Sunday, 22 December 2013

Nailed him at last - PINK-FOOTED GOOSE

A colder day with long clear spells and a gradually freshening SW wind; the forecast rain did not arrive until after dark but follows several days of heavy rain that has now started to fill the reservoirs quite quickly.

Pink-footed Goose with 15 Greylag Geese in field near car park at Wilstone

 My limited birding today was restricted to TRING RESERVOIRS where the adult PINK-FOOTED GOOSE was still present and finally giving itself up (both Ian Williams and I photographing it for the first time - see images above).......
Unlike yesterday, when it was highly mobile and constantly moving fields, today it spent virtually all of daylight feeding with 15 Greylag Geese in the field immediately north of WILSTONE RESERVOIR, between the car park and the new overflow. The other 61 Greylag Geese (and 1 Atlantic Canada) spent time again at COLLEGE FARM in MARSWORTH.
At STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR, a flock of 11 RED-CRESTED POCHARD included this pale female variant, 

...whilst on WILSTONE, the highlights included the continuing LITTLE STINT, 3 COMMON REDSHANK, 298 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER, 1 BLACK-TAILED GODWIT and 1 Little Egret. I did not count the wildfowl and left Steve Rodwell to go through the roosting Black-headed & Common Gulls.

Yesterday afternoon, Roy Hargreaves had a brief Bittern at MARSWORTH REEDBED, where also just 80 Corn Buntings roosted, around 2,500 Common Starlings, 5 Reed Buntings and 5 Water Rails - Steve Rodwell also had 3 Woodcock at dusk recently there

Saturday, 21 December 2013


Greylags and Pink-foot at College Farm

Dave Bilcock discovered a PINK-FOOTED GOOSE at Startop's End Reservoir this morning. It stayed for a short time before relocating to fields NNW of Startop Farm. The Greylag Goose flock was then flushed and flew to Wilstone. It remained on the spit out from the jetty for a while before flying back towards Startop's where I relocated the Greylags (all 81 of them) and the Pinkfoot in a field near College Farm, east of Marsworth (in Bucks). The flock soon flew and then relocated to a field on the ridge just SSE of the Cemetery on Wilstone but then flew again and I lost them.
Otherwise, 8 Red-crested Pochards on Tringford Reservoir, a Meadow Pipit on Startop's and a fair few wildfowl, including 42 Gadwall and 26 Wigeon on College Lake BBOWT

Saturday, 7 December 2013


I decided yesterday to have a walk round Ivinghoe Beacon CP area as there is only so many times you can look at the same Water Pipit!
Having seen a large flock of Chaffinches as I drove up I walked a short distance down the hill
and soon connected with a few Brambling.

Today I called in at College Lake and was soon joined, by chance, by Ed Griffith.
Just before he arrived, I and one other had a Water Rail fly into the island to the left
of the 'overlook' from the visitor centre. Also on the far right tip of the island was a Snipe
with a partially concealed JACK SNIPE close to it. Walking clockwise approaching the June Ives
Hide we had a flock of 6 Bullfinches (3 males). Nothing of note seen from the hide but a 
pleasant walk followed by a cup of tea and a free mince pie!  - Francis Buckle

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Nothing New

European Golden Plovers 

Anthony of the Washington Post wanted to interview me today so I took him over to WILSTONE RESERVOIR to show him a few birds. We met Steve Blake on our way round to the Drayton Bank Hide who informed us of nothing 'new' and no evidence of any storm-driven seabirds with the current conditions........
The reservoir was still very low, especially for December. A full inventory comprised........
Great Crested Grebe (11)
Little Grebe (1)
Sinensis Cormorant (37)
Little Egret (2)
Mute Swan (37)
Mallard (76)
Wigeon (237)
Gadwall (24)
Common Teal (478)
NORTHERN PINTAIL (3 - drake and two females)
Tufted Duck (86)
Northern Pochard (72)
Coot (578)
Moorhen (32)
Lapwing (106)
EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER (51 in two flocks)
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (single still remaining)

Common Gull (adult)

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Not a lot happening........

A brief visit to Wilstone this afternoon. Not much has changed with the Water Pipit showing well in the sunshine. Also 3 Redshanks and 3 Dunlin and a good number of Golden Plover

Few shots attached

Dave Hutchinson

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Today's birds

Visited Wilstone this morning where there were good numbers of Lapwing and Golden Plover. Also on show:-

1 Snipe
2 Common Redshank
1 Black-tailed Godwit
1 Dunlin
1 Kingfisher
1 Pintail

Went on to College Lake where Chris located a JACK SNIPE which could be seen from the main hide. One Raven over and a rare visit from an adult Great Black-backed Gull which was later joined by another juv on an island on the main pit.

Dave Hutchinson

Friday, 22 November 2013

Dancers End today

Dancers End NR Fri 11-14.30

Decided to seek the shelter of one of my favourite places and enjoyed a beautiful winter walk catching up on the wildlife. Patches of frost remained in sheltered spots all day despite the bright sun. I always check the open chalk field and bushes on the far side of DE because I always thought it could be a good spot for Shrikes! Little did I know there was one not far away....

In the fenced paddock were two Roe Deer, a pleasant change from Muntjac and the following birds seen:-

3 Red Kites playing tag; pair of Buzzards; Red-legged Partridge; Pheasant; Woodcock flushed (star bird); flock of 16 White Doves circling, presumably from nearby residence; Great-spotted Woodpecker; Green Woodpecker; Pied Wagtail over; Wren; Dunnock; Robin; Blackbird; Only 1 Fieldfare which landed in nearby Rowan until it saw me; Blue, Great, Long-tailed and Marsh Tits; Nuthatch; Magpie; Jay; Pair of Ravens over; Carrion Crow, Chaffinch; Goldfinch and Bullfinch (Sally Douglas)

Not an awful lot about but 2 WATER PIPITS, LITTLE STINT..........

A very cold NE wind blowing, pegging temperatures back to about 4 degrees C; pretty clear too and devoid of rain all day.....
Highlight throughout the week has been a flock of 14 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS on TRINGFORD, the largest flock that I have ever recorded at TRING RESERVOIRS
Other than that, WILSTONE today had 2 WATER PIPITS (both in Cemetery Corner), the LITTLE STINT (still present on the main spit out from the jetty - see Andrew Moon's superb image below), 3 DUNLIN (yesterday, Steve Blake had 9), the last of the BLACK-TAILED GODWIT, 2 COMMON REDSHANK (present for 6th day), 9 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER and 603 Lapwing.
On the water, click-counted were 7 Little Grebe, just 7 Great Crested Grebe, 48 Mute Swans, 21 Gadwall, 206 Eurasian Wigeon, 470 Common Teal, 1 drake PINTAIL, 72 Shoveler, 95 Tufted Duck and 109 Pochard.
Also noted were 6 Pied Wagtails, a female Grey Wagtail and a flock of 140 FIELDFARE south
Nearby, there was no sign today of yesterday's 4 adult WHOOPER SWANS on COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT

In the CHESS VALLEY, 2 Little Egrets were back at Bois Mill


A superb portrait of our long-staying first-winter LITTLE STINT (Andrew Moon)

Drake Common Teal

The two COMMON REDSHANK favouring the creek slightly to the right of the Drayton Bank Hide

A female Grey Wagtail