FRIDAY 16 APRIL
With the wind still blowing from the Northeast, most of the day was fairly cool. From about midday onwards, the pressure started to build and the cloud cover dissipated, leaving clear blue skies and long spells of sunshine. Towards evening, the wind slackened right off, making it very pleasant.
I spent the day mopping up a few local year-ticks, the highlight being my first LESSER WHITETHROAT of the year, some nice adult LITTLE GULLS and more ARCTIC TERNS.........
CHESHAM FISHING LAKES (BUCKS)
(with Chris Pontin)
At last, my first WILLOW WARBLER of the year in the Amersham Recording Area - a singing male showing well in Willows at the west end of the larger lake. Chris had seen one last week which had sang briefly at the back of McMinn's whilst Kevin Holt had seen an equally brief songster in Penn Wood earlier this week.
A singing male Common Chiffchaff was still present, whilst Blackcaps had increased to two singing males, with at least one female present.
Most unusual was the sight of 4 COMMON RAVENS together at 1130 hours - all having a noisy argument and tussle high above the valley. Again, as other Ravens I have observed this week, they were in heavy wing moult, and eventually all four birds flew high NE towards Berkhamstead.
RED KITES were equally active and abundant with at least 7 in the valley skies, as well as 4 Common Buzzards.
Both pairs of Great Crested Grebe were still present, the nest on the smaller lake still intact, with a Coot now sat on another nest just three yards away. Five Tufted Duck were present (with an additional 13 on Bois Mill Pond).
EUROPEAN BARN SWALLOWS numbered 7, with two singing Wrens, 3 Goldfinch and a displaying male Greenfinch also noted.