THURSDAY 29 SEPTEMBER
What a sweltering day ! With temperatures hitting a high of 28 degrees C mid-afternoon, this was the highest late September temperature recorded since records began. A light SSE breeze was blowing, with wall-to-wall sunshine throughout............
IVINGHOE HILLS NATURE RESERVE (BUCKS)
I did an extensive trawl of the hills, mainly in the hope of seeing the Common Stonechat of the last two days or a late passing Honey Buzzard. As it was, I managed neither, and birding was particularly slow in the steamy conditions.
The highlight was a single FIRECREST in Top Scrub, with 3 British Coal Tits, 4 Goldcrests, 12 Chaffinches, 4 Bullfinch and 30 Meadow Pipits recorded in over three hours
Many late butterflies were on the wing including a newly emerged Brimstone, numerous Peacocks and large numbers of Speckled Woods
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
Scorching hot in the early afternoon with most birds sitting out in the shade. All 9 NORTHERN PINTAILS were still present, including one drake starting to look dapper, along with 9 Little Egrets and 2 newly-arrived juvenile Little Grebes.
All 3 HOBBIES were still on site, whilst a migrant juvenile Common Buzzard drifted over being chased by 7 marauding Jackdaws.
The CETTI'S WARBLER was in song from the southern reedbed, and a male Common Chiffchaff in the East Hedge
LODGE HILL FARM AND FIELDS (BUCKS)
Thanks to Warren Claydon, I eventually tracked down a migrant COMMON STONECHAT - a nice male in the top hedgerow along the Ridgeway - my first in the county this year. There were also 6 migrant NORTHERN WHEATEARS present in the recently tilled fields, as well as 2 Yellowhammers and 16 Linnets.
FULMER LAKE (SOUTH BUCKS)
Not much of note other than 10 Common Teal, a female Tufted Duck and 18 Lapwings.