WEDNESDAY 7 NOVEMBER
After some overnight rain, Wednesday dawned fine and clear and with the wind veering to the Southwest, temperatures improved somewhat to a high of 9 degrees C
CHESS VALLEY (BUCKS)
As it has been quite some time since I have done a full walk of the valley, I decided to do so today, especially when I heard that the Hooded Merganser was nowhere to be found at Pagham....
The grounds of LATIMER PLACE held 2 Goldcrests, 4 Mistle Thrush, 2 Redwing, 6 Common Starling, 4 Carrion Crow, Robin and Greenfinch, whilst GREAT WATER yielded 21 Mute Swans (including 1 first-winter), 189 Atlantic Canada Geese, 1 GREYLAG GOOSE (presumably last winter's adult returning), 17 Tufted Duck, 41 Coot and 8 Moorhens.
The woodland tract supported at least 7 Jays, whilst 3 Common Buzzards and 5 Red Kites were overhead.
Most of the Chess Valley LITTLE EGRET flock were in the meadow near Bois Mill, with 5 birds there and the sixth at Chenies Bottom Bridge.
Before I forget, LATIMER'S House Martin colony numbered 14 active nests on The Village House this summer
CHURCH COVERT and environs produced the first of 3 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Common Blackbirds and 1 of 4 wintering Common Kestrels, whilst the resident pair of LITTLE OWLS were in their Pollarded Willow nearby.
MILL FARM APARTMENTS held a male Pied Wagtail and 2 GREY WAGTAILS, with 2 Common Kestrels hunting the meadow (the female of which successfully captured a Field Vole), with the small wood by the orchid reserve producing a mixed flock of 9 Long-tailed Tits, 5 Goldcrests and a Common Treecreeper.
The Woodpigeon count reached only 83 birds, well down on recent autumn numbers, whilst Common Magpies numbered 8.
At VALLEY FARM, the horse paddocks held 2 adult Common Gulls, 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 45 Black-headed Gulls, along with 4 more Mistle Thrushes. Just 1 Wren was encountered and walking back the same route added 3 SISKINS, and 2 LESSER REDPOLLS at Church Covert and a COMMON KINGFISHER on the brook. I was very surprised at the amount of weed in the main tributary, seemingly starving the flow.
A single SINENSIS CORMORANT flew over Bois Mill Pond, whilst CHESHAM FISHING LAKES produced 1 Atlantic Canada Goose, 19 Tufted Duck, 8 Coot and 10 Moorhens, along with at least 2 COMMON KINGFISHERS and a Great Spotted Woodpecker; all 4 Mute Swans (pair and their two 2012 offspring) were alive and well on Pow Wow Lake