Friday, 26 October 2012

From Red-necked through Black-necked to SLAV

John Foster's images from today: the SLAVONIAN GREBE, BLACK-TAILED GODWIT, Fieldfares, 2 drake PINTAIL and 1 of the SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPITS


A very cold and pretty strong NE wind blowing with temperatures struggling to reach 44 degrees C. Very grey and overcast with some light drizzle in the wind

After several days hoping to get to the Reservoirs, finally made it this morning and was amazed at the number of birds now on Wilstone........


The black and white first-winter grebe was still showing exceptionally well just off of the car park and like I have often accused others of, I simply failed to actually look at it and concentrated on photographing it ! Had I of actually bothered to study it instead of trying to get better shots of it, I would have realised it was a SLAVONIAN GREBE and not a Black-necked as it was previously reported. Slav is a much rarer species at Tring and this record represents the first record of the New Millenium (in fact, the last one was on Startop's End Reservoir on 6 February 1997).

Walking to the old overflow in the NW corner revealed the presence of two very confiding SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPITS on the water's edge, loosely associating with 5 Pied Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail. Up to 5 BRAMBLINGS were with Chaffinches in the New Overflow Hedgerow whilst a plethora of wildfowl included no less than 12 NORTHERN PINTAIL amongst their ranks and the 2 adult WHOOPER SWANS.

The last bird of real interest was a cracking male RING OUZEL feeding on berries in the hedgerow adjacent to the jetty on the East Bank.

Although I failed to find it, the BLACK-TAILED GODWIT was still present too - close to the hide.

The remaining inventory included 49 Mute Swans (including 2 first-years), 11 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Little Grebes, 462 Teal, 300 Wigeon, 123 Shoveler, 21 Gadwall, 276 Tufted Duck, 82 Pochard, 112 Lapwing, Sparrowhawk and 22 Redwings.

Later on in the day, Dave Bilcock had an adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULL in the roost

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