FRIDAY 27 SEPTEMBER
Another Indian Summer-like day with clear blue skies, long periods of sunshine and temperatures in the high 60's - wind light easterly too, gradually increasing by dark
At WILSTONE RESERVOIR (HERTS), there had been a large increase in wildfowl - most notably in 14 PINTAILS - the highest number in many years. Also 270 Eurasian Wigeon, 460 Common Teal, 146 Shoveler, 21 Gadwall and 216 Northern Pochard, as well as the 45 Mute Swans (including adult '479'). and the two long-staying GARGANEYS.
A large intake of PINTAILS - 5 roosting in this shot on the spit
2 upending together
Waders were poorly represented with just 4 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS remaining and 206 Lapwing, whilst 4 HOBBIES remain, 11 Little Egrets and 18 Sinensis Cormorants; a Jay was on the East Bank - and this juvenile Great Crested Grebe (1 of 15)....
TRINGFORD RESERVOIR held all 7 Mute Swans (the 5 cygnets still surviving) whilst the 2 adult WHOOPER SWANS were quickly seen off by the cob Mute, while MARSWORTH held just 2 Great Crested Grebes.
STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR was still looking attractive in the SW corner and harboured 3 first-year LITTLE GREBES, 7 Great Crested Grebes (including the 4 juveniles), 172 Coot, 2 Wigeon, 1 Shoveler, 4 Teal, drake Gadwall, 63 Tufted Duck and 12 Moorhen. Sadly, this adult Great Crested Grebe was dead on the mud.
On my way home, an inventory of CHESHAM'S LOWNDES PARK revealed the presence of 298 Atlantic Canada Geese and 8 Muscovy Ducks.