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)

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