Wendover, Wilstone and the Ivinghoe Hills 03 April
I started at the southern edge of the wood, in hope of finding the resident Firecrests and after almost two hours of searching the only birds of interest I found included 3 Brambling (including a summer plumaged male), 11+flyover Redpoll (most likely all Lessers) and a single Redwing. However, after a kind couple pointed me in the right direction, I was soon treated to excellent views of two stunning FIRECRESTS feeding in the lower canopy.
Not much change but still the long-staying specialities, including the juvenile Brent Goose, 1 Curlew and 2 Oystercatchers all on the spit infront of the hide. The only new arrival I found was a single Common Tern amongst the Black-headed Gulls. Other birds of note included 3 Buzzards, 30+flyover Meadow Pipits and 3 Mandarin.
I first checked Steps Hill in hope of some early migrants. However, the only birds showing were the raptors, including 4 Red Kites, 3 Buzzards and a single Kestrel. Ivinghoe Beacon seemed equally birdless, however just before I was about to leave I found a stunning male RING OUZEL feeding in the sheep field on the south-facing slope just east of the beacon (see attached digi-scope shots). Later, I also located 1 female Wheatear, although I didn’t check the beacon itself so it is likely there may have been more.
In all not a bad days birding by bike.