THURSDAY 29 DECEMBER
A touch or so colder today with the temperature reaching just 9 degrees C. Very overcast but dry and with an increasing westerly wind
With a visit to Tring in the offing, I took the opportunity to survey the waterbodies of the Aylesbury Area..........
CHESS VALLEY (BUCKS)
Three LITTLE EGRETS today just east of Bois Mill - and 1 Cormorant on the fishing lake there.
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
There was no sign of Roy's colour-ringed BLACK-TAILED GODWIT when I arrived at the Drayton Hide late morning - it had presumably moved on
The water level was increasing further with the inlet pipe by the car park in full pump mode. As a consequence, wildfowl numbers were much recovered, although Great Crested Grebe and Mute Swan numbers were very low
The sole remaining Little Grebe was noted, 8 Great Crested Grebes, just 5 Mute Swans, 256 Wigeon, 8 Gadwall, 375 Teal, 44 Shoveler, 107 Pochard, 73 Tufted Duck, 7 COMMON GOLDENEYES (including 2 adult drakes), 760 Coot, 45 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER and 32 Lapwings.
The Linnet flock by the hide now numbers 52 birds and Pied Wagtails remain at a high 17.
The Cemetery Corner geese flock has increased to 83 birds, including 71 Greylag, 10 Atlantic Canada and the ever-present first-winter DARK-BELLIED BRENT GOOSE
STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR (HERTS)
The first-winter male SNOW BUNTING was still performing well along the north shore, Chris Holtby obtaining a large number of images.
Otherwise, 12 Mute Swans (including 3 unringed first-years), 7 Atlantic Canada Geese, 46 Gadwall, 4 Great Crested Grebes and a single Little Grebe were present.
Very little on TRINGFORD RESERVOIR other than 2 Mute Swans, 5 Grey Heron, 22 Teal and 2 drake Shoveler and even less on MARSWORTH with 4 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Teal and 21 Shovelers.
WESTON TURVILLE RESERVOIR (BUCKS)
Popped in at 1300 hours and was very surprised to find the Wilstone family party of 4 BEWICK'S SWANS being chased around by the resident pair of Mute Swans along the reedbed western side of the reservoir. The cob Mute repeatedly harried the two juvenile Bewick's, causing them to fly and circle.
Very quiet otherwise with just 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Moorhens, 2 drake Tufted Ducks and 1 drake Shoveler (up to 32 of the latter species had been present recently). Not one Coot.
THE WENDOVER ARM OF THE CANAL (GREEN PARK TO WENDOVER TOWN)
A single Little Grebe, 20 Mallard, 10 Coot and 11 Moorhens for my troubles - and a male Siskin.
BROUGHTON POOLS (BUCKS)
On the West Pool, a pair of Mute Swans, pair of Teal, 4 Moorhen and 1 Grey Heron, whilst on the Trout Pools, 14 Mallard, 5 Shoveler (2 drakes), 70 Canada Geese, 2 Moorhens and another Grey Heron. The neighbouring field held 14 Common Magpies.
WATERMEAD LAKE, NORTH AYLESBURY (BUCKS)
A full inventory recorded 10 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Mute Swans (including 1 first-year), 1 Canada Goose, 124 Mallard, 3 Tufted Duck, just 6 Coot and 4 Moorhens.
CHESHAM BOIS (BUCKS)
A small party of 13 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVERS was in the field opposite Green Park in Copperkins Lane.