Apart from a flyover Osprey, June 2015 at the reservoirs was a virtual non-event.....
However, following a lengthy spell of very hot weather, water levels on both Startop's and Wilstone are now dropping fast, so much so that this evening at the latter was quite eventful with the first autumn waders dropping in
Starting with wildfowl on this hot 6th July, WILSTONE currently boasts just 27 moulting Mute Swans, one of the lowest July totals for this species in many, many years. In with them though is an adult AUSTRALIAN BLACK SWAN, my first and only the reservoirs' second occurrence of this increasingly abundant escape or immigrant from the now well-established non-naturalised population in The Netherlands. A female MANDARIN DUCK was in front of the hide, along with a female COMMON TEAL, an eclipse drake EURASIAN WIGEON, 15 Gadwall, 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and 7 Northern Pochard. Post-breeding has seen a huge rise in other wildfowl, with over 125 Greylag Geese present, 95 Atlantic Canada Geese and at least 250 Mallard; 450+ Coot present too.
In terms of the waders, an adult COMMON GREENSHANK was new in, 4 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS (pair and 2 juveniles) and 37 post-breeding Lapwing, while LITTLE EGRETS have had an exceptional year from the 3 active Drayton Bank nests, with 8 birds feeding in the shallows this evening.
Up to 22 Common Swift were overhead, with 3 COMMON KINGFISHERS, a Grey Wagtail and singing male Reed Bunting noted, while most exceptional was the COMMON STARLING post-breeding roost, with a whopping 5,335 individuals flighting in by 2100 hours - over twice as many as counted in recent November peaks!