A real wintry feel to proceedings...
Did my first full inventory of local sites in a while, the highlight being the major increase in GREAT CRESTED GREBE numbers with no less than 64 birds at Tring - my highest count there in a very long time.
On CHOLESBURY VILLAGE POND (SP 93 07), a single Moorhen in residence
Onward to TRING RESERVOIRS, where MARSWORTH yielded 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Sinensis Cormorants, 35 Shoveler, 1 Moorhen, 35 Black-headed Gull, 2 Pied Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Carrion Crow and 35 Woodpigeon.
Neighbouring STARTOP'S END added an impressive 26 Great Crested Grebe (highest count there for at least 15 years), 6 Little Grebe, 16 Atlantic Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 66 Mallard, 10 Wigeon, 26 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 68 Tufted Duck, drake Pochard, 173 Coot, a noteworthy 30 Moorhen, Pied Wagtail, 16 House Sparrow (around the Angler's Retreat), 2 Grey Wagtails and 2 Carrion Crow.
A circuit of TRINGFORD RESERVOIR came up with 1 Great Crested Grebe, 20 Sinensis Cormorant, the pair of Mute Swan and all 6 surviving youngsters, 4 Gadwall, 8 RED-CRESTED POCHARD (4 pairs), 36 Teal, 5 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard, 79 Coot, Grey Heron, 4 Long-tailed Tits, Pied Wagtail & Goldfinch, with 35 Woodpigeon and 16 Feral Pigeon at the FLOUR MILL and 60+ Black-headed Gull & Goldcrest at TRING SEWAGE TREATMENT WORKS.
Steady rain at WILSTONE RESERVOIR largely stopped play but waterbird inventory figures concluded 21 Mute Swans, 96 Greylag Geese, 85 Mallard, 406 Teal, 204 Wigeon, 16 Shoveler, 21 Gadwall, 44 Tufted Duck, the two juvenile GREATER SCAUP, 116 Pochard, a female COMMON GOLDENEYE, 33 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Little Grebe, 56+ Sinensis Cormorant, 9 Grey Heron, 414 Coot and 30 Moorhen. The wader flock yielded 360 Lapwing, an impressive 432 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER and 5 DUNLIN, while other species noted included 3 Meadow Pipit, 12 FIELDFARE and 2 Common Blackbirds.
COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT RESERVE was much better than usual with a fair selection of winter wildfowl present, including 23 Mute Swan (2 first-years), 114 Canada Geese, 38 mallard, 68 Gadwall, a female RED-CRESTED POCHARD, 14 Teal, 170 Wigeon, 64 Tufted Duck, 6 Pochard, Grey Heron, Little Grebe and 22 Coot (the latter two species on the chalk deepwater pit); at the feeding station by the centre fed 6 Greenfinch, 9 Blue Tit, 8 Great Tit, 14 Chaffinch, 8 Goldfinch and a single COAL TIT - the latter constituting my first in the Tring Area this year!
WESTON TURVILLE RESERVOIR was totally devoid of life barring 40 Black-headed Gulls, whilst the section of WENDOVER ARM between HALTON and THE WIDES came up with totals of 3 Little Grebe, 35 Mallard, 27 Moorhen, 3 Coot and a drake MANDARIN DUCK. Two COMMON KINGFISHERS were a bonus, along with Greenfinch, 6 Winter Wren, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, 15 Redwing, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a singing male Song Thrush, 15 Common Blackbird, Coal Tit & 8 Long-tailed Tits.

Today's Images added below

Today's Images added below -:

Thursday, 30 October 2014

WOODPIGEONS piling in over the Hills.....

Although no particularly large movements of WOODPIGEON have been noted thus far, just under 300 were logged today and 174 on 28 October. Common Starlings have also been very prevalent, with 201 over west on 28th and 20+ today. Not much else of note other than 33 Chaffinch, 6 or so Blue Tit, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting, 3 Stock Dove and 2 COMMON STONECHATS.

At TRING RESERVOIRS, both juvenile GREATER SCAUP remain at Wilstone

Friday, 24 October 2014

My first Vizmig GREY HERON at Ivinghoe

A rather overcast morning with light SW winds. Not too much in the way of Vizmig at IVINGHOE HILLS but highlights from a spell between 0900 and midday included a juvenile/female MERLIN through west at 1100, a GREY HERON SSE at 1050 (my first record there), 7 Blue Tits (best autumn ever for this species), 25 Woodpigeon, 1 Bullfinch, 26 Chaffinch, 4 CORN BUNTINGS and 38 Common Starlings.
In the scrub SSE of the Beacon Trig Point, still a single first-winter RING OUZEL, 6 Song Thrush and 4 Common Blackbirds, whilst other species noted included an adult Common Gull, 45 Lesser Black-backed Gulls west, 30 Goldfinch, Jay, Coal Tit, Green Woodpecker, Red Kite, Nuthatch and a single female COMMON STONECHAT.

Over at WILSTONE RESERVOIR, little to report: the 2 adult Whooper Swans (flew off east at 1350), 19 Mute Swans, 1 Common Shelduck, just 1 PINTAIL, 1 RED-CRESTED POCHARD, 90 Pochard, a single juvenile GREATER SCAUP, 6 Little Grebe, 31 Great Crested Grebe (highest count this autumn), just 1 Little Egret, 149 European Golden Plover, 330 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Gull and 3 Grey Wagtails