Saturday, 28 April 2012

What an afternoon - 27 April

As work was dragging this week I decided to take this afternoon off - and what a good decision it was!

I parked in cemetery corner at 12.15 just as the rain was clearing and immediately had a number of swift low over the track. Making my way along the bank towards the jetty I heard a wader call "chu-it" and looking up saw a black wader with long thin bill flying past the reedbed and off towards Startops. It was clearly a spotted redshank and I wonder if it had perhaps just taken off from the reservoir.

Scanning from the jetty there were only 4 lapwing visible in front of the hide and about 70 common tern Continuing on towards the car park I turned just in time to see a hobby coming across the water and up over the farm before stooping to chase a swallow. The hobby then returned over the water and I lost it towards the hide.

Ten minutes later after slowly making my way to the new overflow I glance a raptor dropping out of the sky to my left. Turning to watch i realised it was an OSPREY dropping down. It circled the reservoir for the best part of 10 minutes before being chased from the area of the tern rafts by at least a dozen terns. Whilst watching it I called Roy and Lee but neither were able to get down.

Dodging the heavy showers in the hide about an hour and a half later I eventually got round to Rushy where had I the pair of LITTLE OWLS sat in the single black poplar.

Again another downpour, clearing just before I got back to the jetty. A quick scan in the hope of new arrivals yielded an adult and 1st summer LITTLR GULL in amongst the common terns off the carpark. there were also 2 common sandpiper along the bank, Turning to return to the car I had one final surprise - a female wheatear had dropped on to the bank midway between the jetty and cemetery corner.

All in all a great afternoon with 5 Tring year ticks. I will hopefully post record shots of the Osprey later.

Ian Williams

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