Saturday, 10 January 2015
Not a bad start to the year!
A reasonable start to the year...
Although I failed to connect with the GREAT WHITE EGRET in the Linford/Gayhurst area, North Bucks rewarded me with 8 GOOSANDER (3 adult drakes) at Stowe Park, several Common Goldeneyes at a number of different sites and both TREE SPARROW (6 birds) and a MARSH TIT at Dags Lane feeders in Stoke Newington village.
After a number of abortive visits, I finally connected with the Berryfields Medical Centre, North Aylesbury BLACK REDSTART today, the bird (a first-winter male) showing well in neighbouring gardens. This bird has been around since the turn of the year...
At Watermead Lake, Aylesbury, 88 Greylag and 104 Atlantic Canada Geese present, 2 Mute Swans, 43 Mallard, 3 Tufted Duck and 24 Coot, but it was Calvert Sailing Lake that excelled, Adam Bassett and I obtaining some pretty good views of a first-winter female RING-NECKED DUCK that Warren Claydon had excellently found some four days previous. The bird was extremely skittish and flighty and associating with a single Northern Pochard and a hybrid aythya, most likely a Ferruginous Duck x Pochard. The bird moved from one side of the lake to the other before finally disappearing into the reeds. Very difficult to photograph, as rarely closer than 250 yards.
A Water Rail was notable there, as well as 2 Bullfinch, 2 Shoveler and a raft of 90 Mallard.
The sheepfields at Grendon Underwood ere literally littered with Black-headed Gulls and Common Starlings, at least 3,000 of the latter. Several Red Kites too, whilst a COMMON RAVEN was taking an interest in a dead Badger on Calvert Road.
At Wotton Underwood Lake, just 4 GOOSANDER were counted (2 drakes), with a Snow/Ross's Snow Goose with 246 Atlantic Canada Geese on the grass, 53 Mute Swan, 216 Wigeon, 44 Gadwall, 38 Tufted Duck, 18 Pochard and 126 Coot all logged; a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was calling from an area not far from where the pair bred successfully last year.
Fieldfares were abundant throughout the Waddesdon area, while a visit to Broughton Trout Pools yielded Chinese Water Deer and Bank Vole, 3 Tufted Duck, 106 Canada Geese, a single JACK SNIPE, Song Thrush, 2 Bullfinch and 8 House Sparrows.
Towards dusk, the GREAT GREY SHRIKE was affording excellent views half a mile NNE of Slapton Lock, on wires and in hedgerows 400 yards east of the Grand Union Canal at bridge 118; at least 66 Collared Doves roosted at the farm.