With the water levels on WILSTONE RESERVOIR dropping rapidly since the beginning of last week, and the onset of some unsettled conditions after many weeks of beautiful hot weather, things have really started to hot up. Following the first BLACK TERN of the autumn on Friday on Startop's End, waders have featured significantly of late, so much so that today I recorded the following -:
A single moulting adult ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWIT just right of the hide (following two flocks of 3 last week and a single on Friday), the continuing COMMON GREENSHANK (present since 7th), 2 summer-plumaged adult DUNLINS, 4 GREEN SANDPIPERS (including a fresh juvenile), 3 Common Sandpipers, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover (present since 7th) and 216 Lapwing.
In addition, 16 Great Crested Grebes (including a brood of 3 and a single), 2 Little Grebe, 9 Grey Heron, still 40+ Sinensis Cormorant (including several still in the nest), 16 Little Egret (including the 4 fledged juveniles still in the Drayton nest in the overhanging Willow), 46 Mute Swan, 140 Mallard, 22 Common Teal (increasing daily), 34 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler, 9 Northern Pochard (including a green nasal-saddled female from Brittany), 70 Tufted Duck, Sparrowhawks (pair nesting by the hide and feeding young), 26 Moorhen, 300+ Coot, up to 7 Water Rails, a juvenile MEDITERRANEAN GULL, 200+ Black-headed Gulls, 35 Common Tern (including 17+ juveniles), 62 Sand Martin, 41 House Martin and 4 Goldcrest all noted.
A pair of RED-CRESTED POCHARD are resident on STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR (with 70 Coot), with a record 35 Common Tern on TRINGFORD as well as the Mute Swan pair with 6 cygnets. A family party of 5 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS is in Marsworth Wood
One of the 4 juvenile COMMON SHELDUCKS present at the moment