Thursday, 25 August 2016

Overnight rain and a nice little fall at Pitstone Hill

25 AUGUST 2016
Overnight saw quite a bit of rain so I was out bright and early birding the hills. The rain had stopped and the skies were now clear but the wind was still in the east....
PITSTONE HILL looked promising and after working my way through the 60 Goldfinch, 14 Yellowhammer, 9 Meadow Pipit and 8 CORN BUNTING not far along from the gate, was very pleased to see a pair of GREY PARTRIDGE on the first hill, with a further male calling from the field below with the manure heap in it - my first in Buckinghamshire this year! Two migrant NORTHERN WHEATEAR were also in this  same area and as I followed the perimeter fence around, a further single was noted and 3 WHINCHATS. Two migrant juvenile Common Whitethroats were also seen, while in the scrub in the gully area, at least two COMMON REDSTARTS and a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER were noted - not a bad fall in all.

Over at TRING RESERVOIRS, Dave Bilcock's juvenile ARCTIC TERN had relocated to MARSWORTH, traversing both the Bucks and Herts section of the reservoir, while other noteworthy birds included an adult Common Tern, 1-2 Grey Wagtail, Common Kingfisher, 62 Coot, 2 HOBBIES and best of all, a migrant COAL TIT in the wood - my first in the Recording Area this year. I see Mute Swan 4ABL has a family, standing with her 4 cygnets on the bank at STARTOP'S. The only Tufted Duck family I noted was of 5 ducklings on TRINGFORD. There was no sign of the Ruff that Ian Williams had at WILSTONE last night, nor of what was presumably the same long-staying bird at College, although 11 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Little Egret, 44 Mute Swan, 130 Greylag Geese, Barnacle Goose, 70 Teal (a notable increase), 18 Shoveler, 100+ Lapwing and a single GREEN SANDPIPER were noted.

COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT was very quiet, with just the adult Ringed Plover, juvenile Common Redshank and solitart Common Snipe remaining, 12 Teal, 170 Black-headed Gull and 6 migrant European Barn Swallows through

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