November 2015

Sunday 30th November 2015.
Ian Williams - A couple of mine of the scaup from Sunday morning along with a couple of peregrine shots from the previous weekend showing the clear size difference between the 2 birds present.
Peregrine by Ian Williams

Peregrine by Ian Williams

Peregrine by Ian Williams

Peregrine by Ian Williams

Scaup by Ian Williams

Scaup by Ian Williams

Scaup by Ian Williams

Francis Buckle - Startops this AM, Very windy as I arrived and  Ian Williams pointed to the Scaup close in
Greater Scaup by Francis Buckle

Greater Scaup by Francis Buckle

Greater Scaup by Francis Buckle

Greater Scaup by Francis Buckle

Greater Scaup and Tufted Duck by Francis Buckle
Friday 27th November 2015.
James Heron - Startops/Marsworth today. The essential works in progress, wigeon and a couple of sleepers.
The Works at Startops by James Heron

Wigeon by James Heron

Great Crested Grebe by James Heron

Friday 27th November 2015.
Roy Hargreaves - This morning as it was raining I decided to do all of the reservoirs and started with Startops. Walking round I spotted this 1st winter male Greater Scaup by the car park area and when I left it was definitely in the Bucks section of the reservoir. Also a pair of Red-crested Pochard on Startops. Wilstone had three Little Egrets, the Common Shelduck and a largish flock of Golden Plover that took ages to settle down.
Greater Scaup by Roy Hargreaves


Tuesday 23rd November 2015.
HMWT Reserve Officer Laura Baker clearing willow incursion at Wilstone today ably helped by our own Johne Taylor.


Sunday 22nd November 2015.
Roy Hargreaves - Just a quick note to say that the Bittern was again in the Bucks reed bed at Marsworth this evening so this might be the area to concentrate on for the Bittern survey dates.

Saturday 21st November 2015.
James Heron -  Empty and cold Wilstone this afternoon. The ducks were eating discarded fishermans bait.





Roy Hargreaves - This morning I waited until the worst of the rain and wind had stopped and headed to Wilstone to look for seabirds. When I got there it was chaos but not because of the weather. A Peregrine was flying along the spit towards the jetty and when it flew up it joined a second bird. I joined Ian in the hide and we watched the two Peregrines for the next hour as they terrorized Cormorants, gulls and the odd pigeon before heading off. Even a Raven was hassled but didn’t seem too bothered. Also on Wilstone three Red-crested Pochard, two Little Egrets and a Shelduck were about but unsurprisingly no waders. Tringford had a few Little Egrets and Marsworth had a Bittern, which was stood on the edge of the Bucks reed bed in the sky-pointing pose they can adopt. I saw it two or three times in the open, between 11:00am and 11:30am, before a Grey Heron landed at the same spot and the Bittern disappeared into the reeds. Yesterday someone was shooting geese in the fields on the other side of the road from Wilstone Res. I am assuming they had permission to do so and if so I assume we will see more of this in future unfortunately. Maybe tomorrow will see displaced seabirds at the reservoirs as clearly the Great Northern Diver at College Lake was brought in on the winds so more birds may well be seen.

Sunday 14th November 2015.
Ian Williams - Bonxie at Wilstone. Cracking find by Dave. When I arrived at 8.30 it was about 80m off the jetty but as Dave, Mike and I got to the jetty it took off and stayed just a few metres over our heads for at least 10 minutes battling against the wind before landing on the water about 20m away. It then took off again over the jetty before eventually drifting to the field behind where it attacked the Canada Geese. It flew back towards the water before dropping on the grass bank just 10m from us where it stayed for a few minutes before finally flying back towards the field  before drifting towards Tringford. Last seen distant heading northwards past Ivinghoe Beacon.
A selection of the some of my better photos attached (Photo 1 uncropped!).
Great Skua by Ian Williams

Great Skua by Ian Williams

Great Skua by Ian Williams

Great Skua by Ian Williams

Great Skua by Ian Williams

Great Skua by Ian Williams

Great Skua by Ian Williams

Great Skua by Ian Williams

Great Skua by Ian Williams

Great Skua by Ian Williams


Wednesday 11th November 2015.
Lynne Lambert - No Bitterns at the Marsworth Bittern Roost watch this evening but there were 14 Corn Buntings, c 45 Pied Wagtails go into the reed bed to roost, 200 - 300 Starlings and quite a few bats flying around the causeway - they seemed quite big so I was not convinced that they were pipistrelles. There were also 100s of small fish leaping out of the water the whole time I was there. A very pleasant hour and a half.

Wednesday 11th November 2015.
Sarah Murtagh - It's been so quiet, have not been to the hide for a while. Popped there this morning, and saw this wren. Saw some teal ducks too but that was it!
Teal by Sarah Murtagh

Wren by Sarah Murtagh

Wren by Sarah Murtagh

Wren by Sarah Murtagh


Tuesday 3rd November 2015.
James Heron - Wilstone this afternoon. The fungi is just by the door to the hide and the plover/lapwing flock were very distant.


Pochard by James Heron


Shoveler by James Heron

Teal by James Heron

Wigeon by James Heron

Little Egret by James Heron

Meadow Pipit by James Heron

Golden Plover with Lapwing by James Heron

Fungi by James Heron







Monday 2nd November 2015.
Roy Hargreaves -  This morning in Tring it was crystal clear, despite the foggy forecast, so I decided to walk down and round Wilstone Res in case the forecast was wrong for there too. As I walked down to the canal it was obvious that the reservoir was covered in fog, but I carried on anyway. On reaching the eastern track that leads down to the Waddesdon Estate Gate I heard a commotion in the bushes further along the Dry Canal so decided to investigate to see what was upsetting the Blackbirds, Chaffinches and Tits. It was about 6:50 and still pretty dark. I looked in the bottom of the bush and couldn’t see anything on the ground and looked higher in the bush and realised there was an Owl in the middle of the bush. Obviously I thought it was a Tawny Owl as that is the default round here, but then I noticed that the wings had orangey-rufous on the primaries and when I looked at the head, although it was turned away from me, I could see long tufts protruding. It was a Long-eared Owl! I managed a few record shots and with it turned towards me before it vacated the bush and disappeared towards the wooden footbridge. I then rang a few people before my battery ran out. I then walked towards the footbridge and then bird flew out and headed along the Dry Canal towards Little Tring and I lost sight of it. David Bilcock turned up and walking toward me had it fly out and further on towards Little Tring. We walked towards Little Tring and it again flew out about 20 metres from us and flew straight along the Dry Canal past Mike Campbell and was last seen possibly going towards Tringford.
The rest of the walk was a blur and I didn’t see much, even though the fog had cleared.
Long Eared Owl by Roy Hargreaves

Sunday 1st November 2015.
Ian Williams - First thing this morning there were a large number of wood pigeon flying south over Startops and the Ring-necked Duck was close to the western bank allowing a couple of photos showing the beak pattern compared to a drake tufted duck.

With the fog attempting to roll in I relocated to Wilstone where I had a fly over brambling at Cemetery Corner and a Marsh Tit by the private gate. A number of redpoll flew over, including a small flock of at least 6 and a yellowhammer thought it was Spring, being in full song by the dry canal.  The odd redwing and fieldfare flew over as did a number of skylark which were continuously passing through.

Back on Startops  the Ring-necked Duck was showing well where i had left it earlier but now in much better light, although it eventually drifted to the middle of the reservoir. At one time it chased a tufted duck driving it under the water before flying a short distance. It did this a couple of times and is only the second time I have seen it in flight (the first time the evening I found it when I thought it was off before i could get anyone else on it. Has been present for a month now (not sure if this is a record for the Tring complex).
Ring-necked Duck by Ian Williams

Ring-necked Duck by Ian Williams

Ring-necked Duck by Ian Williams

Ring-necked Duck by Ian Williams


Alan Morsley - The Ring-necked Duck showing really well at Startops.
Ring-necked Duck by Alan Morsley

Ring-necked Duck by Alan Morsley

Ring-necked Duck by Alan Morsley

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