Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Gulls galore and roosting BITTERNS
11/2: thanks to information kindly supplied by Adam Bassett, I finally found time to give HEDGERLEY LANDFILL a proper viewing today, where prior to lunchtime, a throng of over 2,500 large white-headed gulls included 5 CASPIAN GULLS amongst their horde, four different first-winters and an adult-type. I click-counted 713 Herring (including a large contingent of northern argentatus), 425 Lesser Black-backed and 21 Great Black-backed before the council worker arrived armed with his Saker hybrid and flushed the entire flock away. The landfill also attracted an incredible 112 RED KITES.
Later on at dusk, I visited a still frozen-over WESTON TURVILLE RESERVOIR, where 2 BITTERNS were seen from the hide from 1701 hours onwards, a very pale individual roosting in reeds less than 75 yards away from the hide, just beyond the pool. Three Little Egrets flew in across the lake to roost at The Wides on the canal, with 3 WOODCOCK and a single Common Snipe appearing as night fell. Not a single Reed Bunting was recorded. At least 5 Water Rail squealed from the reedbed.