Friday, 16 September 2016

This weeks highlights: yet another GREAT WHITE EGRET!

12-16 September 2016

The undoubted highlight this week was the presence of a GREAT WHITE EGRET at Wilstone Reservoir early Thursday morning - 15 September. The bird was typically found by David Bilcock & Roy Hargreaves as they both did their dawn chorus check. Initially seen from the car park steps but feeding by the Drayton Hide, the bird remained in view for about two hours before disappearing around the back at about 0900 hours. Frustratingly, shortly after it was found, thick fog rolled in, making viewing it nigh on impossible.

Otherwise, the single GARGANEY remained all week, with a major build-up of waterfowl as the week went on, with Eurasian Wigeon numbering 60 by Friday, Shoveler up to 58, Mallard at 233 and Common Teal approaching 300. Two NORTHERN PINTAIL are now present.

An OSPREY was seen well at Wilstone on Wednesday (14 September), the same day Jeff Bailey had 2 SANDWICH TERN fly through mid-afternoon. Ian Williams watched a single WHIMBREL pass through at 6pm on Friday (16th), although the only other waders were up to 3 Common Sandpipers.

Although favourable conditions for migrating raptors, particularly Honey Buzzards earlier in the week, it was only passage juvenile Common Buzzards I recorded at Ivinghoe Hills Nature Reserve, while passerines included a party of 9 WHINCHATS at the sheep-pens, at least 5 continuing COMMON REDSTARTS and a migrant GRASSHOPPER WARBLER on 13th. Pitstone Hill also had 1-3 WHINCHAT, with College Lake BBOWT attracting one.

Water levels still dropping on Wilstone

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