Friday, 30 January 2009


At last caught up with the LARGE flock of REDPOLLS at Berkhamsted Golf Course at 1pm in birches near the 6th green - between the fairway and the road to Ashridge College. Had at least 80 birds but my estimate is most probably on the conservative side (Francis Buckle, Thursday 29 January)


The EURASIAN BITTERN was by the 'cut outs' in the reeds opposite the hide on Marsworth Reservoir at 1000 hours today (29 January). (Brian Scott)

Monday, 26 January 2009


A BARN OWL flew over the Long Marston road just past the Roundabout next to Startops Reservoir at 6.50 am this morning (Steve Rodwell)



Heavy rain overnight left severe flooding in its wake. Once cleared late morning, a fresh and very cold westerly wind set in.


Eventually hearing of Roy's Pintail sightings and that of Common Crane, Short-eared Owl and Jack Snipe by another regular, I visited Wilstone with some trepidation. As it was, most wildfowl was holed up sheltering out of the wind and very little was noted.

Sample counts included 12 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Little Grebe, c660 Eurasian Wigeon (including a single drake favouring the upper bank by the car park), 179 Common Teal, 42 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 57 Tufted Duck, 25 Pochard and a pair of COMMON GOLDENEYES. Sadly, no Pintail, a species which has been unusually difficult this year at Tring (Roy's four being the first this year).


Thinking that College Lake may have 'taken' the Pintails, I visited there, but again no sign.

Wildfowl included just 5 Mute Swans, 68 Wigeon, 85 Teal, 62 Gadwall, 24 Shoveler, 6 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS (2 drakes and 4 females - all feeding together on the main marsh), 27 Tufted Duck and 14 Pochards.

A single Little Grebe was in attendance, and a flock of 94 Lapwing flew over.


Spent two and a half hours wandering the rain-drenched, highly sodden ground of this part of the Ashridge Estate in a quest for Lesser Redpoll. Despite walking all the way from Ashridge College to the war memorial at Grim's Ditch, barely saw any birds in the forest. In fact, it was almost totally birdless.

Highlight was a WOODCOCK disturbed by startled Fallow Deer at Frithsden, and a Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Of note, were 6 active ROOK nests in tall trees NE of the ruins at TQ 004 087 (Berkhamsted)

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Ringed ATLANTIC GREAT CORMORANTS wintering on Wilstone

Both the NORTH ATLANTIC CORMORANTS that were ringed in NE Scotland at Sands of Forvie (Aberdeenshire) and present at Tring last winter have returned.

'DXA' was first seen on 22 November 2008 but not close enough to read its ring until last weekend, when it was sat on the Drayton bank visible from the hide on Sunday 18th Jan. This bird is now in its second winter.

'CUA' first seen at Tring in December 2005 has also returned for its 4th winter, and last Saturday was on Tringford (David Bilcock)


My son Chris spent an hour or so at Startopsend and Marsworth just before dusk:

At Startopsend were 130 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall and at Marsworth were another 50 Shoveler, 30 Pochard and 4 Heron. 110 CORN BUNTINGS (to roost) and just 2 Starlings went down to roost and there were 3 Pied Wagtails, 1 Wren, 2 Robin, 6 Blackbird, 1 Sparrowhawk and the BARN OWL was hunting in the fields behind again (Keith Evans)


Steve Rodwell and I saw the 1st winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL on Wilstone this evening - when it was actually still light! We then went over to Marsworth where Steve had a brief glimpse of a BARN OWL over the fields at the back (Roy Hargreaves)


Roy Hargreaves recorded 4 NORTHERN PINTAIL (2 pairs) at Wilstone Reservoir Saturday morning (24 January), at least two of which were still present at dusk (Steve Rodwell)

Pintail have been particularly mobile this year in the general area, rarely staying for more than a day at a site. The pair above were photographed at Calvert BBOWT recently (Tim Watts)

Friday, 23 January 2009

Wilstone This Evening

The first-winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL roosted again this evening (from 1700 hours), with a whopping 206 COMMON GULLS and two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

The 2 LITTLE EGRETS were also still present, resting on the Drayton Bank before flying to near the hide to roost (Steve Rodwell/Dave Bilcock)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


Two LITTLE EGRETS roosted on Wilstone Reservoir Drayton Bank this evening (Roy Hargreaves)

Negative Barn Owl hunt

(Dusk visit)

A LITTLE OWL was perched high in one of the canalside car park bushes opposite the Angler's Retreat Public House at dusk but there was no sign this evening of the Barn Owl seen recently over the tall grass field at the back of the Sewage Farm.

Just 1 WATER RAIL squealed as darkness arrived, and the 5 Shoveler flew off NW to feed.

A new longetivity record perhaps - Med Gull roosts on Wilstone for third consecutive night


Dave Bilcock, Steve Rodwell, Roy Hargreaves and I all decided to do the gull roost this evening, despite the bitterly cold conditions. For me, it was the largest number of Black-headed Gulls this January, with some 3,000 individuals roosting (including 5 with chocolate-brown hoods). After a gruelling search, SR finally shouted ''I've got it, I've got the Med'' as light was fading fast at 1639 hours, allowing Dave and I to quickly get on to it. It was the regular first-winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL that Steve had now located three nights-in-a-row - a new record for Med-longetivity at Wilstone (they normally fail to show up on more than two consecutive nights). We enjoyed ten minutes of viewing before it got too dark to see.

There were also 181 COMMON GULLS in the roost, 3 adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and a single juvenile HERRING GULL (DB).

The LITTLE EGRET was also resting on the Drayton Bank, a near-record total of 66 Cormorants roosted (including the ringed bird) and 5 COMMON GOLDENEYE (2 adult drakes) were seen.

Monday, 19 January 2009


As part of todays count, COLLEGE LAKE (between 8.15 and 11.00) weighed in with :

Teal 46
Wigeon 106
Gadwall 41
Mallard 34
Shoveller 19
Pochard 16
Coot 93
Mute Swan 16
Tufted Duck 17
Red-crested Pochard 7
Canada Goose 30
Greylag Goose 8
Cormorant 12
Grey Heron 2
Lapwing 7 (+ 65 flying over)
Lesser Black Backed Gull 2
Black Headed Gull 12

Only really Green/Great Spotted Woodpecker and Buzzard

Nick Mariner


Wilstone Gull Roost: First-winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL again very late, 186 Common Gulls, 1 First winter Herring Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull. Also MARSH TIT in little wooded copse in field beyond the hide, and LITTLE OWL in Hawthorn bush behind the car park (Steve Rodwell, Ian Williams)

18 JANUARY 2009

No sign of any Bitterns, but 60+ CORN BUNTINGS went to roost in Marsworth Reedbed and the Sparrowhawk which is regularly seen in the trees near the exit to Tringford Road was there plus 2 Fieldfare, 20+ Greylag Geese and quite a few Shoveler (in ones and twos) over (towards Tringford) but the highlight was a glorious BARN OWL quartering the field behind reedbed on the north-east side (Keith Evans)

Sunday, 18 January 2009

17 JANUARY 2009

Wilstone Gull Roost (with Mike Campbell): 1 first-winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL, 7 L.B.B.Gulls, 1 first-winter Herring Gull.

Tringford Res: 5 Siskins over, female COMMON STONECHAT (paddocks between flour mill and pumping station). Marsworth (with Ed Griffiths): 2 Water Rail and 2+ Snipe (Steve Rodwell)

Saturday, 17 January 2009

16 JANUARY 2009

Wilstone Gull Roost, c.3200 B.h.Gulls, 195 Common Gulls, 1 L.B.B.Gull, 1 Herring Gull.

Waterfowl counts all Tring Reservoirs (TR), College Lake (CL) and Pitstone Quarry (PQ):

G.C.Grebe 15 TR, 1 CL; Little Grebe 4 TR, 1 PQ; Grey Heron 5 TR, 1 CL; Mute Swan 22 TR, 11 CL; Canada Goose 69 TR; Greylag Goose 26 TR; Mallard 61 TR, 14 CL, 2 PQ; Gadwall 18 TR, 51 CL; Shoveler 104 TR, 1 CL; Wigeon 477, 95; Teal 54 Wils, 57 CL, 1 PQ; RED-CRESTED POCHARD 6 CL; Pochard 117 TR, 5 CL, 6 PQ; Tufted Duck 115 TR, 18 CL, 22 PQ; COMMON GOLDENEYE 6 (3M, 3F) TR, 1F CL; RUDDY DUCK 2 drakes Wils; Water Rail 2 Mars; Moorhen 11 TR, 2 CL, 1 PQ; Coot 465 TR, 80 CL, 4 PQ; Lapwing 170 Wils.

Also 1 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL over Pitstone Quarry.

All Steve Rodwell

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Roosting Gulls on Wilstone

72 Common Gulls, 7 L.B.B. Gulls, 1 Herring Gull, 1 adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULL. There is still some ice which many of the Black-headed. Also 1 LITTLE EGRET. Have tried for Bittern at Marsworth last 3 evenings, although in reality it has been possibly too late (just before dark). No luck at all. Yesterday 1 Tawny Owl calling near Tringford and 1 Little Owl calling by Startops, and at least 2 WATER RAILS calling at Marsworth. Also 1 bat species yesterday at Marsworth (Steve Rodwell)

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Female Common Stonechat still wintering


A much milder day than of late with temperatures reaching 9 degrees centigrade. The thaw continues with much of the ice now disappearing on the reservoirs. SW winds.


A flock of 20 Magpies was feeding close to the horses in the paddock, with a lone FALLOW DEER sat on the ground amongst the horses. Nearby, 138 Woodpigeons were in fields west of the road south of Park Hall Farm.


Little Grebe (2), COMMON TEAL (9), Tufted Duck (17), Pochard (5), LAPWING (135), Black-headed Gull (211), Common Gull (4 including a first-winter), Lesser Black-backed Gull (5 adults), Carrion Crow (8 together), Song Thrush (1), Redwing (4) and Goldcrest (1).


Great Crested Grebe (1 - scarce here in winter), Atlantic Great Cormorant (presumed 'Sinensis') (13 roosting on island), Greylag Geese (23), Canada Geese (15), Mallard (86), *MANDARIN DUCK (10 present - 7 drakes, 3 females - all favouring the west end of the main marsh), Gadwall (62), Shoveler (5), Common Teal (38), Eurasian Wigeon (78), Tufted Duck (33), Pochard (3), *RED-CRESTED POCHARD (5 still present on main lake - JT counted 6 yesterday), NO Common Goldeneye, Coot (35), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing (5), Great Tit, Blue Tit and Long-tailed Tit (7).


Tringford Reservoir: a creck of 14 Moorhens feeding together in the field just east of the reservoir at SP 920 134, whilst the reservoir held 3 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Grey Herons, 8 Mute Swans, 16 Gadwall, 22 Common Teal, 8 Tufted Ducks, 1 Pochard and 7 Shoveler. A single first-winter Herring Gull flew over.

Nearby, 2 male STOCK DOVES were displaying from tall trees at the south end, with 2 male Common Pheasants opposite Little Tring Farm and 76 Jackdaws feeding in the paddocks between the wood and the Grand Union Canal. A single female COMMON STONECHAT was still present just east of the new plantation and horse paddock, 100 yards east of Tringford Pumping Station, frequenting the small weedy field and fenceline (at SP 920 129) (present since November 2008). A small flock of 8 Meadow Pipits was in the grass field adjacent to the Canal.

Startop's End Reservoir was very quiet with the 3 Mute Swans (1 first-winter), 2 Greylag Geese, 15 Tufted Duck, 14 Pochard and 32 Coot present, whilst Marsworth Reservoir was equally uninspiring, yielding just 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 59 Shoveler, 3 Tufted Ducks, 5 Pochard, 4 Wrens, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Great Tits, Goldcrest and a pair of BULLFINCHES. The Sewage Farm held a further 15 Shoveler and a pair of Mute Swans.

WARNING: An employee of British Waterways Board asked me to be particularly vigilant now in the area as 'travellers' have acquired a plot by Wilstone Reservoir and are grazing their horses in neighbouring fields. They have moved in heavy machinery and caravans and are now residing on the plot. Very recently, the pumping station shed was broken into and over £7,000 worth of uninsured tools and machinery was stolen.

Wilstone Reservoir: again, very quiet, with less wildfowl than of late - 8 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Little Grebes, just 6 adult Mute Swans, 64 Greylag Geese, 302 Eurasian Wigeon, 26 Gadwall, 89 Common Teal, 1 Shoveler, 83 Tufted Duck, 43 Pochard, 1 drake RUDDY DUCK, 5 COMMON GOLDENEYES (2 adult drakes, 3 females), 126 Lapwings, 2 adult Common Gulls, 40 Redwing (near car park) and 1 Fieldfare (with Adrian Condon)


Despite a complete thaw, not 1 Jack Snipe could be located - just 2 Common Snipe. A COMMON KINGFISHER was once again showing very well 'fishing' from perches overhanging the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal just east of the bridge.


The pair of PEREGRINES, both now in full breeding condition, were showing very well on the roof at the SE corner of the building. They were sat just two feet apart, with the male gently 'calling' and 'softly twittering' to her on several occasions. The platform was just a few yards away and I am extremely confident that they will breed this year, although I am not sure if they will utilise the chamber, particularly without any cover or protection from the elements.


There was a first winter PEREGRINE over my head near Cheddington station and later an adult, probably a female, near the canal at Horton Wharf this morning while I was doing the bird count (Mike Campbell)

Friday, 9 January 2009


Gadwall 40 College Lake, 23 Wilstone, 6 Tringford.
Wigeon 729 Wilstone, 79 College Lake.
Teal 200+ Wilstone (yesterday, 8th Jan).
6 Red-crested Pochards (4 Female, 2 Male) College Lake.
Goosander 1 female Wilstone.
Goldeneye 5 College Lake, 4 Wilstone.
Ruddy Duck 1 Wilstone, 1 College Lake.
Water Rail 1 Wilstone (yesterday, 8th Jan).
Coot 426 Wilstone, 85 Tringford, 9 Startops.
Gull roost with Dave, 1200+ B.h.Gulls and 37 Common Gulls.

Steve Rodwell

Thursday, 8 January 2009



With temperatures climbing to 4 degrees centigrade, a thaw was in place. In fact, compared to the past week, birding today was quite balmy! However, this did not affect the three inches of ice affecting most standing waters, and wildfowl were still largely restricted to small, ice-free patches. Towards dusk, and with clear skies, temperatures soon plummeted again.


Canal, Pools and Marsh completely frozen; virtually birdless with no snipe recorded, just 10 Redwings


Just one tiny patch of water open. Birdless ! GREY WAGTAIL of note.


Four BROWN HARES together in frozen field at SP 890 120

WILSTONE RESERVOIR (just two patches of water open)

Great Crested Grebe (21)
Canada Geese (84)
Greylag Geese (2)
Mute Swans (3)
Mallard (76)
Eurasian Wigeon (604)
Common Teal (144)
Gadwall (18)
Shoveler (205)
Tufted Duck (102)
Pochard (116)

Red-legged Partridge (pair in usual field)
Black-headed Gulls (432 roosting on ice)
Common Gulls (6 adults)


Large numbers of wildfowl present on main, completely ice-free lake, including 10 Mute Swans, 26 Gadwall, 212 Wigeon, 59 Teal, 49 Tufted Duck, 15 Pochard, 4 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS (2 pairs - drake newly arrived) and 5 COMMON GOLDENEYE (1 adult drake).


Lapwing (6 by Westland Farm and 75 by Marsh Croft Farm)
EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER (16 SW of Marsh Croft Farm at SP 943 128)(view from Marshcroft Granary)
Stock Dove, 3 Skylarks, 6 Redwing and 11 Goldfinches

(1530 to dusk; with Francis Buckle & others)

**CORN BUNTINGS (127+ roosted, with 68 perched together at top of tree on far side at 1540, followed by groups of 5, 28, 13, 9 and the last 4 at 1610 hours; at least 7 had roosted before I arrived)


This morning the thaw has set in and there is more clear water on Wilstone - not that anything exciting has flown in to occupy it yet. Avian highlight was a COMMON CHIFFCHAFF in Rushy Meadow. Mammal highlight was a BANK VOLE feeding in the open by the track along the North-west side of Wilstone about 20 metres from the old overflow - second day running I have seen one there. Must remember to take a camera tomorrow as it is most confiding (Roy Hargreaves)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


Marsworth - 87 CORN BUNTINGS roosted, 3 WATER RAILS (2 opp Lock 41), 25 SISKINS over.

Couple of high counts: 30 Mute Swans (27 Tringford, 3 Startops), 141 Canada Geese (87 Startops, 54 Wilstone Res), c.950 Wood Pigeons around Wilstone.

Marsworth totally iced over and only very small amount of water ice free on Startops, but both Tringford and Wilstone still have some open water, although greatly reduced and mainly just in the centre (Steve Rodwell)


EURASIAN BITTERN again at Wilstone (4.40pm). LITTLE EGRET 1, flew to College Lake.

Reses still have some ice free areas, although Marsworth only a very small area free of ice as does Pitstone Quarry. Pit at College Lake ice free. Did some waterbird counts as was curious to see what happened to the duck numbers with all this ice about, but College Lake ones were a bit distant and rushed (i.e. not particularly accurate).

G.C.Grebe Tring Reses (TR) 25; L. Grebe 3 TR, 2 College Lake (CL), 2 Pitstone Quarry (PQ); Mute Swan 29 TR, 13 CL, 1 PQ; Greylag Goose 105 TR; Canada Goose 62 TR; Mallard 90 TR, 79 CL; Gadwall 8 TR, 33 CL; Shoveler 101 TR; Wigeon 582 TR, 264 CL (may include 160 from TR); Teal 94 TR, 5 CL; R.C. Pochard 3 CL; Pochard 116 TR, 50 CL; Tufted 127 TR, 150 CL; Goldeneye 5 TR, 3 CL; Ruddy Duck 1 TR; Coot 494 TR, 82 CL. 1 Golden Plover over Wilstone. Gull roost greatly reduced, c.450 B.h. Gulls and 15 Common Gulls. (Steve Rodwell)

Monday, 5 January 2009


6 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS over, 70 Cormorants roosting and 2 WOODCOCK flew in front of the hide at 4.50pm (Steve Rodwell)




On the outskirts of the town, two RED KITES were flying together just NE of the A413 opposite Hideaway Farm at SP 854 097


Despite being almost completely frozen (2 Great Crested Grebes surviving on a very tiny open patch), one EURASIAN BITTERN was still present, roosting in one of the cut-strips of reeds. It then moved out of view into the reedbed. One WATER RAIL was squealing.


This morning a very dejected looking LITTLE EGRET was roosting under the bushes in front of the hide at Wilstone. 14 European Golden Plover flew over and a Common Buzzard was being mobbed by two Carrion Crows.I also saw a Chinese Water Deer by Rushy Meadow.

My garden so far today has had two BRAMBLING, a superb male Bullfinch and a Pied Wagtail feeding amidst the flock of 30+ Chaffinch (Roy Hargreaves)


Few additional records. Still some free water on all reservoirs, although Marsworth now virtually frozen. Waterbird numbers down (counts below 4/1/09, all reservoirs). G.C. Grebe 26, L. Grebe 4, L. Egret 1, Pochard 72, Mute Swan 23, Greylag Goose 116, Canada Goose c.30, Mallard 90+, Gadwall 5, Shoveler 148, Teal 80+, Tufted Duck 81, Common Goldeneye 4, Ruddy Duck 1, Water Rail 2 Tringford + 1 Marsworth (opp Lock 41), Coot 470.

Gull Roost with Dave Bilcock also 65 Common Gulls and 6 L.B.B.Gulls.

Also female COMMON STONECHAT nr Tringford in field over canal (3rd Jan), Common Chiffchaff Wilstone. Female Siskin Lakeside Tring (Steve Rodwell)


I walked right round the far end of COLLEGE LAKE this afternoon and the only thing to add to Ben Miller's sightings was the pair of COMMON STONECHAT on the fenceline north of the main lake.

At Marsworth Reservoir, no sign of any Bitterns in the last half hour before dusk for 7-8 assembledbirders. Apparently 100+ CORN BUNTINGS flew in to roost before I got there but the reedbed was very quiet. Not even a Water Rail calling. Possibly the Bitterns have moved to Wilstone where there may be some ice-free areas in the reeds.

Good birding

Rob Andrews

Late this afternoon with Steve Rodwell at Wilstone roost 2 HERRING GULLS were present, the first I've seen in the roost for several weeks (picture of one of the birds above - an adult Argentatus - Scandinavian). Otherwise most gulls were standing on the ice close together making it difficult, if not impossible, to pick any Med gulls out.
Just after I'd left Stuart Wilson found a EURASIAN BITTERN roosting in the reed bed from the hide, which Steve could see distantly from the car park bank (David Bilcock).

4 JANUARY 2009

At the re-opened COLLEGE LAKE, things had returned to normal after being packed out on New Years Day. The marsh is almost completely frozen, however the main lake remains free of ice and contained good numbers of wildfowl, though not a hoped-for Smew! Great to have the patch open again. Highlights included;

3 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS (drake and two ducks) still, on the main island and rear bank
4 Great-crested Grebes - This is a monster count for the site, as Great-crested are strangely rare at College Lake
4 Little Grebes
2 Common Snipe - One on the frozen marsh, one on the main island
46 Gadwall

A through search produced no sign of the Common Sandpiper found by Dave Bilcock on New Years Day. There have also recently been two Stonechats at the far end of the reserve

Elsewhere, the rest of the Bucks Tring areas I checked produced very little. Both Pitstone Hill and Steps Hill were very quiet, as were Startops and Marsworth, both of which were 90%+ frozen. Two separate sessions looking for the Marsworth Bitterns, late morning and mid afternoon, produced no success, which wasn't helped by an air ambulance circling the reed-bed and landing on the causeway between the reservoirs.

Earlier, 50 European Golden Plovers were in the fields alongside Beggars Lane, at the Tring Station end.

Cheers & Good Birding,

Ben Miller

3 JANUARY 2009

This morning 2 EURASIAN BITTERNS were present at Marsworth, both sat up in the reeds along the far side from the causeway. One bird enjoying the morning sunshine and the other sat in the shade looking very cold and miserable (see photographs above depicting both individuals). Also CETTI'S WARBLER heard calling from the reed bed.

At Wilstone several WOODCOCKS seen including one flushed from the footpath to the hide early morning and another flying along the bank near the new overflow late afternoon (Dave Bilcock)

Friday, 2 January 2009

2 JANUARY 2009


A slightly warmer day than of late with no frost and somewhat overcast conditions; E wind picked up during the afternoon


Very quiet, apart from the regular wintering species

Wilstone Reservoir

Great Crested Grebe (18)
Sinensis Cormorants (11)
Mute Swans (now down to just 7 adults)
Greylag Geese (54 in fields near Cemetery Corner including one with damaged leg and wing)
Mallard (19 plus 3 'Aylesbury' white types
Eurasian Wigeon (419 and visiting the fields east of reservoir to feed)
Common Teal (230+)
Shoveler (45+)
Tufted Duck (107)
Pochard (26)
COMMON GOLDENEYE (2 - drake and female)
RUDDY DUCK (3 present, an adult drake, immature drake and female)
Coot (398)
**MEDITERRANEAN GULL (first-winter roosted - Dave Bilcock)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (1 adult)

Woodpigeon (51 around the North Bank)
Blue Tit (1)
Common Blackbird (5 in fields on east side)
Redwing (4 with the above)
Song Thrush (2 with the above)
European Robin (1 by Cemetery)

Startop's End Reservoir

Woodpigeon (283 feeding in field immediately west of the Pine shop)
House Sparrow (35 in Angler's Retreat garden favouring aviary and Leylandii)
Redwing (47 feeding in paddock north of reservoir)

Mute Swan (2 - 1 first-winter)
Greylag Goose (1)
Tufted Duck (44)
Northern Pochard (7)
Coot (48)

Marsworth Reservoir

Great Crested Grebe (5)
Grey Heron (1)
Shoveler (156)
Pochard (3)

Tringford Reservoir

Mute Swan (9 adults)
Common Teal (2)
Tufted Duck (11)
Pochard (1 female)
Coot (31)
Carrion Crow (1)


Wintering flock of 16 MEADOW PIPITS located, in grass field immediately opposite waste site


No sign of any European Golden Plovers but 21 LAPWING, 18 FIELDFARES and 181 Woodpigeons in field at SP 952 127


Mostly frozen but in small patch at top end was gathered 4 Little Grebe, 1 adult Mute Swan, 11 Common Teal, 6 Eurasian Wigeon, 31 Tufted Duck, 8 Pochard and 3 Coot. The gull roost contained 12 Commons.

Highlight was 3 BULLFINCHES in trees by the road


COLLEGE LAKE today held a redhead GOOSANDER and 2 female COMMON GOLDENEYES (per RBA)


This COMMON SANDPIPER was an unusual arrival this morning at a very frozen College Lake (David Bilcock). Unfortunately it didn't linger too long, particularly when the newly furnished reserve opened its doors to over 200 visitors.



In the slurry field immediately opposite Cobblershill Lane and Berryhill Farm & Nursery, another superb selection of birds: SPARROWHAWK (male perched on hedge), 47 LAPWING, 500+ Woodpigeons, 30 STOCK DOVE, 55 FIELDFARE, 25 YELLOWHAMMER, 211 Common Starlings, 100+ Chaffinches but no Skylarks.


215 Rooks feeding in field at SP 883 107


A dead Chinese Water Deer at the crossroads at SP 895 129


No sign of the Common Sandpiper seen earlier, nor of 2 Woodcocks

Mute Swans (9+)
Eurasian Wigeon (50+)
Shoveler (8)
Tufted Duck
*RED-CRESTED POCHARD - adult drake and two females on main lake
*COMMON GOLDENEYES - 2 females on main lake
Coot (81+)


COMMON KINGFISHER showing very well by Canal

The LITTLE EGRET was in the creek next to the hide first thing this morning (Roy Hargreaves).
Probably the most noteworthy record was the sighting of 12 adult and one 1st winter GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS on Wilstone first thing. Eight adults and the 1st winter then flew off east with a Herring Gull and leaving adults, which remained in company with a few LBB Gulls and departed later so that all were gone by 8:45. I have never seen this many GBBG at Tring Reservoirs and they were not in the roost the previous evening so must have dropped in very early this morning or after David Bilcock left Wilstone the previous evening (Roy Hargreaves).
There was also a female COMMON STONECHAT on the trees and bushes next to the Wendover Arm of the canal above the horse paddocks at Tringford (Roy Hargreaves).
Highlights from around Tring today (David Bilcock):

Steps Hill - 2 WOODCOCKS in the Top Scrub area as well as 2 MARSH TITS and a single COMMON STONECHAT along the fence line from the sheep pens.

College Lake - COMMON SANDPIPER was unexpected on the marsh which eventually flew off to the main lake, where 3 RC Pochards were amongst the ducks present.

Wilstone - LITTLE EGRET roosting along Drayton bank this afternoon but no sign of any Med gulls in the roost.

Marsworth - EURASIAN BITTERN roosting in Bucks section, in reed bed nearest the canal.