SUNDAY 17 APRIL
High pressure still firmly in charge with the beautiful weather continuing, with clear blue skies, wall-to-wall sunshine and warm temperatures......
SHARDELOES LAKE (BUCKS)
With yet another full moon overnight, I knew that there would be little evidence of migration and an early morning check round the site yielded nothing more than normal - in fact it was particularly quiet with virtually nothing of note seen
CHENIES BOTTOM (BUCKS)
On to the Chess Valley and Chenies Bottom. Highlight here was a single GREYLAG GOOSE with the two pairs of Atlantic Canada Geese about 100 yards west of the bridge - a rare bird locally. On the wider stretch of water, a female Mallard was accompanying 5 ducklings, with a pair of Tufted Duck and 2 drake Mallards also present and 2 Moorhens.
The village has always been a good site for Greenfinch and today was no exception with three males displaying. The vicinity also produced Wren, Robin, Great Tit, Collared Dove, Chaffinch and Common Starling, with a male Blackcap singing from the wood above the village. Bizarrely, a TAWNY OWL hooted from tall pines in Chenies Place.
Mill Farm Meadow yielded my first local COMMON WHITETHROAT of the year and in the adjacent Frogmore Meadow, three further males were encountered - remarkably early in such numbers.
The local pair of Common Kestrels were once again nesting in a favoured tree hole, with 3-4 male Blackcaps singing, two male Common Chiffchaffs and the small wood hosting Jay, Blue Tit, Stock Dove and Nuthatch. The spread of Bluebells was wonderful and again very early and even more pleasing were two singing male WILLOW WARBLERS in trees and Willows by the Water Vole Watchpoint - a scarce bird in the area in recent springs.
At the latter spot, a pair of Long-tailed Tits was also noted, with Song Thrushes carrying food to a nest and a Wren in full song; butterflies were on the wing including Orange Tip, Large White and Small White.
ADDITIONAL CHESS VALLEY SITES (BUCKS)
Another singing male Common Chiffchaff was in trees near Church Covert with the pair of GADWALL still frequenting the river just east of Bois Mill
CHESHAM FISHING LAKES (BUCKS)
All 3 baby Great Crested Grebes continue to grow and prosper on the smaller lake, with 36 Tufted Ducks on the larger lake, singing Greenfinch, the two regular Common Chiffchaffs, a female Grey Wagtail on the stream and 2 singing male Dunnocks. The male WESTERN REED WARBLER that Chris Pontin had found on Saturday had moved 25 yards to the middle reedbed.