Saturday, 6 May 2017

Hilfield Reservoir - 2.5.17

Slavonian Grebe

Due to the goodies up on the patch it took me 4 days to visit my old one for a pair of stunning summer plumaged Slavonian Grebes. Only my 3rd and 4th in Herts and my first full summer birds anywhere since Loch Ruthven RSPB in 1991! And for the first time ever I saw 4 species of grebe at one site at once in Herts.

Herts Mega - 1.5.17

Kentish Plover

As I was slurping my morning cuppa a Tweet came through about a female Kentish Plover on Pitstone Quarry! My tea was nearly splattered over the wall when I read that! I quickly gathered myself and headed up to pay my first visit to the site. On arrival I joined a group of familiar and some unfamiliar faces as this site is well known for having the Bucks/Herts county border running through the middle of it and so potentially providing a tick for both counties listers. Thanks to Lee Evans for getting my scope on this hard to see bird it soon became apparent that it was in Bucks and that it had to walk towards us to be in Herts. Thankfully that's just what it did and became a Herts tick for almost everyone. This was the 4th for Herts with the last record in 1976 when I was nearly 8 months old! As for Bucks it was only the 2nd for them with the only other one was in 1981.

After my fill of the plover I popped into College Lake to see what was about and secretly hoping that the previous evenings Greenshank was still about. Luckily it was even if it was in the far NW corner. It was sharing the corner with a Redshank and a Common Sandpiper. On the main marsh a Snipe and 2 LRP were seen as well as the Dunlin.

On Wilstone the Black Terns had increased to 3.


Back Again - 30.4.17

Today I spent a good few hours on patch and started off at College Lake where the highlight was a smart summer plumaged Dunlin.

A wander around the back of Marsworth Res failed to produce any sound of the 2 Grasshopper Warbler but not surprising due to the near gale force winds! A Hobby was upsetting some wagtails and as I reached my car a Cuckoo started cuckooing at the back of a nearby field.

A circuit of Wilstone didn't add anything to the list but I did have my best patch views of a pair of Raven over Rushy Meadow. From the hide a late female Wigeon and a hunting Hobby were noted and from the jetty 2 adult Black Tern were sat on the barley bales.

College Lake - 29.4.17


Jack Snipe and Yellow Wagtails

To get a bit of fresh air the 3 of us had a family wander around the lake. Phoebe decided to protest as soon as we arrived by screaming loudly but she soon fell asleep. 2 Lesser Whitethroat were heard and 2 LRP and an Oystercatcher were seen and that was about it until I had one last scan. On this scan a bird flew up and dropped into a weedy area and promptly was mostly hidden. But given time I managed to tentatively ID it as the Jack Snipe which had been present for a while. The only nagging doubt was its lack of bobbing! I wanted better views and so quickly walked around to the Octagon hide and thankfully got clinching views and even a bit of bobbing. It was then suddenly surrounded by 5 Yellow Wagtails. I can't recall seeing the two species together before! This is the last confirmed sighting of the Jack Snipe and so becomes Bucks latest ever.

Tring Again - 25.4.17

Yet another after work dash but this time for a pair of Black-Necked Grebe which were unfortunately on the far side of the reservoir so views were pretty crap!

Tring - 24.4.17

1 of the 2 Black Tern

A quick dash up once Carey had got home saw 2 adult Black Terns make it onto the year list along with Sedge Warbler and Swift.

Garden Mega - 23.4.17

5 hours of gardening was made more bearable when a Hawfinch flew NE over as I was putting the tools back in the shed. One of the best birds I've had on any of my garden lists.