Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Hills remain the same whilst ARCTIC TERN passes quickly through Wilstone

Dave Bilcock recorded an ARCTIC TERN early morning through Wilstone, whilst 3 male RING OUZELS, the immature male BLACK REDSTART and 4 NORTHERN WHEATEARS remained on Ivinghoe Beacon (Steve Rodwell, Mick Frosdick, et al)

Meanwhile, LGRE recorded the following -:


That cold Northeasterly wind keeps blowing, keeping migration to a minimum and preventing many small birds from singing. It remained dry but was grey and overcast up until early afternoon. For me, it was another day birding locally......


Dave Bilcock had seen a single Arctic Tern early morning but there was no sign of it several hours later when I visited - just 5 Common Terns still.

In fact, Wilstone was very quiet, with 8 Great Crested Grebes, 25 active Grey Heron nests, 3 Common Teal still, 18 Shoveler, 8 immature Black-headed Gulls, 15 European Barn Swallows and a migrant male YELLOW WAGTAIL.


A pair of Great Crested Grebes was building a nest on one of the green algae bunds, with 6 Mute Swans, 35 Tufted Ducks and 17 Coot counted. There was a total of 164 hirundines grounded by the grey conditions, including 151 SAND MARTINS and 13 Barn Swallows.

In windy conditions, I still failed to find any Sedge Warblers in the Marsworth reedbeds, even though at least one male is present.


In an attempt to nail Grey Partridge for my Bucks Year List, I spent some considerable time searching the farmland to the east of Wingrave, either side of the Leighton Road and east as far as the Mentmore Cross Roads (SP 890 205).

In the sheep fields to the west of Upper Wingbury Farm (SP 875 198), I located two COMMON RAVENS, both birds in wing moult, with one quite heavy. They were feeding in the fields and later flew off east calling loudly, in the direction of Mentmore Park.

There were two Common Buzzards in this area, as well as 1 RED KITE, whilst Common Kestrel, Great Spotted Woodpecker and 14 Common Starlings were also noted.

Very pleasing was the locating of four nesting pairs of LAPWING in the fields, although disconcerting was an obvious Carrion Crow nest at the top of an isolated tree (most likely designed to fledge at the same time as the baby Lapwings).

Chaffinches were quite numerous, whilst a pair of Long-tailed Tits were nesting in the roadside hedgerow just NE of Wingrave.

Alas, no Grey Partridge were located.....


I took advantage of my visit to fully survey the breeding birds of Wingrave village, with the following results -:

Moorhen (pair on the tiny village pond)
Eurasian Collared Dove (8+ birds noted)
Dunnock (1 singing male)
European Robin (a bare minimum of 7 breeding pairs)
Common Blackbird (7 nesting pairs)
Common Starling (3+ pairs, with a singing male at 119 Winslow Road)
COMMON CHIFFCHAFF (a singing male in Willows in Lower End at the south end of the village)
*HOUSE SPARROWS (the real success story, with 5 pairs at the north end and a further 3 at the south end and two more in the ivy on the Rose & Crown public house)
Greenfinch (2 displaying males)
Jackdaw (3 pairs nesting on chimneys, with 2 on Winslow Road and another on Nup End Lane)


Next off, I surveyed the ROOKERIES between Wingrave and Long Marston, with 10 active nests opposite Boarscroft (at SP 882 175) and 68 active nests in the Common Alder trees opposite Betlow Farm entrance at SP 885 165.

A dead Badger was just south of Whitwell Farm (SP 881 170) at SP 883 168, whilst the farmhouse itself held 2 further pairs of breeding HOUSE SPARROWS and 2 Red-legged Partridges and a male Pied Wagtail on the plough opposite.

Just south of Beeching House, Green Woodpecker, Song Thrush and Great Tit were all recorded.

In Long Marston village, another 8 pairs of HOUSE SPARROW was located, including pairs by the Primary School and several on houses 9-15, and 5 pairs of Eurasian Collared Doves.

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