THURSDAY 03 APRIL
The fine weather continues, as does the falling of dust from the Saharan Desert, with temperatures peaking at 18 degrees C when the sun broke through, with a light easterly breeze blowing......
A day of mostly Local Birding.....
At BOIS MILL POND (CHESS VALLEY), 3 Tufted Ducks and 10 Atlantic Canada Geese, while in NORTHALL VILLAGE near EATON BRAY, several Common Starlings on territory, 8 Collared Doves and 28 Jackdaws.
Trying once again for Christine's 3 Corn Buntings, BRIDLEWAY No.4 at WEST HYDE yielded 4 Linnet, 6 Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 2 Wren, Common Blackbird and a host of early spring butterflies (mainly Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell & Brimstone) but again no janglers.
A male Linnet
The garden of CORNER HALL held 16 Fan-tailed Doves, 5 House Sparrows and 2 Common Starling, while a farmer ploughing his field attracted in a Red Kite and 70 Black-headed Gulls.
Corner Hall and its Fan-tailed Dove residents
Nearby, LYNSTERS LAKE held 32 Mute Swan, 26 Coot, 4 Great Crested Grebe and a singing Common Chiffchaff, with LYNSTERS FARM FIELD adding 27 Canada Geese, 6 Greylag and 7 Egyptian Geese.
Late afternoon, I spent some 90 minutes photographing a pair of LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKERS at a nest hole, the second such opportunity this past week. It has been a remarkable year for this species with birds/pairs being reported from a large variety of locations. The same site also hosted Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard.
The nesting tree
Back at CHESHAM FISHING LAKES and the first pair of BARN SWALLOWS had arrived, hawking back and forth over the larger of the two lakes. Also Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Greenfinch and singing Song Thrush noted, with the arrival of at least 4 singing male BLACKCAPS. Just a single Common Chiffchaff singing this evening and otherwise, the Great Crested Grebe pair (now nesting), 13 Tufted Duck, Dunnock, Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Great Tit and Common Starling. On neighbouring POW WOW LAKE, the pair of GREY HERON are nesting again, with a single Mute Swan present and another singing male BLACKCAP.
Plenty of Blackcaps now around
Great Crested Grebes nesting on the island
At CHESHAM MOOR (WATERSIDE), the Mute Swans were nesting, while at BURY LAKE I was very disappointed to see that the LAPWING FIELD had been ploughed; two pairs of very forlorn adults were standing around. The first-summer Mute Swan was still present, along with 6 Canada Geese, 4 Coot and another singing male BLACKCAP; 27 Rabbits grazing too.
Continuing further down PEDNOR ROAD, I was pleased to see that the Rookeries were now in full swing, with the SEAR'S FARM colony now numbering 19 active nests and that closer to the road near PEDNOR VALE FARM a further 7. Lots and lots of Red Kite activity with 12 in the air together.
The Sear's Farm Rookery...
...and this new one much closer to the Pednor Road
Common Starling on territory
In LOWNDES PARK, a singing male Coal Tit was a first there, with Pied Wagtail, 2 Rook, Chaffinch and 26 Jackdaw furthering the list. The male Mute Swan was still present, with a Canada Goose active nest on the island and the Chess Valley vagrant GREYLAG GOOSE paired up with a Canada!
It's feeding time in the park
The cob Mute Swan still present
one of the Muscovites was taken by a Fox!
and this new 'concoction' has arrived
Atlantic Canada Goose on nest
and our Greylag now thinks it is a Canada
certainly an odd couple
Red Kites all over the place at the moment