Wednesday, 26 November 2014
A November COMMON WHITETHROAT in Bucks
I decided to make the trek up north to see the splendid male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER today. Arriving around 11:30am at Caldecotte North, the bird was soon found just north of the road bridge close in to the west shore. I watched it for about 20 mins giving lovely views, though a little misty, before for no apparent reason it flew south under the bridge to the south lake (from where Peter Barnes reported it). Being in the area, I then visited Willen Lake where the SLAVONIAN GREBE was still showing nicely near the Premier Inn, starting off close in shore before beginning to actively dive and move out towards the middle – misty here too! A few Goldeneye were also present amongst the throng of ducks.
On my trip home, I drove right past the car park to Broughton, Aylesbury, so decided to take a look as I’ve only been here a couple of times before. From the footpath on the east side of the pools I noticed a COMMON STONECHAT fly up to bushes from the vegetation on the north side of the pools. Whilst stopping to watch this, a small flock of Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings landed in the hedgerow that runs east from the north side of the pools. Looking at these through bins, I was amazed to see a COMMON WHITETHROAT in the same part of the hedge. It showed on and off in the hedge about 30-50 yards east of the path around the single telegraph pole and gate gap. Whilst watching this, I heard a Curlew calling distantly to the south. The call became louder and it eventually appeared through the mist high up to the west of the pools. I watched it meander eastwards and then northwards calling all the time. I turned my attention back to the Whitethroat, which did show again briefly, but I failed to get a record shot of it. About half an hour later, I heard the Curlew call again distantly to the north, so assume it had landed somewhere and then taken off again.
The Birds of Bucks mentions 2 winter records of Whitethroat – a bird on 17th Nov 1936 at St Leonards and a bird ringed at Little Marlow SF on 11th Dec 1982 which stayed for a week.