This morning was dull and overcast when I arrived at Wilstone Res at 7:20. I had already heard a Marsh Tit in the trees by Cemetery Corner and several Common Treecreepers. There was a Common Redshank and two or three Dunlin on the mud in front of the reeds and a pair of Pintail on the water. From the jetty there was no sign of the Water Pipit and I looked across for the Little Egret – also with no joy. Scanning that area I noticed a straight-necked adult swan – checking the other adult and two 1st winters with it they were also the same size and straight-necked! When I set my scope up they were obviously wild swans and looked small and the adults seemed to have black bills. BEWICK'S SWANS! I rang a few people and hurried round to get a better look from the hide. I was in so much of a hurry that the unusually co-operative WATER PIPIT by the car park steps barely got a second glance. I was optimistic that I might video them from the hide, but between the old and new overflows I decided to look again – just in case they flew while I was unsighted on the footpath round to the hide. No sooner had I set my scope on them when one of the adults lifted its head and called, then the other adult did and they all started running across the water and took off. They then arced round and flew within 50 metres of me as they headed round the poplars and off in a westerly direction into Bucks.
Then came the disappointment of having to ring David and tell him they that had gone and ask him to kindly text others to let them know. It would have been really nice if they could have at least managed to stay the day.
This is my 155th species at the reservoirs this year, beating my previous best of 154 in 2008 – I have also found 150 species there this y ear. So if anyone asks if I have had a good year at the reservoirs the answer so far is certainly yes, and we haven’t got to December yet and we still have more easterlies this week!