FRIDAY 20 AUGUST
A very warm and muggy southerly wind followed the overnight band of rain and in turn moved on many of the passerine migrants of yesterday as well as an adult male Lesser Grey Shrike in North Norfolk I was all set to go for......
Dave's early morning check of Wilstone revealed nothing more than the continuing BLACK-NECKED GREBE, GARGANEY and two ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWITS so I thought I would try Steps Hill again. However, that was dire and there was little else of note at other sites either........
SHARDELOES LAKE (BUCKS)
There was no sign of any passage Pied Flycatchers on site following yesterday's bird at Wilstone. The highlight however was a single stripy baby Great Crested Grebe riding on mother's back - the third baby to have been born this year in my Recording Area. It is interesting how late Great Crested Grebes nest now, particularly when you consider some pairs breed as early as March and fledge in May. A new cluster of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS was also present.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (the resident pair have raised a single chick whilst the first-winter from elsewhere also remains. The male carried in a silver fish but it was too large for the baby bird to take.
Little Grebe (a new juvenile on site as well as at least two adults)
Mute Swan (all five birds present as usual)
Gadwall (1) but no other wildfowl noted
Red Kite (5)
Common Buzzard (2)
COMMON KINGFISHER (heard)
Green Woodpecker (adult and juvenile)
COMMON SWIFT (1 lingering at the west end)
SAND MARTIN (1 - scarce in the area)
House Martin (4)
European Barn Swallow (3 at the cricket field)
WESTERN REED WARBLER (nesting confirmed - family group of four birds at west end)
SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS (4 birds at the west end of the lake with a 'newly arrived' family of four - the adults feeding two young - at the extreme west end by the fenceline)
Goldfinch (charm of 9 birds feeding on teasels)
PENN STREET VILLAGE (BUCKS)
A family party of four birds on the village green and two Common Buzzards overhead.
SPRINGFIELD FARM QUARRY, BEACONSFIELD (BUCKS)
(permit access only)
There were over 700 large white-headed gulls present on the landfill on my arrival including an exceptional number of argenteus Herring Gulls for late August - 413 in all. In amongst them were at least 28 YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS and over 300 Lesser Black-backed Gulls including several intermedius. There was also a single adult GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL - rare in August.
Little else of note though apart from 16 Red Kites, 78 Lapwing west and 250 Common Starlings