Thursday, 1 November 2012

Startop's End WATER PIPIT (Dave Hutchinson)


A much cooler day than of late with temperatures struggling to reach 6 degrees C. Fresh westerly winds too, with some real heavy showers coming through...

With it being the first day of a new month, I did a full comprehensive inventory of the reservoir birdlife...


As Lucy Flower reported earlier, the mobile WATER PIPIT was still present, moving between all of the sections of mud, including the two bays in Buckinghamshire. A single Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtails and 5 Pied Wagtails also favouring the same areas.

Of 4 adult Mute Swans present, one was orange-ringed '4ABL', whilst other waterfowl counted included 1 Little Grebe, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Canada Goose, 29 Mallard, 26 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 27 Gadwall, 57 Tufted Duck, 33 Pochard, 162 Coot, 8 Moorhen, 27 Black-headed Gulls and 1 adult Common Gull; also 5 Lapwing on the mud, 3 Common Magpies and a single Skylark flying west.


Nothing much on the water apart from 4 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Mute Swans and 42 Shoveler, with 18 Woodpigeon, male Great Spotted Woodpecker, Carrion Crow, 2 Wrens, Redwing and SISKIN noted.


On the reservoir, 1 Little Grebe, 8 Grey Heron, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Gadwall, 3 MANDARIN DUCKS (drake and two females at far end under trees visible from hide), 33 Tufted Duck, 5 Pochard and 63 Coot counted, with the woodland surroundings yielding 48 SISKINS, 4 Robins, 2 Mistle Thrush, 30 Redwing, 11 Goldfinch and 8 Jackdawa; 2 WATER RAILS heard and a Meadow Pipit flew over


The SLAVONIAN GREBE was still showing well along the east shore, with 8 Great Crested Grebes, 2 LITTLE EGRETS, 43 Mute Swans, the two adult WHOOPER SWANS, 84 Mallard, 32 Gadwall, 406 Teal, 198 Wigeon, 4 PINTAIL (1 drake), 86 Shoveler, 201 Tufted Duck, 79 Pochard, 3 female COMMON GOLDENEYE, 733 Coot, 100 Lapwing and 33 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER present.


Not a bad selection of birds present today, identified in a full circuit walk around.......including 2 Little Grebes, 12 Mute Swans, 15 Tufted Duck, 8 Gadwall, 11 Wigeon, 46 Mallard, 3 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS (drake and two females), 2 Shoveler, 5 Pochard, a single female COMMON GOLDENEYE, 92 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, an adult Argenteus Herring Gull, an adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULL, just 3 Coot, male Common Kestrel, 6 Robins and a Redwing.


Water level back to normal now with 4 Little Grebe, 8 Moorhen and 2 Coot resident.


A LITTLE EGRET roosting on the island was unusual here but 8 Little Grebe, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Mute Swans, pair of Gadwall, 3 female Tufted Duck, 192 Coot, Green Woodpecker, 3 Jays, Nuthatch and Long-tailed Tit were typical fare; 5 SISKINS flew over.


Highlight here on a very wet and muddy (underfoot) visit were 2 HAWFINCHES in tall trees by the 'Holly Roost', both very vocal and presumably at pre-roost, but no other finches noted and just 3 Common Treecreepers, 5 Coal Tits, 5 Jays, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Song Thrush encountered in a 90-minute slog round. A Red Kite with a yellow wing-tag was intriguing.

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