The Late Afternoon Shift
After revelling in the record flock of local Common Sandpipers of the early afternoon, I ventured out this evening to check on a few breeders and the summering Goldeneye. I was not expecting a second event in the valley - the first Common Tern in over ten years.......
TROY MILL GP (HERTS)
The summering female COMMON GOLDENEYE was still present, diving frequently in the middle of the pit. There were also 12 Great Crested Grebes present and most importantly, one pair were attending two chicks (JT please note, as I believe it is a new breeding record for this square)
Tufted Ducks have had another good season with four broods recorded - of 10, 2, 4 and 3 ducklings. Coot numbers totalled 144.
STOCKERS LAKE (HERTS)
I visited the Tern Hide with the intention of surveying the success on the rafts. The Black-headed Gulls have done very well - two well grown juveniles on the right hand raft, with 3 and 2 less developed chicks on the left hand. In terms of Common Tern, 1 juvenile had fledged and was on the wing, with one well grown unattended chick on the left raft and another very small chick with one parent. There were at least five active nests on the right raft but because of the high vegetation, it was not possible to determine success.
CHESHAM FISHING LAKE (BUCKS)
Chris Pontin 'phoned at 1945 hours to say that he was watching a COMMON TERN at the lakes - a surprisingly rare vagrant to the Chess Valley and the first in over ten years. I rushed over to join Chris and from 1955-2005 hours, the tern - an adult - was commuting back and forth and fishing between the two lakes - a superb record and the 94th species recorded in the Valley this year.
All four Great Crested Grebes were still present, along with the single Mute Swan, an adult COMMON KINGFISHER and the family party of Common Chiffchaffs. A further pair of WESTERN REED WARBLERS (the third pair on site) have fledged young.