THURSDAY 6 FEBRUARY
Rain, rain and even more rain. It started at about 10am today and then continued. How more miserable can it get? Old Amersham is under threat of the swollen Misbourne flooding over.....
Back gardens in the High Street all under water...
....and the footpath completely flooded
I ventured out as far as SHARDELOES ESTATE and did a full circuit of the site recording just under 40 species.........
On the Lake were 12 Little Grebe, 2 Grey Heron, the 3 resident Mute Swans (including their single offspring from last year), 19 Atlantic Canada Geese, 9 Mallard, 6 Gadwall, a pair of SHOVELER (first record this year), 2 Pochard, 19 Tufted Duck, 8 Moorhen and 60 Coot, 3 juvenile Argenteus Herring Gulls, 3 Common Gulls, while in the immediate surrounding land, Mistle Thrush (singing loudly in the rain), Common Blackbird, 2 Carrion Crow, 3 Goldfinch, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Jay, Great Tit and a singing Song Thrush were noted.
The overflow completely overflowing!
A drake Shoveler (first of the year)
And 2 of 3 different juvenile Herring Gulls
To the west, the sodden field catering for the horses was attracting a huge flock of winter thrushes involving 296 Redwing and 428 Fieldfare - all probing the soft ground for worms and other grubs; 7 Common Starlings too - while walking besides the Misbourne to the weir added a Long-tailed Tit flock, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Wren, 2 Common Magpie, 2 Stock Dove and 2 WATER RAILS.
Fieldfare and Redwing galore
Up near KENNEL FARM, the Misbourne was in heavy flood, the pools attracting 7 Gadwall, 8 Moorhen and a pair of Pied Wagtails.
The Misbourne in flood by Kennel Farm
Along Mop End Lane, a tit flock in the first 100 yards held a single Coal Tit (a scarce species on the estate) as well as 8 Blue, 4 Great and a further 5 Long-taileds, with a male Eurasian Skylark singing from cereal crops a further 150 yards on. I then came across this nice patch of winter pheasant setaside where apart from up to 45 Common Pheasant, a flock of 62 STOCK DOVE was apparent, another small flock of Fieldfare and a mixed bunting flock comprising of 26 YELLOWHAMMER and 4 REED BUNTINGS. A group of 4 BULLFINCHES was nearby, with 5 more Jays, 2 Goldcrest, 25 Jackdaw and another 2 Song Thrushes noted.
A magnificent patch of setaside, hosting no less than 62 Stock Dove and 26 Yellowhammer
I then followed up some advice from Graham Smith and noted a flock of 13 Little Egret in the pigfield floods along OLD RECTORY LANE in HIGHER DENHAM.
These flooded pigfields are attracting Little Egrets daily