WE NEED YOUR WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS PLEASE
Any and all wildlife. You can send them by e-mail here. Photographs are very welcome.
• Wednesday 16th April 2014.Charles Jackson - There was a male Yellow Wagtail in the Horse Paddocks at Marsworth this evening. Also one of the Oystercatchers flew over. No sign of the Redshanks though. There were 8 Common Terns fishing on Marsworth, being periodically mugged by the 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls - one succeeding in forcing one of the Terns to drop it's fish which it promptly picked out of the water. Don't you just love them! The reed beds were fairly noisy with Reed Warblers though they stayed out of sight. 2 Cetti's were singing. Several Swallows feeding low over the paddocks. Some photos of the evening attached..
|Common Tern by Charles Jackson|
|Mallards by Charles Jackson|
|Mute Swan by Charles Jackson|
|Wood Pigeon by Charles Jackson|
Lynne Lambert - Pleased to report that Kestrels are in the box at Tring Water Treatment Works reserve (managed by FoTR). Following a meeting with Trevor Earl, Thames Water have changed the grass-cutting regime at the Tring site to benefit wildlife. The grass area behind the sewage treatment machinery will be managed to try and develop a thatchy underlayer favoured by voles.
Lynne has just filed a report on the Tring Ringing Group activities in the Ringing Group Section.
Phill Luckhurst - Just a quick visit today but well worth the effort to see the Rushy Meadow fox. About 5 mins after this shot was taken the pair were seen walking back into the woods carrying a pheasant. On Wilstone duckling numbers seem to have reduced quite a bit overnight. One recognisable Mallard had 12 yesterday but only 9 today. Another appeared to be down to just 3.
Roy Hargreaves - Again another beautiful morning with no visible wader passage. This morning a pair of Pintail were present, flying round with Gadwall before settling on the water briefly and finally flying off east. The Ross’s Goose was still in the field. Initially the Cuckoo was either silent or over at Marsworth but as I walked round past Rushy Meadow I heard it and managed this digi-scoped photo of it and a Common Whitethroat was by the Dry Canal. Miswell Farm had the Little Owl and a Common Whitethroat along with the usual Linnets.
|Pintail by Roy Hargreaves|
|Cuckoo by Roy Hargreaves|
• Tuesday 15th April 2014.
|Canada Goose by Phill Luckhurst|
|Mallard Ducklings by Phill Luckhurst|
|Rushy Meadow clearance by Phill Luckhurst|
|Common Tern by Phill Luckhurst|
|Red-crested Pochard by Phill Luckhurst|
Roy Hargreaves - This morning I was tempted by Charlie’s report of Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat at Marsworth but I resisted in favour of my usual walk as I would expect to catch up with those three species at Wilstone anyway. Miswell Farm had a Little Owl in the usual tree both on my way down and on my way back. From the Dry Canal I heard a Cuckoo in the trees by the ringing area and also a Common Whitethroat next to the Dry Canal itself. With the day being sunny and calm I expected little in the way of wader passage and standing on the siphon block for 35 minutes proved me right. I did see a pair of Mandarin on the bank and one of the Oystercatchers as well as a Little Egret that was flushed and flew off. I heard then saw the Cuckoo in the poplars to the right of the hide. However, the real highlight was by the cress beds though. As I stood at the top end of the cress beds checking the hedges and concrete posts for chats etc I heard the distinctive buzzing call of a Tree Pipit close and above me. I looked up but saw nothing and waited and it called again. This time I could see it was perched high in a tree and facing me. I reached for my camera, only to hear it’s third and final call as it flew off – how do they know!! It is the first I have seen perched at the reservoirs that I can recall and they aren’t easy to connect with at all.
Finally there was a female Chinese Water Deer feeding along a hedge and I actually saw the Common Whitethroat as it sang and called sporadically.
• Monday 14th April 2014.
|Blackcap by Charles Jackson|
|Comma Butterfly by Charles Jackson|
|Redshank by Charles Jackson|
|White Wagtail by Charles Jackson|
Can anyone help ID this gull for us please? (click on the pic to enlarge)
|Unknown Gull by James Heron|
• Saturday 12th April 2014.
Roy Hargreaves - This morning was quite cool but pleasant. Wilstone has a pair of Shelduck, the Oystercatchers, four Common Tern and the Ross’s Goose on it. I have attached the photos because it proves that the bird is unringed, also that it appears to be an immature and there is slight damage on the right wing. Also over Wilstone a small flock Sand Martins and Swallows appeared. Marsworth had six Common Terns, probably including the four from Wilstone, and Cetti’s Warbler was singing at the south end. Over the causeway between reservoirs a flock of Hirundines included several House Martins. Startops had a pair of Red-crested Pochard and a pair of Redshank flew in and landed on the barley bales before heading back to College Lake. Tringford hosted a single male Red-crested Pochard.
|Redshank by Roy Hargreaves|
|Ross's Goose by Roy Hargreaves|
• Friday11th April 2014.
|Peacock Butterfly by Charles Jackson|
|Tortoiseshell Butterfly by Charles Jackson|
Roy Hargreaves - This morning was cloudy and still first thing and I heard a Tawny Owl hooting as I was walking down to the reservoir. The Ross’s Goose was still in the field with the Greylags and two Oystercatchers were operating independently. A flock of mainly Sand Martins, with a few Swallows, appeared while I was there and I also saw two Muntjac. Unfortunately a male Muntjac had made its way into the newly fenced off fields and was trying to get into the orchard area. I unsuccessfully tried to get it to head back towards the wooden gate and go under it but it moved into the Rushy Meadow area so I hope it finds its way out. On the way back home the Little Owl was visible and I digi-scoped it to get this adequate shot of it.
|Little Owl by Roy Hargreaves|
• Thursday 10th April 2014.
|Ross's Goose by Charles Jackson|
|Ross's Goose by Charles Jackson|
Phill Luckhurst - I sat down the hole at Marsworth today for a couple of hours. Where last year the Kingfishers could be seen here almost every visit they seem to have moved to pastures new. I've only seen them here a couple of times since autumn. Over at the Plover hide they are much more active. Still worth sitting here this morning though. The Robins greeted me as usual and every time any other small birds tried to say hello they were summarily chased away. These visitors included 2 Chiffchaff, a pair of Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Great Tits, 3 Blue Tits and at one time even a group of 7 Chaffinch were chased away. One poor female Chaffinch that was regularly trying to perch on the bush to the right was forced into the water by the pair. Also flitting around were a pair of Treecreepers carrying nesting material back and forth. About 11 there was an eruption of small flying insects and the birds went crazy for about 15 minutes trying to scoff as much as they could. Over at Wilstone later I had a good flyby of the Ross's goose just a couple of feet in front of me but sadly I had put away the camera. The Buzzards were overhead for quite a long time and the Oysercatcher pair looked to be sleeping on the fallen tree opposite the jetty. Behind the hide Crows were grabbing quite a few mating frogs.
|Robin by Phill Luckhurst|
|Mallard by Phill Luckhurst|
Roy Hargreaves -This morning as very clear and sunny from early on, which usually means little in the way of waders being seen – as was the case. The day started off well with the Little Owl out on both my way out and the way back. I also saw a Chinese Water Deer quite close but it was too dark and it was off into the Oilseed Rape too quickly to capture the moment. Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were definitely in evidence this morning all round on my walk. The two Oystercatchers were mobile and two Mandarin were on the bank by the north corner but disappeared long before I got anywhere near them. The geese were closer to the footpath this morning allowing me to get better photographs of the Ross’s Goose. It is obviously taking a long while to refuel before continuing its journey to the Canadian Arctic ;-) Round by the hide I was pleased to get a decent series of photos of a co-operative Chinese Water Deer in decent light and not running. There was also a male Northern Wheatear on the concrete posts that run along the edges of two fields by the Cress beds. Alas the photo of that is truly record shot only.
|Chinese Water Deer by Roy Hargreaves|
|Ross's Goose by Roy Hargreaves|
• Wednesday 9th April 2014.
• Tuesday 8th April 2014.
Common Turns, pair Red-crested Pochard, Grey Wagtail, Sand Martin *11, other kept passing through Swallows, *5 Chaffinchs, Song Thrush, Mute SWANS * 4 2 pairs, Robin, Wood Pigeons Lesser Black backed Gulls pair flying over towards wilstone maybe
Tringford: viewed from entrance across the road from Startops Heron Mute Swan pair one sitting Tufted Ducks Cormorant's, Coot, Magpie, pair Shelduck
Marsworth: Oystercatcher, one sitting on a raft, two few over low around startops before losing them in the setting sun, i think they may have not landed as i tried to locate them from other positions, so they may have gone on to wilstone at 7:15 Great crested grebe pair some mallards and not much else.
Charles Jackson - Spent a while at Wilstone this evening with Ian W hoping the Ross's Goose would stray close enough for a decent photo. It didn't - spending some time at the far side of the reservoir near the reeds before flying back to rejoin the Greylags in the field by the overflow. So only poor record shots attached (Ian may have some better photos). The bird is looks as if it is unringed incidentally. Plenty of Sand Martins about and good numbers of Swallow with them.
|Ross's Goose by Charlie Jackson|
Phill Luckhurst - I started at the corner of Marsworth early. As usual I was greeted by the Robins who were protecting their little bit of territory from Blue Tits, Chiff Chaff, Chaffinch and a Willow Warbler. The pair of Treecreeper were not as active as usual today, maybe they were put off by the strong winds or maybe they have laid already. While sitting there I had regular visits from a Bank Vole who was stealing some seed left behind by whoever was there before me this morning. I then popped to the Plover hide and began playing with a new 10 stop filter I have. So busy I was that I missed a great opportunity to photograph a Kingfisher diving in right in front of the hide. Shortly after the Buzzard pair were above and a Water Rail shot from the reed beds to the right to the island. Over at Wilstone the Ross's Goose was swimming with the Greylags and 3 species of Grebe were around (Little, Great Crested and one Black Necked) including the first I have ever seen in flight. A Common Tern was feeding near the reed bed while above there were plenty of Sand Martin and Swallows.
|Bank Vole by Phill Luckhurst|
|Blackbird by Phill Luckhurst|
|Common Buzzard by Phill Luckhurst|
|Great-crested Grebe by Phill Luckhurst|
|Little Grebe by Phill Luckhurst|
Roy Hargreaves - This morning was a distinct contrast from last night, while breezy there was barely a cloud in the sky. The Little Owl was visible in its normal tree on my way out in the pre-dawn light. The two Oystercatchers were on the jetty and a Willow Warbler was singing nearby. The hirundines were initially absent but as I walked round they came in and one House Martin, a few Swallows and Sand Martins where all present and calling. Yesterday’s Ross’s Goose was in a field with the Greylags and although it is almost certainly an escape I took photos of it for reference purposes. Round the back I was pleasantly surprised to meet a co-operative Yellowhammer with the light in the right direction and managed quite a few photos of it until it moved further along the hedge. On turning round I saw this Chinese Water Deer running across a field and this was the only reasonable photo I managed of it. The light was poor but nothing to be done about that in the brief time I had to get this photo.
|Chinese Water Deer by Roy Hargreves|
|Ross's Goose by Roy Hargreaves|
|Yellowhammer By Roy Hargreaves|
• Monday 7th April 2014.
Johne Taylor - There were two drake Mandarins displaying to a female on the front lawn of Drayton Manor this morning. Not seen them there before.
• Sunday 6th April 2014.
|Kingfisher from the Plover hide by Peter Brazier|
• Saturday 5th April 2014.
• Friday 4th April 2014.
|Little Gull by Roy Hargreaves|
• Thursday 3rd April 2014.
Carrying on round the only noteworthy bird was the Little Owl at Miswell Farm. A word of caution for anyone going to look for it/them. It is best viewed from the main track through the gap in the hedge just down the slope from the ivy-covered tree. If you go through the gate towards the trees it just disappears into a hole in the tree and you won’t see it.
• Wednesday 2nd April 2014.
David Hutchinson - A very brief visit to Wilstone this afternoon. Pretty quiet really. Male Goldeneye and a single Wheatear.
|Wheatear by David Hutchinson|
• Tuesday 1st April 2014.
(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.