WEDNESDAY 13 AUGUST
(heavy showers throughout the day, with a strong WSW wind, gusting to force 6 at times; 13 degrees centigrade)
RED KITES were the order of the day with large numbers seen as farmers begin ploughing up stubble. Otherwise very few new arrivals.
Just south of the Lower Icknield Way (B489), an adult RED KITE was showing very well and lingering over a large field at SP 884 124 (1227-1237), with it or another drifting south over Wilstone Cemetery at 1320.
Wilstone Reservoir (Tring) (1250-1350 hours)
(Birding with Steve Rodwell)
Eurasian Wigeon - eclipse drake still present
GARGANEY* - juvenile still present, feeding (and sleeping) 140 yards 'right' of the hide
Northern Shoveler - 13 still Gadwall - 17 Common Teal - 7 still
Northern Pochard - 8
RED-CRESTED POCHARDS - all 3 birds still present, commuting between the bund and the bay
RUDDY DUCK - 2 females
GREEN SANDPIPER - 2 adults still present
Common Sandpiper - juvenile still present
Common Terns - 6 roosting on the bund
Common Buzzard - adult over
COMMON SWIFTS* - at least 47 present
House Martins - 45
Sand Martins - 27
Long-tailed Tit - 13
Common Chiffchaff - 2
A helicopter passed over flushing a huge flock of corvids from a field bordering the north bank of the reservoir, comprising an impressive 298 Jackdaws and 109 Rooks.
(DB and SR additionally had juvenile YELLOW-LEGGED GULL over at 1704 and 2 HOBBIES, one of which caught a Common Swift; earlier, 3 COMMON REDSHANKS were reported, with D.Platt noting 2 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS and 2 male Bullfinches in the 'Meadow Fields')
Bridgewater Park Industrial Area
Four Linnets feeding. Recent heavy rain has rekindled the many pools that attracted a few waders in the spring. Nearby, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were present in the newly ploughed field just south of the industrial estate.
The undoubted highlight of today's visit here was a fabulous and very fresh juvenile RED KITE working its way slowly along the Pitstone Hill ridge. For a while, it pitched down and fed on something on the ground.
Both Great Crested Grebes remained, 8 Little Grebes and 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (including 2 juveniles).
Ivinghoe Hills NR
The moulting male COMMON REDSTART was still present at the bottom end of Inkombe Hole today (Steve Rodwell)