Thursday, 24 November 2016

A wintering GREENSHANK

At TRING RESERVOIRS, we seem to have a wintering COMMON GREENSHANK, as the bird was still present today feeding in the vicinity of the inlet channel at the far SW corner of WILSTONE RESERVOIR. Not much else to shout about I am afraid, up to 250 Lapwing, just 127 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER, the 3 Common Goldeneye again (two adult drakes) and the 4 PINTAIL

Had some great fun with Johnny Lynch at GROVEBURY SAND PIT in BEDFORDSHIRE, where the juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVER he espied yesterday afternoon was still present and afforded the two of us a fabulous swim past - see my photographic efforts below. Did a full inventory of the site whilst I was there with 22 Great Crested Grebe logged, Grey Heron, 18 Cormorant, 99 Atlantic Canada Geese, 12 Mallard, 8 Common Teal, 28 Wigeon, 66 Tufted Duck, 39 Northern Pochard, 6 Moorhen, 202 Coot, 4 Lapwing, 2 PEREGRINES (male & female), 22 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and an adult Great Black-backed Gull.

I later joined Jim Gurney at ARLESEY BLUE LAGOON mid-afternoon where the two wandering juvenile VELVET SCOTER, miraculously located the following morning after departing Gypsy Lane West by the location's regular checker Andy Grimsey, were showing well, diving frequently on the far side of the boating lake.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

All of the rare ducks have moved on but a GREENSHANK has moved in!

The COMMON GREENSHANK that Tony Hukin discovered on WILSTONE RESERVOIR last Tuesday remained throughout the week but was remarkably difficult to locate, often disappearing into the inlet creek in the far SW corner. Golden Plover numbers fluctuated throughout to a peak of 182 but suffered due to Peregrine predation as the juvenile male took its toll on the flock. Two drake and a female COMMON GOLDENEYE arrived (16th), while two pairs of PINTAIL lingered but there has been no sign of the drake Ferruginous Duck, Ring-necked Duck or Greater Scaup all week. Warren Claydon had a single redhead GOOSANDER go through.
Over at MARSWORTH, two EURASIAN BITTERNS are back, with one in the Bucks reedbed and the other at the opposite, west, end. Also, 105 CORN BUNTINGS roosted on 18th, but a paltry Starling roost.

Almost a dozen Little Grebe are wintering on the reservoirs, although Little Egrets have now decreased to 3

Thursday, 3 November 2016

WOODPIGEONS pouring over on the Hills (and FIELDFARES) but deja-vu with wildfowl at the reservoirs

A thick frost at dawn at home in LITTLE CHALFONT, where over the next hour, no fewer than 728 WOODPIGEON tracked west during the first hour of daylight - 0645-0745. This was my second movement of this species in a week, following the 1,043 I logged also migrating slightly west of south on 28th October.
Anyhow, expecting a bumper movement, I headed straight to IVINGHOE BEACON, watching the visible migration there from 0837-1115 hours. There were WOODPIGEONS moving, but in nothing like the number I expected - just 295 passing over, with the largest single flock of 84 - all on a southerly trajectory (see photographs below).

What was more impressive however was the FIELDFARE migration - 361 in total including a single flock of 260 (see image). Just 6 REDWING and 13 Common Starling, while 2 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER also flew west. Little else of note bar a few Chaffinch, Skylark & Yellowhammer - Red Kite, a Jay and 5 Goldcrest in the car park.

Down at WILSTONE RESERVOIR, the adult drake FERRUGINOUS DUCK was wide awake and feeding and still keeping close to the Drayton Bank. Still plenty of wildfowl to see, including 213 Shoveler and the long-staying GARGANEY. Little Grebe had increased to 7, Little Egret were down to 2, 27 Cormorant, 27 Mute Swan, 147 European Golden Plover, 3 Grey Wagtail, Common Kingfisher and 5 Redwing.


The adult drake RING-NECKED DUCK was performing well on STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR, with 17 Great Crested Grebe, 26 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 17 Pochard, 53 Tufted Duck, 7 Mute Swan (including 4BTM as well as 3 first-years), 94 Coot, 8 Moorhen, Little Egret and Grey Wagtail also noted. Little on TRINGFORD RESERVOIR other than the two resident Mute Swans, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe, 24 Coot, 24 Teal, 15 Tufted Duck & 4 Pochard and just marginally more on MARSWORTH, with Common Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Water Rail, 2 Great Crested Grebe, Red Kite and 21 Shoveler (pictured)