Friday, 15 August 2014

More and more mud but nothing new (other than DUNLINS)

WILSTONE was very much the same as before with the juvenile BLACK-TAILED GODWIT still present, the juvenile GREENSHANK, 5 Green Sandpipers, 3 Common Sandpipers and 200+ Lapwing. Three DUNLIN had arrived, following a flock of 8 that Steve Rodwell had early morning; otherwise just the 2 adult Whooper Swans and a massive arrival of Atlantic Canada Geese (166), as well as 52 Teal, 49 Gadwall and 15 Shoveler.

On MARSWORTH, the Barnacle Goose was still present. TRINGFORD held 2 Red-crested Pochard and a family party of 5 Little Grebe


Still plenty of wader activity with a new juvenile BLACK-TAILED GODWIT on site, showing well from the hide; also 4-5 Green Sandpipers, 4 Common Sandpipers, the continuing Common Greenshank, an increase to 340 Lapwing and a single Dunlin. The Dunstable Sewage Farm Whooper Swan pair are back, along with 2 juvenile Common Shelduck, 27 Teal, 36 Gadwall and 46 Mute Swans - whilst migrants include up to 106 Sand Martin and a Common Swift.

A Barnacle Goose with Greylag Geese on College Lake BBOWT on Tuesday relocated to Marsworth/Wilstone next day and still remains present, with up to 5 Red-crested Pochards still in residence and broods of both Little and Great Crested Grebe (including 7 of the latter). Two family parties of SPOTTED FLYCATCHER are about, including 4 on Wilstone and 5 on Marsworth.

Images from Wednesday Evening.......

The Barnacle Goose on Marsworth (in fields east of the canal)

Juvenile Black-tailed Godwit

Two broods of Great Crested Grebe on Marsworth: 3 and a 1

The long-staying Common Greenshank

Lapwing flock on the Drayton Bank now up to 340 birds

The eclipsed drake Mandarin Duck on Marsworth

Pair of Whooper Swans on Wilstone: these birds originate from the once 11-strong flock in Wardown Park, Luton but now retricted to just two surviving adults, most often residing at Dunstable Sewage Treatment Works

Monday, 11 August 2014

Waders increasing as water levels drop rapidly

With the water levels on WILSTONE RESERVOIR dropping rapidly since the beginning of last week, and the onset of some unsettled conditions after many weeks of beautiful hot weather, things have really started to hot up. Following the first BLACK TERN of the autumn on Friday on Startop's End, waders have featured significantly of late, so much so that today I recorded the following -:
A single moulting adult ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWIT just right of the hide (following two flocks of 3 last week and a single on Friday), the continuing COMMON GREENSHANK (present since 7th), 2 summer-plumaged adult DUNLINS, 4 GREEN SANDPIPERS (including a fresh juvenile), 3 Common Sandpipers, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover (present since 7th) and 216 Lapwing.

In addition, 16 Great Crested Grebes (including a brood of 3 and a single), 2 Little Grebe, 9 Grey Heron, still 40+ Sinensis Cormorant (including several still in the nest), 16 Little Egret (including the 4 fledged juveniles still in the Drayton nest in the overhanging Willow), 46 Mute Swan, 140 Mallard, 22 Common Teal (increasing daily), 34 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler, 9 Northern Pochard (including a green nasal-saddled female from Brittany), 70 Tufted Duck, Sparrowhawks (pair nesting by the hide and feeding young), 26 Moorhen, 300+ Coot, up to 7 Water Rails, a juvenile MEDITERRANEAN GULL, 200+ Black-headed Gulls, 35 Common Tern (including 17+ juveniles), 62 Sand Martin, 41 House Martin and 4 Goldcrest all noted.

A pair of RED-CRESTED POCHARD are resident on STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR (with 70 Coot), with a record 35 Common Tern on TRINGFORD as well as the Mute Swan pair with 6 cygnets. A family party of 5 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS is in Marsworth Wood

One of the 4 juvenile COMMON SHELDUCKS present at the moment