FRIDAY 30 MARCH
The last day of March saw temperatures really struggle, with lots and lots of low grey cloud blotting out the sun. The wind was also NNE and therefore stifling any continuing passage of migrants. It felt pretty chilly, especially considering the unseasonal temperatures of late
CHAFFINCH HOUSE, LITTLE CHALFONT (BUCKS)
Pair of Common Magpie building nest, whilst pair of Jay looked on; 3 Goldfinches still on Niger seed.
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
Expected to see some hirundines with the low cloud and relatively poor visibility but nothing. In fact, very little to show for my visit. The DARK-BELLIED BRENT was still in the East Fields, whilst 36 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Little Egrets, 8 Mute Swans, 38 Greylag, 10 Gadwall, 18 Shoveler, 22 Teal, 6 Wigeon (5 drakes), 262 Tufted Ducks, 8 Pochard, the 2 OYSTERCATCHERS and just 6 Black-headed Gulls were present. In the Poplar Wood on the east bank, single Common Chiffchaff and Blackcap were present.
STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR (HERTS)
Drake Red-crested Pochard, 3 RINGED PLOVERS, 2 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS, the problematic Pied Wagtail, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Sparrowhawk, 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 male Blackcaps of note.
COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT (BUCKS)
A migrant flock of 15 REDWING flew east
The marsh held 2 OYSTERCATCHERS, 11 Common Redshank, 3 COMMON SNIPE, numerous Lapwings (including 3 occupying island nests) and 10 Shoveler, whilst a Mistle Thrush flew over.
IVINGHOE HILLS NNR (BUCKS)
Did an exhaustive walk covering all suitable migrant hotspots but yielded zilch, highlights being 4 migrant LESSER REDPOLLS, migrating FIELDFARES (in parties of 70 and 3), 2 Red Kites, 4 Common Buzzards and 8 singing male Common Chiffchaffs in Top Scrub.
BOVINGDON BRICKPITS (HERTS)
My first Speckled Wood butterfly of the year when the sun finally came out, and 2 singing Blackcaps and at least 8 Common Chiffchaffs.