WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH
Although not as mild as yesterday, at 11 degrees centigrade it was half decent. The forecasted rain never happened and it just remained dreary and grey all day. No wind to speak of.
Relatively local birding today, with just one addition - Common Redshank.....
Arrived too late again at HEDGERLEY LANDFILL - Dick Seekins' adult ICELAND GULL being flushed off by the 'Laggar' shortly before I got there. Just 25+ Red Kites loafing around
Graham Smith then phoned me to say he was watching a splendid male MERLIN at GALLOWS BRIDGE and in the 50 minutes it took me to get there, it was on view for 45 of them. Typical - and a really gripping bird too (see Graham's shot above).
Compensation came in the form of a cracking male Yellowhammer, 45 Fieldfares, 1 Redwing, 4 Reed Buntings, 1 Song Thrush and 7 Linnets, whilst Greylag Goose, 2 Atlantic Canada Geese, 3 Red Kites, Common Buzzard, 7 Common Blackbirds, 4 Red-legged Partridge, Meadow Pipit, Grey Heron, 4 Skylarks and a Stock Dove were also noted. A Little Egret here was quite unusual.
The female PEREGRINE was attending the platform in AYLESBURY, whilst at TRINGFORD RESERVOIR (HERTS), the male COMMON SHELDUCK was again present, the 6 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS, 3 Mute Swans and 4 Great Crested Grebes.
COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT yielded my first local Common Redshanks of the year - two on the main marsh - with 21 Mute Swans present (including two orange-ringed birds - '029' and '4AFA'), a single OYSTERCATCHER, 34 Gadwall, 12 Teal, pair of Shoveler, 112 Wigeon, 23 Tufted Duck, 31 Coot and a Green Woodpecker.
At DAGNALL (BEDS), the COMMON RAVENS were visiting the nest, with 4 Mistle Thrush and 2 Greenfinches in the vicinity.