THURSDAY 11 SEPTEMBER
The light Northeasterly winds continued, with low grey cloud covering the Chiltern skies for much of the day. Continuing dry......
In NORTHALL VILLAGE, at least 230 Common Starling remained, and a Jay flew west, whilst vizmigging at IVINGHOE BEACON from 0830-1000 hours yielded extremely little, despite optimum conditions. A single COMMON REDSTART on GALLOWS HILL was the highlight, with just 1 House Martin west and the continuing flock of 90 Goldfinch; 3 Skylark and 15 Meadow Pipit also noted.
Not much to shout about at COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT either - wildfowl counts producing 3 Mute Swans, 292 Atlantic Canada Geese, 2 Greylag Geese, 16 mallard, 4 Gadwall, 4 Common Teal, 2 Shoveler, 2 Moorhen and not a single Coot; Common Kestrel, 2 Stock Dove, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Great Tit, a singing Common Chiffchaff, Greenfinch and 10 Goldfinch completed the rollcall.
Over at WILSTONE RESERVOIR (TRING) with Steve Blake and Mike Campbell, little in the way of fresh arrivals - 2 NORTHERN PINTAIL constituting the first of the autumn. On the wader front, a single DUNLIN was new, with 4 Ringed Plover, the 2 juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, the COMMON GREENSHANK, 4 BLACK-TAILED GODWIT and around 400 Lapwing.
Still a lot of birds present as the water levels continue to drop, including 23 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, 9 Sinensis Cormorant (including 4 still occupying nest space on the Drayton Bank), 3 Little Egret, 8 Grey Heron, 52 Mute Swan, the 2 Whooper Swans, 46 Greylag Geese, 2+ Shelduck, 220 Mallard, now 27 Eurasian Wigeon, 33 Gadwall, 415 Common Teal, 52 Shoveler, 24 Pochard, 31 Tufted Duck, 33 Moorhen, 400+ Coot, adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Common Tern, Grey Wagtail, just 1 Barn Swallow and 1 Greenfinch.
STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR additionally produced 5 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Egret, 12 Moorhen, 130 Coot and 4 Common Tern, but there was no sign of the 4 EGYPTIAN GEESE that MC and SB had seen on Wilstone just before I arrived.
Northwest of CHESHAM, HERBERT'S HOLE was clear of migrant chats - just 12 Red Kite, 2 Common Buzzard, 3 Stock Doves, 40 Meadow Pipits and 1 Goldfinch of note; none at neighbouring PEDNOR BOTTOM either - just more Red Kite, Common Chiffchaff and 2 Greenfinch.
A dusk visit to SHARDELOES LAKE (OLD AMERSHAM) resulted in the largest local gathering of LITTLE GREBE I have ever seen - no less than 29 being counted on the lake - a new record. This follows an exceptional breeding season on the Misbourne - one pair still feeding 3 small young this evening.
Two Great Crested Grebes still present, as well as all 6 GREYLAG GEESE still, 44 Canada Geese, 6 Gadwall, 54 Coot, 4 Black-headed Gulls, Stock Dove, COMMON KINGFISHER, Grey Wagtail, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Red Kite, 2 Common Buzzard, Common Treecreeper and Common Chiffchaff.