FRIDAY 21 NOVEMBER
A right dreary day with rain setting in from about lunchtime; pretty cold too with temperatures rising no more than 8 degrees C. A real wintry feel to proceedings...
Did my first full inventory of local sites in a while, the highlight being the major increase in GREAT CRESTED GREBE numbers with no less than 64 birds at Tring - my highest count there in a very long time.
On CHOLESBURY VILLAGE POND (SP 93 07), a single Moorhen in residence
Onward to TRING RESERVOIRS, where MARSWORTH yielded 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Sinensis Cormorants, 35 Shoveler, 1 Moorhen, 35 Black-headed Gull, 2 Pied Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Carrion Crow and 35 Woodpigeon.
Neighbouring STARTOP'S END added an impressive 26 Great Crested Grebe (highest count there for at least 15 years), 6 Little Grebe, 16 Atlantic Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans, 66 Mallard, 10 Wigeon, 26 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 68 Tufted Duck, drake Pochard, 173 Coot, a noteworthy 30 Moorhen, Pied Wagtail, 16 House Sparrow (around the Angler's Retreat), 2 Grey Wagtails and 2 Carrion Crow.
A circuit of TRINGFORD RESERVOIR came up with 1 Great Crested Grebe, 20 Sinensis Cormorant, the pair of Mute Swan and all 6 surviving youngsters, 4 Gadwall, 8 RED-CRESTED POCHARD (4 pairs), 36 Teal, 5 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard, 79 Coot, Grey Heron, 4 Long-tailed Tits, Pied Wagtail & Goldfinch, with 35 Woodpigeon and 16 Feral Pigeon at the FLOUR MILL and 60+ Black-headed Gull & Goldcrest at TRING SEWAGE TREATMENT WORKS.
Steady rain at WILSTONE RESERVOIR largely stopped play but waterbird inventory figures concluded 21 Mute Swans, 96 Greylag Geese, 85 Mallard, 406 Teal, 204 Wigeon, 16 Shoveler, 21 Gadwall, 44 Tufted Duck, the two juvenile GREATER SCAUP, 116 Pochard, a female COMMON GOLDENEYE, 33 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Little Grebe, 56+ Sinensis Cormorant, 9 Grey Heron, 414 Coot and 30 Moorhen. The wader flock yielded 360 Lapwing, an impressive 432 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER and 5 DUNLIN, while other species noted included 3 Meadow Pipit, 12 FIELDFARE and 2 Common Blackbirds.
COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT RESERVE was much better than usual with a fair selection of winter wildfowl present, including 23 Mute Swan (2 first-years), 114 Canada Geese, 38 mallard, 68 Gadwall, a female RED-CRESTED POCHARD, 14 Teal, 170 Wigeon, 64 Tufted Duck, 6 Pochard, Grey Heron, Little Grebe and 22 Coot (the latter two species on the chalk deepwater pit); at the feeding station by the centre fed 6 Greenfinch, 9 Blue Tit, 8 Great Tit, 14 Chaffinch, 8 Goldfinch and a single COAL TIT - the latter constituting my first in the Tring Area this year!
WESTON TURVILLE RESERVOIR was totally devoid of life barring 40 Black-headed Gulls, whilst the section of WENDOVER ARM between HALTON and THE WIDES came up with totals of 3 Little Grebe, 35 Mallard, 27 Moorhen, 3 Coot and a drake MANDARIN DUCK. Two COMMON KINGFISHERS were a bonus, along with Greenfinch, 6 Winter Wren, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, 15 Redwing, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a singing male Song Thrush, 15 Common Blackbird, Coal Tit & 8 Long-tailed Tits.
Today's Images added below