WEDNESDAY 3 APRIL
With the wind increasing further today, I really thought twice about going out, especially as then air temperature was marginally above freezing......
Anyhow, news of a drake Red-breasted Merganser spurned me on, and within 22 minutes, I was looking for it. Had I have been told that a boat was out on the water and flushing everything, I certainly wouldn't have bothered - and as it was I dipped the merganser and bagged just 15 BLACK-NECKED GREBE and 25 Shoveler
Whilst standing in what felt like a refridgerator, I took a call from an excited Laurie Bryant, whom had just stumbled upon a STONE CURLEW along the entrance track to GALLOWS BRIDGE BBOWT. I was a long, long way away but it was worth persuing........
Driving North along the A41 towards Aylesbury, I was frustrated at the high number of dead BADGERS - 9 in all - with yet another just east of Waddesdon
In an attempt to avert the gridlock of Aylesbury's ring-road roadworks, I took the STOCKLAKE route and was very pleased to see the flock of 17 ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWITS on the flash at SP 837 141, several adults in full breeding plumage (see my shots above).
I finally arrived at GALLOWS BRIDGE BBOWT at 1320 hours where both Laurie and Tim Watts had recently been watching the STONE CURLEW close to the access track. Laurie and I walked back from the car park towards the gate and flushed the bird from the grass on to the track and enjoyed some nice views of it before a car appeared at the gate. I fired off three shots before the bird flew and eventually settled over the back of the main pools in the first field. It then wandered stealthily about the long grass before being attacked by a Brown Hare and then flew the length of the field to land in the bare earth field just north of the access track. It then made its way to the far hedgerow before coming to rest - seemingly sunning itself in relative comfort from the wind for the next hour or more. It was an unringed individual.
During the observation period, I was joined by Mike Collard, Mike & Ted Wallen, Dave Cleal, Peter Leigh, Mike Campbell and others - all enjoying some good views.
Intriguingly, Laurie had relocated the Common Crane at Gallows Bridge on exactly the same date two years ago - so clearly a lucky man. Knowing too that he was regularly getting up to 9 Tree Sparrows in his KINGSWOOD GARDEN, I spent the next 90 minutes with him touring the immediate vicinity, logging 5+ LESSER REDPOLL, a migrant COMMON CHIFFCHAFF, male Yellowhammer, 20 House Sparrows, 11 Redwings and 23 Fieldfares.
A pretty eventful day