SATURDAY 13 MARCH
A beautiful day, with temperatures reaching 9.5 degrees C. Spent the entire day in Buckinghamshire, attempting to clean up on a few species I was still missing from the year, with a few brief forays in to Herts during the morning.
BISON HILL, WHIPSNADE (BEDS)
A RED KITE was loafing over the main slope.
COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT (BUCKS)
A full inventory of the site yielded 3 Great Crested Grebes (including a displaying pair), 1 adult Mute Swan, 8 Atlantic Canada Geese, 10 Mallard, NO Gadwall, 1 drake Shoveler, 24 Eurasian Wigeon, 12 Common Teal, 43 Tufted Duck and 16 Northern Pochard. There were also 22 Coot counted.
Waders were represented by 9 Lapwing (including a pair on each island on the main marsh and 5 roosting on the bund), a single COMMON REDSHANK and a pair of OYSTERCATCHERS (feeding on the turf of the North Bank).
The only other species of note was a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk.
PITSTONE QUARRY (BUCKS)
Water back to usual level with species noted including 1 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe, 12 Coot, 12 Tufted Duck and 15 Lapwing. Roosting gulls included 189 Black-headed and 15 Common.
MARSWORTH VILLAGE (HERTS)
Up to 8 pairs of Eurasian Collared Dove in the village, and 11 Common Starlings.
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
Despite the weather, not a true migrant in sight. Wildfowl numbers were well down with just 8 Great Crested Grebe, 2 adult Mute Swans, 17 Gadwall, 8 Common Teal, 75 Eurasian Wigeon, 18 Shoveler, 118 Tufted Duck, 29 Northern Pochard and 195 Coot counted. A pair of COMMON GOLDENEYE remained off of the jetty, with a Red Kite drifting south.
Nesting was already underway by Grey Heron (6 active nests) and Continental Cormorant (5 active nests).
MARSWORTH RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
An impressive 124 Northern Shoveler feeding, with 6 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Mute Swan, 2 Greylag Geese, 16 Atlantic Canada Geese, 2 Coot, 5 Tufted Ducks and 6 Northern Pochard present. A male Common Blackbird was in full song.
TRINGFORD RESERVOIR (HERTS)
Just south of the reservoir, a flock of 103 non-naturalised geese were grazing, including 54 Greylag and 49 Atlantic Canadas. The reservoir was very quiet with just 2 Mute Swans, 18 Tufted Duck, 3 Northern Pochard and 14 Coot present. The Rookery in the wood to the south held 15 active nests.
STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
Wildfowl included 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Mute Swan, 19 Tufted Duck, 29 Northern Pochard and 71 Coot.
TRING AREA (HERTS)
Checked out the local Rookeries with 27 active nests in the tall trees at New Mill (opposite Massey House at SP 926 124) and 8 in Pendley Manor Grounds.