TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER
Another day of strong WSW winds but dry and bright and much cooler than of late
ETON WICK FLOOD (BERKSHIRE)
After discussing the bird with the finder Kevin Duncan, I felt I must go down and have a look at the bird just on the outside chance it was a SemiP - after all, no less than 12 of them have appeared in the UK this September. Although just over the border in Bucks, once again I was stood in the county when studying this small wader. Although somewhat flighty, it was showing well and was indeed a LITTLE STINT, although it had largely moulted into first-winter plumage. A nice record and proof of what a bit of floodwater can do (a Dunlin also arrived there later).
DORNEY COMMON held at least 100 Meadow Pipits, with 8 migrant SISKINS overhead and the boundary ditch harbouring 3 CETTI'S WARBLERS and a Grey Wagtail
BROOM GP GYPSY LANE EAST (BEDFORDSHIRE)
Joan and I then returned north back to Bedfordshire where over the lunchtime period, we met up with Johnny Lynch, Ted & Evelyn Reed, Stuart Warren, Steve Blain, Graham White, Richard Bashford, Mark Ward and others. This time we were quids in - the juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER was on view and giving fairly good, albeit distant views. It was favouring the pit on the right (the furthest one visible from the watchpoint) moving between the left hand and right hand gravel edges. It was often with a single Ringed Plover, whilst on the lefthand pit were a juvenile Dunlin and Green Sandpiper. Quite a few Teal and Shoveler, and 25 or so Meadow Pipits on site.
GROVEBURY SANDPIT (BEDFORDSHIRE)
The drake RED-CRESTED POCHARD was still present, along with 63 Northern Pochard and 11 Great Crested Grebes.
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
Spent several hours in the hide. The GREAT WHITE EGRET was performing well, fishing in the shallows to the right of the hide. A very popular bird with countless photographs being taken, a large selection of which are now published on my Tring Reservoirs blog site.
Also LITTLE EGRETS now up to 6 (just how does the message get round so quickly that feeding conditions are optimum), with large numbers of returning waterbirds including 8 Great Crested Grebe, 42 Mute Swans, 72 Pochard, the 3 PINTAILS, 200+ Teal, 75 Shoveler and 566 Coot.
The single RINGED PLOVER was still in the NW corner, with a male Sparrowhawk over and no less than 66 House Martins feeding.
Got home and almost immediately received a call from Graham Smith - two COMMON STONECHATS were present for their third day at Springfield Farm Quarry - an excellent record and a species that really needs to be flagged up on Marek Walford's site