Saturday, 2 January 2016

And we start another New Year......

Well here we are - another New Year....
2015 was a very poor year overall at the Reservoirs, with myself only recording a total of 135 species - one of my worst ever annual totals at Tring. Ian Williams was the clear winner, with 145 out of a possible 151, with Roy Hargreaves runner-up at 140. David Bilcock and I had similar results.
Anyway, in today's pouring rain, and following Ian's records of GOOSANDER and NUTHATCH yesterday, I conducted my first visit today........
Firstly though, I did the counts at COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT - frustratingly just before Graeme Kennedy's drake Goosander flew into the main marsh!!
Little Grebe (4), Sinensis Cormorant (8), Mute Swan (10), Atlantic Canada Goose (4), Mallard (22), Gadwall (62), Wigeon (48), Common Teal (8), Red-crested Pochard (pair in far NW corner), Tufted Duck (53), Northern Pochard (25), Coot (66), Lapwing (79), Common Snipe (2) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (42)
The bird feeders were particularly busy in the rain with 11 Blue Tits visiting, 3 Great Tit, the Coal Tit (remember the only one in our area), 7 Reed Bunting, 8 Greenfinch and 2 LESSER REDPOLLS - the latter my first at the reserve in several years. 11 Stock Dove flew west over the reserve.
Marsworth held all 19 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Mute Swans and 2 Water Rails, with 5 Stock Doves over, while Ian's drake GOOSANDER paid a very brief visit prior to its departure to College..
The first-winter drake GREATER SCAUP continues on Startop's End, just inside the so-called Bucks section close to the main car park, along with just 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Dabchick, 6 Mute Swans, 43 Mallard, 4 Wigeon, 63 Tufted Duck, 23 Pochard, 2 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler and 228 Coot.
Tringford was pretty dire in the conditions, with 2 Little Egret and 9 Grey Heron roosting, 1 Mute Swan, 22 Teal, 15 Tufted Duck, 12 Pochard, 22 Coot and a loudly singing male Song Thrush.
Despite Wilstone still being pretty low in terms of water level, not much to add really: the continuing COMMON SHELDUCK, 16 Mute Swan, 10 Great Crested Grebe, 83 Shoveler, 72 Pochard, a pair of Common Goldeneye, 427 Coot, a Collared Dove, Grey Wagtail, 8 Pied Wagtails and 5 Meadow Pipits.

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