TUESDAY 10 AUGUST
A very damp morning with intermittent rain, completely overcast and grey but still quite warm. Light SW winds.
With Wilstone Reservoir dropping in level on a daily basis now, it is increasingly becoming more and more suitable to passage waders and other migrating species. Last night, a juvenile BLACK-TAILED GODWIT dropped in and at long last, stayed longer than just ten minutes, allowing me finally able to catch up with this species in Hertfordshire this year. It was a great morning's birding - here are the highlights..........
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
Great Crested Grebe (21 birds still present)
Little Grebe (adult and juvenile still near hide)
Continental Cormorant (15)
Grey Heron (3)
LITTLE EGRET (adult feeding to right of hide)
Mute Swan (at least 39 still present including the single independent cygnet)
Greylag Goose (1)
Gadwall (just 1)
Common Teal (marked increase in number - at least 11)
*GARGANEY (the eclipse drake still showing very well feeding on the emergent vegetation just to the right of the Drayton Hide)
Shoveler (marked increase - 12 now present)
Tufted Duck (53)
Northern Pochard (13)
EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER (1 circled the Drayton Bank but thought better of landing and continued west)
COMMON SNIPE (1)
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (juvenile still present from late yesterday evening, showing well on the Drayton Bank with Lapwings. Once it had finished resting and preening, it flew up, circled high and then flew off strongly west at 0843 hours into Buckinghamshire; it represented my 161st species in the county this year)
COMMON GREENSHANK (juvenile present along west shore beneath Poplars, first seen on Sunday)
Common Sandpiper (1)
Black-headed Gull (72)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (5 flew west)
Common Tern (13)
Common Buzzard and Red Kite
Stock Dove (1)
Green Woodpecker (1)
SAND MARTIN (43)
House Martin (25)
Dunnock (family party of 5 feeding along the sheltered east flank of the Overflow Hedgerow)
WILLOW WARBLER (1 in the Overflow Hedgerow)
LESSER WHITETHROAT (3 in the Overflow Hedgerow, showing well)
Great Tit (2 juveniles in the Overflow Hedgerow)
Blue Tit (5 in the Overflow Hedgerow)
Chaffinch (adult male and juvenile in Overflow Hedgerow)
YELLOWHAMMER (singing male and female in the Overflow Hedgerow)
STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR (HERTS)
A flock of 17 COMMON SWIFTS and 28 SAND MARTINS was feeding over the reservoir and adjacent Grand Union Canal, whilst the reservoir itself held 16 Mute Swans, 52 Greylag Geese, 1 Gadwall, the juvenile Red-crested Pochard, 3 juvenile Tufted Ducks and 78 Coots.
At the Angler's Retreat, Marsworth, Moorhens were in the ditch opposite, with 6 in total (adult pair, three well-grown young and a tiny baby), with 8 House Sparrows and a Common Starling noted and 3 GOLDCRESTS in the line of Fir trees bordering the road.
The Mute Swan family were still surviving on the Grand Union Canal (by the bridge) and a flock of 75 Common Starlings was wandering Marsworth Village.
PITSTONE QUARRY (HERTS)
The juvenile COMMON GREENSHANK was still present for its 5th day but apart from that little of note - the 7 Little Grebes, 49 Mallard, the 3 continuing Common Teal, 4 Coot and both Blackcap and Common Chiffchaff.