Wednesday, 27 July 2011

MARSH HARRIER through early afternoon and an arrival of COMMON GREENSHANKS


There were a few light rain showers this morning but generally it was dry and warm. The heavy cloud cover eventually dissipated later in the afternoon. Wind was mainly light.

There was some minor wader passage during the morning, with a Eurasian Curlew and 2 Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits briefly at Tyttenhanger GP and an arrival of 3 Common Greenshanks at Wilstone. Steve Rodwell also had a very early migrant juvenile MARSH HARRIER fly south through Wilstone early afternoon


Further evidence of some raptor migration today was that during the late morning/midday period, I recorded both Red Kite and a Common Buzzard flying south over the town centre; also 44 Common Swifts south and the pair of Mute Swans still with 6 growing cygnets

(1645 hours onwards; with Steve Rodwell and Dave Bilcock)

The highlight was the arrival of 3 migrant COMMON GREENSHANKS - my first at the reservoirs this year. All 3 - an adult and two juveniles - were feeding on the mud to the right of the hide, Francis Buckle managing to photograph one of the birds (see above).

WATER RAILS have bred this year at Wilstone too, with what appears to be two families. Three juveniles were feeding along the muddy SE shore whilst Steve, Mike C and Jeff Bailey had seen the single very showy juvenile by the hide.

Otherwise, the only other 'new' bird other than the flyover Marsh Harrier was a juvenile COMMON REDSHANK.

The two juvenile LITTLE EGRETS were still being fed by the parents on the central bund (of 13 birds present) whilst 34 Cormorants, 26 Mute Swans, the MANDARIN, 4 Shoveler, 3 Eurasian Wigeon, 4 Teal, 7 Pochard, 78 Lapwing, 2 Common Sandpipers, the 2nd-summer Lesser Black-backed Gull, 85 Black-headed Gulls, 52 Common Terns, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Stock Dove and Western Reed Warbler making up the rest.

Closeby, House Sparrows were feeding young in a roof nest at the Farm Shop.

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