Saturday, 6 April 2013

Weather on the change at last


Although there was another overnight frost, the wind dropped during the day and at long, long last, it was pretty birdable - with temperatures recovering to 11.5 degrees C during the afternoon.

At TRINGFORD RESERVOIR, all 6 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS remained, along with 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Mute Swans and 40 Coot

STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR still held the single COMMON REDSHANK from yesterday, 16 Coot, the 15 Wigeon, 89 Tufted Duck, 3 Northern Pochard, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Common Gull and 2 Grey Wagtails. A migrant SAND MARTIN was presumably a new arrival.

On the adjacent Canal, a Grey Heron in full summer plumage was showing well, with 2 colour-ringed Mute Swans on view (4ACO and 4ACK).

MARSWORTH RESERVOIR held 9 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Coot and 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls, with 2 WATER RAILS showing well, a pair of COMMON KINGFISHERS, a singing male Reed Bunting and a migrant Common Chiffchaff.

Steve Rodwell had seen 2 Kittiwakes, an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Yellow Wagtail fly through WILSTONE but all I had was 38 Common Gulls, 216 Black-headed Gulls, 85 Fieldfares and 5 singing male Chaffinches.

Paul Reed then made contact about a redstart he had just found, so I made my way to COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT, where Francis, Charlie and Lucy had all seen the bird. It was a first-summer male BLACK REDSTART and was showing reasonably well in the paddock field in the extreme NE corner of the reserve. Two male NORTHERN WHEATEARS were also present in the same field. After DB and MC left us, Peter Leigh and I had some great views of the Redstart on the fenceposts, allowing me to take quite a few pictures.

A flock of 23 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER flew east - and 13 Lapwing - with 2 Common Redshank, 14 Mute Swan, drake COMMON SHELDUCK, 130 Wigeon, 3 Shoveler, SISKIN and male Linnet noted.

Just outside the Bucks border, Ashley Stowe and I enjoyed some nice long views of a female RING OUZEL this evening at LINKEY DOWN, ASTON ROWANT NNR (OXFORDSHIRE), showing well with 2 Fieldfares beneath the small Yew trees on the southern slope.

At WINCHMORE HILL on my way home, 22 Lapwings were noted - the first in my recording area this year.

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