Wednesday, 27 October 2010

BLACK-NECKED GREBE still present

The BLACK-NECKED GREBE was near the end of the barley bales in Cemetery Corner this morning. An immature Little Egret was feeding successfully on fish in the stream by the hide – it was also there yesterday. Also Siskins were flying over – two sightings of two birds. A Water Rail was on the mud between Cemetery Corner and the boathouse. The European Golden Plover flock was still present on the mud islands and a Goldeneye was on the lagoon to the right of the hide (Roy Hargreaves).

Monday, 25 October 2010

PINTAIL numbers remain stable

This morning there were fourteen PINTAILS present on Wilstone – mainly by the jetty spit – unusually I heard them calling. Also two Marsh Tits calling by the junction of the main footpath and the footpath to the hide. Two parties of Brambling also brightened up the already sunny day considerably as that brought up my 150th species at the reservoirs this year.

The large flock of Golden Plover still looked decidedly mono-specific. Also had a flock of about 20 Skylarks in a field of stubble to the south of the Dry Canal – no Lapland Buntings or Shore Larks yet, but I’ll keep looking and listening (Roy Hargreaves).

Sunday, 24 October 2010


There is a LAPLAND BUNTING in with the large flock of Eurasian Skylarks and other seedeaters in the fields to the east of the Sheep Pens at Ivinghoe Hills NR this morning (Dave Bilcock et al)

Friday, 22 October 2010


Two BLACK REDSTARTS remain for at least their seventh day today on rough ground behind the Chiltern View Garden Centre just off of the A413 between Aylesbury and Wendover. They are actually spending most of their time flitting between the two parked lorries and outbuilding on private land adjacent to the Triangle Business Park and are extremely elusive. The site is strictly private property and should only be entered if access has been allowed by James Bone or his associates at the Fireworks kiosk at the entrance.

BRAMBLINGS still at the Beacon

There was still a flock of 20 or more BRAMBLINGS feasting on the berries on the Whitebeam trees this afternoon at 4:30pm in the scrub across the road from the main car park. These superb portraits were taken by local birder Michael Knott.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Two EUROPEAN BARN SWALLOWS at Long Marston village plus a female PEREGRINE at Betlow farm Long Marston this morning. Also 50 plus flock of European Golden Plover in field at Cemetery corner Wilstone (Johne Taylor)

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

17 October - another ROCK PIPIT

With Steve Rodwell late this afternoon a SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPIT was along the shore near the new overflow and the drake GARGANEY was still amongst the teal on the mud close to the hide. A DUNLIN was amongst the lapwings and gulls but a low flying balloon put up most of the birds present, resulting in the gulls heading off early. This morning Steve saw a Common Goldeneye in Cemetery corner.

Two more Common Goldeneyes were discovered by Paul Reed on the main lake at College Lake this morning, which had moved to the marsh by mid day. The Goosander was still present also, again on the far side of the tern island (David Bilcock).

17 October - Finches galore

A big increase in the numbers of BRAMBLINGS this morning, with birds feeding on the beach mast between the car park and s-bend as well as flocks in just about every white beam feeding on berries.

A single RING OUZEL remains in the bushes east of the beacon, just above the footpath. A large mixed finch and bunting flock were in the short grass area left of the footpath as it goes up towards the beacon. Mostly Linnets but also contained Greenfinches, chaffinches, bramblings, yellowhammers and 4 Reed buntings. 3 Northern Wheatears were also present in the same area (David Bilcock)

17 October - New LITTLE EGRET record

Just before 8am a flock of 12 LITTLE EGRETS flew low east over Wilstone Reservoir but unfortunately did not come down onto the mud. This is the most I have seen together locally.

A Green Sandpiper flew in shortly after. At least 4 Water Rails were showing well out on the increasingly available mud. 3 Common Snipes were also at the water's edge (Mike Campbell).


It has been an exceptional autumn on the Ivinghoe Hills for passage RING OUZELS with birds present daily for well over a week now. There are normally up to three to be found just SE of the Beacon and two or more in Incombe Hole. David Bilcock obtained these excellent images above.
There are also at least 35 BRAMBLINGS in the car park area, often feating on the Whitebeams.

16 October - GOOSANDER at College Lake

College Lake: Paul Reed found a juvenile GOOSANDER roosting on the tern island this afternoon, below picture taken into the heat haze.

Wilstone: With Steve Rodwell, no gull roost yet although large numbers BHGs are still present just before it gets dark when they head off towards Grovebury. This evening an adult Yellow-legged Gull was also present with 5 LBBS (David Bilcock).

15 October - Evening Update

A quick look on the hills this evening produced at least 20 BRAMBLINGS still feeding on Whitebeam berries near to the path just down from the car park.Also a few more in Beech trees and flying around. No sign of any Ouzels but it was getting late so may have gone deep in scrub to roost. Heard a EURASIAN CURLEW flying over and 4 European Golden Plover also flew through (Rob Andrews).

15 October - CARBO'S back

One of our regular Atlantic (carbo) Great Cormorants has returned for another winter. Today 'CUA' was on the rocks along the Drayton Bank in the center of Wilstone. This is the 6th winter it has returned to Wilstone since arriving as a juvenile back in December 2005 (David Bilcock)

15 October - first SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPIT of the Autumn

A SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPIT was near the car park steps late this morning feeding on the reservoir bank below the fisherman (pictures above). By mid afternoon it had moved around to the jetty area.

Otherwise usual ducks present and 2 small flocks of swallows through (17 and 8) (Dave Bilcock)

15 October - Ivinghoe Hills

David Bilcock and I spent three and a half hours on the hills this morning. Little passage stuff, but still some good birds.

On Ivinghoe Beacon David picked up a RING OUZEL in a bush, this turned into 4 then 5 and then another joined them that came in from quite high and was presumably passing over. So six in total, 1 male, 2 female and 3 1st wints. We enjoyed these birds for about an hour with no-one flushing them, superb views of wonderful birds. Two single Fieldfare then a flock of 31 flew in.
On Steps Hill there were at least 30 Brambling in the White Beam trees, mainly on the Northern slope, with c20 in one tree alone- fantastic.

Startops Res ( Herts ) produced a large number of Pochard, 1 Red-crested Pochard and a Little Grebe.

Back in Rowsham I found that the farmer had finally cropped a very large Corn on the cob field. This field was absolutely full of birds, including many Skylark and Yellowhammer. In addition a flock of Siskin went over and then a large flock of Fieldfare went West (Mike Wallen Birding).

13 October - Ivinghoe Hills - much quieter

Much quieter this morning apart from two exuberant COMMON RAVENS that flew low overhead as Chris King and myself walked towards the sheep pens. A flock of c50 Linnets in the rough ground near the pens and a few Skylarks and a couple of Yellowhammers on the slopes above. Steps Hill though was alive with Redwings, and a Fieldfare was heard and also Bramblings heard but not seen in this area across from the CP. At least 1 showy RING OUZEL (male) in Incombe Hole (Francis Buckle)

12 October - male HEN HARRIER - Ivinghoe

Driving up to the Beacon at c09.00 this morning (12 October) I saw Mike Wallen at the 'S' bend who waved and came over and told me what a fantastic morning he had had! He mentioned there was a RING OUZEL in a bush on the slopes above the sheep pens so Chris King and I made our way there and were watching it when I noticed a slim fairly large BOB at about 300yds flying towards the Beacon Car Park. I quickly got Chris on it and 'phoned Mike Wallen. It was a male HEN HARRIER and Mike made his way to the CP but before he was able to get there it veered away and flew out of sight down the valley. We carried on up the slope and watched another ouzel (a bright male) feeding in grass on the slope. Further on we had two together in a bush and another on the slopes across the road from the 'S' bend (so at least 3). Many Skylarks and Redwings on the slopes above the sheep pens (Francis Buckle)

Monday, 4 October 2010


Two first-winter RING OUZELS were still present in Incombe Hole early afternoon, favouring the berry laden bushes at the top end (Mike Wallen had earlier seen four birds). There were also 1 REDWING, 15 Song Thrushes, 11 Common Blackbirds and 6 Mistle Thrushes.

There were also a few immigrant Chaffinches in the area but little else of note

Lee Evans and Francis Buckle

Friday, 1 October 2010


Thursday Morning (30 September)

I started on Steps Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon and it was a very different day to yesterday. Passage over was by no means heavy except for a movement of Skylark, but highlight was 4 RING OUZELS this morning. A real arrival of Song Thrush and a few Redwing.

Ring Ouzels were 1) Over my watchpoint just after sunrise, calling, flew into the fog down the West side of Steps.

2) A single bird in the bushes just beyond the S bend towards the Beacon, but in half an hour watching these bushes I never saw it. At one point I stood Still for 10 minutes after it 'chacked', as soon as I took another step it chacked again, you've got to admire them !

3) + 4, ( male and female ) together in the area of extensive hawthorn and White Beam trees, 300metres North of the car park, I saw the male at about 25ft as I rounded a bush, I nearly bumped into it ! Neil Foster joined me and saw these. They then crossed the path into Beeches and may have left these with other thrushes which moved West towards Income Hole.

Mike Wallen Birding