June 2015

  

WE NEED YOUR WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS PLEASE 
Any and all wildlife. You can send them by e-mail here. Photographs are very welcome.


Tuesday 30th June 2015.
James Heron - Some shots from Wilstone this afternoon.
James Heron

James Heron


James Heron


James Heron

James Heron

James Heron


James Heron


Monday 22nd June 2015.
James Heron - The Little Egret family at Wilstone today. 
Little Egret by James Heron

Little Egret by James Heron

Little Egret by James Heron

Little Egret by James Heron

Swift over Wilstone by James Heron

Tuesday 23rd June 2015.
Peter Brazier - At the Wilstone jetty with some juveniles and new barley bales. 
Barley Bales by Peter Brazier

Juv. Pied Wagtail by Peter Brazier

Juv. Pied Wagtail by Peter Brazier

Juv Yellow Wagtail by Peter Brazier

Juv. Yellow Wagtail by Peter Brazier. 



Monday 22nd June 2015.
Roy Hargreaves - This morning was more about mammals than birds as I saw a male Roe Deer by the canal and a male Chinese Water Deer by the cress beds. Suffice to say that the Roe Deer was too far away to get any decent photos. Soon there will be mud in front of the hide – the Coots are already gathering in front of the hide. 
Chinese Water Deer by Roy Hargreaves


Sunday 21st June 2015.
Lynne Lambert (Tring Ringing Group) - The ringing at Marsworth this morning still did not give us a Spotted Flycatcher but we did get 4 new juvenile Cetti's Warbler, which makes 6 so far, and there seems to be another family group in a different part of the reed bed. So it looks like they are having one of their most successful years ever at Marsworth.

David Hutchinson - Visited the smaller reservoirs this morning but pretty quiet (don’t think the windy conditions helped). Nice to see at least two Spotted Flycatchers along the causeway between Startops and Marsworth. Looked from the bridge over the overflow as well but didn’t see any there so maybe they’ve moved over a little. Mandarin on Marsworth but little else of note. 
Mandarin by David Hutchinson

Spotted Flycatcher by David Hutchinson

Saturday 20th June 2015.
Roy Hargreaves - The forecast for this morning was far more pessimistic than the reality. Starting at Wilstone the Yellow Wagtails were in their usual area and four male Red-crested Pochards were by the reed and in varying states of eclipse. I could see one sitting Little Egret and three others flying about. Marsworth started well with Spotted Flycatcher in the wood between there and Startops. The causeway had female Red-crested Pochard and male and female Mandarins both posing on there too. Startops had an Oystercatcher fly over from Wilstone towards College Lake and a ringed Spotted Flycatcher in the ivy-clad Ash trees by the Startops overflow raising the possibility of there being two pairs of Spotted Flycatchers present in that area. Obviously it could be one mobile pair but I’m sure time will tell on that score. 

Richard Bennett - Wilstone Early today. 
Coot by Richard Bennett

Coot by Richard Bennett

Coot by Richard Bennett

Bug? by Richard Bennett

Friday 19th June 2015.
Phill Luckhurst - On my second visit of the day to Marsworth and Startops I sat for a long while watching the Great Crested Grebes feeding their young. I had forgotten just how noisy Grebe Chick are when calling for food. By the outflow of Marsworth the Spotted Flycatcher was very active. The reeds were twitching all over the place, not just because the many warblers flitting around in there but because masses of large carp were busy making baby carp. The mandarin was sleeping on the bank with the other ducks until they were disturbed by some fishermen with a dog causing quite a bit of excitement. In Startops I sat as the sun was setting with three species of wagtail hopping around the bank near me. A mallard was feeding here 9 very young chicks there too, I wonder how many she will have left tomorrow. A lone Redshank was limping along the bank at times, I wonder if this is the same bird I saw at Wilstone a few weeks ago. 
Common Tern by Phill Luckhurst

Common Tern b y Phill Luckhurst

Great Crested Grebe by Phill Luckhurst

Roy Hargreaves - This morning I managed to see the juvenile Yellow Wagtail, or wagtails, with their parents by the jetty. A Redshank also flew off the bank just beyond the jetty as someone walked round. A female Mandarin was stood on a branch under overhanging vegetation and five Little Egrets included one visible sitting bird. A Grey Squirrel was feeding in a tree close to the syphon as indeed it has been yesterday. On the way back a Hobby was perched in a Poplar and two Ravens were in a field with other corvids just above the canal. As always  the Yellowhammers were brilliant in the sun and a pleasure to see. 
Juvenile Yellow Wagtail by Roy Hargreaves

Squirrel by Roy Hargreaves

Yellowhammer by Roy Hargeaves

Wednesday 17th June 2015.
Roy Hargreaves - I did the reservoirs slightly later this morning and started at Marsworth where there was an eclipse male Mandarin on the bank with remnants of the male plumage still apparent. Startops had a small group of four juvenile Swallows perched in the west corner of Startops on the lower shelf and a female Red-crested Pochard on the bank. On the Swallows it was interesting to see the shapes of the tips of the inner primaries with the obvious notches on the shortest primaries becoming less obvious towards the wing tip. The Carrion Crow’s nictitating membrane was also interesting to see. Wilstone had several Little Egrets and a Yellow Wagtail and also I heard the male Willow Warbler in the trees by the steps that lead to the farm shop. I haven’t heard this for a while and wonder if that is because of the time I walk past.
Swallow by Roy Hargreaves

Mandarin b y Roy Hargreaves

Carrion Crow by Roy Hargreaves
Stewart Dennis - Yellow Wagtail busy flycatching near the Jetty. 
Yellow Wagtail by Stewart Dennis

Tuesday 16th June 2015.
James Heron - Some shots from the reservoirs today. 
Little Egret by James Heron

Little Egret by James Heron

Common Blue Damselfly by James Heron

White-tailed Bumblebee by James Heron

Roy Hargreaves - The Little Egret activity in the central bushes definitely seems to be increasing and it will be interesting to see how many nest there really are in there - three at least I would think. The Oystercatchers are still about despite failing to breed and the Yellow Wagtails may have fledged as the adults were flying into the hedge rather than off towards the other reservoirs and calls seemed to be coming from all over the place. The male Cuckoo was still singing but will presumably depart soon. It has been nice seeing young Whitethroats, Blackcaps about and the males are still singing a fair bit first thing.
The WeBS count yielded no surprises but the limping Redshank seems to be resident on Startops. This morning I also watched a largish flock of Gadwall comprising at least 30 birds flying into Wilstone and Canadas and Greylags are all over the reservoir. 
Whitethroat by Roy Hargreaves


Sunday 14th June 2015.
Sarah Murtagh - Some shots from today at the Plover Hide. 
Mute Swan family. This Family has maintained a brood of 6 on the TWT lagoon.

Reed Bunting by Sarah Murtagh

Reed Warbler with Damselfly by Sarah Murtagh

Reed Warbler with bugs by Sarah Murtagh

Francis Buckle - 2 Black-necked Grebes at College Lake on big lake this morning. Pic taken with Canon SX50 HS. 
Black -necked Grebe by Francis Buckle


Thursday 11th June 2015.
Lynne Lambert (Tring Ringing Group) - We went out to the Tern raft yesterday evening to check on the Oystercatcher. We had thought something was wrong because she had been sitting on the nest for so long there should have been chicks seen by now. We found that sadly she was sitting on a dead egg. From the top it looked fine but the underside was broken and flattened and the contents were solid.  
Oystercatcher Egg by Lynne Lambert

Oystercatcher Egg by Lynne Lambert
Editors note: Please note that disturbing any nesting bird is a criminal offence. Lynne and Johne of the Tring Ringing Group are licensed to handle eggs and chicks for recording and ringing purposes and are Herts & Middlesex wildlife Trust wardens. They have been caring for the welfare of wildlife at the reservoirs for many years.


Tuesday 9th June 2015.
Roy Hargreaves - Having spent last week on Corsica it was good to get back to the more reasonable temperatures in Britain. This morning a pair of Yellow Wagtails were collecting food by the jetty as they had been yesterday. An Oystercatcher was sat on the tern raft but I still haven’t seen any chicks myself although others have reported doing so. As usual David and I met at the syphon, which is now in operation as the overflow is dry and he left just before 7am and I continued round to the hide. Between the new and old overflows I saw a raptor flying away from me that appeared to have very dark upperwings. Sure enough as it went past the poplars and into Bucks it banked slightly to reveal the distinctive head pattern and underwing of an Osprey. It disappeared round the poplars so I headed to the corner and through the trees and could see it flying off in the distance.
The rest of the walk yielded a Hobby that was had a brief go at a Skylark and there were quite a few Red Kites flying over the fields cut for silage and also two young Ravens perched up by Miswell Farm. Interestingly Red Kite seemed to be the commonest raptors on Corsica but the five Red-footed Falcons were the raptor highlight of that trip – odd to see them with no Hobbies with them as is usually the case in this country.


Friday 5th June 2015.
Gary Hinton - Wilstone, Tringford, Marsworth and Startops. 
Black Swan by Gary Hinton

Canada Geese by Gary Hinton

Carp under Startopsend by Gary Hinton

Egyptian Geese and Tufted Duck by Gary Hinton

by Gary Hinton

by Gary Hinton

by Gary Hinton

Red Kite by Gary Hinton

Reed Bunting by Gary Hinton

Reed Warbler by Gary Hinton

Juvenile Pied Wagtail by Gary Hinton

Thursday 4th June 2015.
Stewart Dennis - Reed Warblers were busy in front of Plover Hide this afternoon.
Reed Warbler by Stewart Dennis

James Heron - I saw a gent at wilstone today and asked him about the blue markings around the reservoir. He said that they were just reference points for surveyors like himself. He also said that work to the walls of the reservoir was a possibility in the near future, but 'don't quote me on that', he said. [editors note: - work is due to start on Startops in the late summer] 

Some pictures form Marsworth and Wilstone today. 
Black Swan by James Heron

Black Swan by James Heron

Yellow Wagtail by James Heron

Egyptian Geese and a Great-crested Grebe by James Heron


Pied Wagtail by James Heron


Great-crested Grebe with chick by James Heron

Wildflowers by James Heron


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For other bird sightings in the area please visit Herts Bird Club. for whom we thank for many of the sightings listed here.
  
For information about other wildlife visit The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and see Hertfordshire Natural History Society.
Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites
(Abbreviations: HBC Herts Bird Club, BBC Bucks Bird Club, BBYG Bucksbirders Yahoo Group, HBYG Hertsbirding Yahoo Group.

And, please note that unless a reported sighting is clearly a mistake, we try to post them without too much delay. Therefore many of these sightings are unchecked. Please bear this in mind when checking sightings above and if appropriate, please send further corroborative records or any other information you may have.