Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Strong SW winds promised but failed to produce


With autumn now officially upon us, the first day of September dawned fairly calm and bright. Freshening winds soon moved in though, veering from SSW to due SW during the course of the morning and increasing throughout the afternoon. This change of weather was also accompanied by darkening cloud with a few short showers and occasional thunder. Temperatures remained quite high.

As it was my first chance at local birding since Wednesday, I decided to do a full sweep but despite being out from early morning until early evening, results were fairly spartan. With the new month upon us, I did a complete inventory of the reservoirs. With 5 Pied Flycatchers being located in the London Area and SE region, I fully expected one to be at Shardeloes, but despite painstakingly checking all of the Willows and the tall trees bordering the practise cricket green, I drew a blank. I could not find any Spotted Flycatchers either.

(intermittent visits between 1200 and 1830 hours, the latter period with SR, DB, MCo & CJ)
(water level has now dropped further with the central ridge between the Drayton Bank and the Jetty almost being uncovered)

Full Inventory

Great Crested Grebe (16)
Little Grebe (all 3 birds still present)
Continental Cormorant (15 roosting)
Grey Heron (6)
LITTLE EGRET (5 birds still present, all feeding together in the shallows in the NW corner early afternoon)
Mute Swan (42)
Canada Geese (147)
Greylag Geese (84)
Mallard (117)
Gadwall (notable increase: 23 present)
Common Teal (38)
Shoveler (44)
Tufted Duck (62)
Pochard (marked increase with at least 75 counted)
Ferruginous Duck x Northern Pochard hybrid (drake still with Pochard flock)
Red Kite (2)
Common Kestrel (2)
HOBBY (both adult and juvenile still present)
Coot (603)
Moorhen (78)
Lapwing (498)
RINGED PLOVERS (party of 4 birds - adult and 3 juveniles - on mud in NW corner - also seen on Startop's End)
COMMON GREENSHANK (4 still present)
Black-headed Gull (172)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (27 on 'new' ridge)
'BRITISH' HERRING GULL (Argenteus) (4 roosting with the LBBG's, including a third-year and three juveniles; there was also an additional bird present which showed some features of 'cachinnans', with pale grey upperparts, a long sloping forehead, longer primaries, small eye, long legs, black-tipped pale bill, dark brown wing-coverts with strong secondary bar but slight terminal tail-band; it was also the same size as adult LBBG despite the length of the tibia)
Common Terns (3 still present, including an adult and two juveniles)
BLACK TERN (the juvenile first seen last night was still present)

COMMON SWIFT (2 flew through south)
House Martin (78)


Great Crested Grebe (4 present including a pair with a well developed juvenile)
Mute Swan (just 11)
WHOOPER SWAN (2 adults)
Tufted Duck (15 including an adult drake)
Coot (75)
RINGED PLOVERS (the four birds from Wilstone were present in the Buckinghamshire section from at least 1315-1340 showing well in the bay at the NE corner by the main car park)

Pied Wagtail (18)
Barn Swallow (17, many sheltering from the strengthening wind by perching on the north bank)
SAND MARTIN (43, many roosting with the above)


Great Crested Grebes (two adults and three juveniles)
Gadwall (pair)
Tufted Duck (2 females)


Coot (46 present including the piebald juveniles)
Tufted Duck (8)


Very windy and as a result, I failed to locate Mike Wallen's Common Redstart, Northern Wheatear or any recent Whinchats. In fact it was dire - nothing noted.


Equally dire - just 13 Little Grebes of note.

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