WEDNESDAY 16 SEPTEMBER
A rare opportunity to do some local birding this evening - my first chance this month ! With rarities flooding in on almost a daily basis, far flung places in the UK are my normal September-November abode.
With strong NW winds battering the coasts of North Wales and NW England, the opportunity of finding storm-driven Grey Phalaropes, Manx Shearwaters and Leach's Petrels inland is now quite high. With this in mind, I ventured out to the reservoirs this evening. The weather here was fine, fairly clear and quite blustery.
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
Sadly, no sign of any wind-blown or misplaced seabirds but an opportunity to do a 'stock take'. Wildfowl had arrived in good numbers and a single Common Tern was lingering.........
Great Crested Grebe (11)
Grey Heron (1)
Mute Swan (29+)
WHOOPER SWANS (the two non-naturalised adults from Bedfordshire)
*NORTHERN PINTAIL (4 feeding in front of the Drayton Hide)
Eurasian Wigeon (8)
Common Teal (202)
Northern Pochard (29)
Tufted Duck (77)
Common Kestrel and Eurasian Sparrowhawk (up to 3 HOBBIES also in area, and juvenile female PEREGRINE but not seen this evening)
Black-headed Gull (248)
Argenteus HERRING GULL (2 juveniles)
COMMON TERN (1 first-winter on the rafts)
SAND MARTIN (2)
House Martin (114)
Muntjac (1 stag)
STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR (HERTS)
An excellent selection of birds present including an impressive 14 Great Crested Grebes, 16 Mute Swans, 3 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS, 3 Common Teal, 8 Shoveler, 114 Tufted Duck and 240 Coots. There were also 19 Pied Wagtails present and a large number of hirundines including 215 House Martins, 8 Barn Swallows and 5 SAND MARTINS.
PITSTONE QUARRY (HERTS/BUCKS)
A single COMMON GREENSHANK was present on the muddy scrapes, with 6 Little Grebe, 7 Teal, 4 Shoveler and 3 Tufted Ducks the only other species of note