THURSDAY 12 NOVEMBER
Continuing mild but largely damp and overcast
Restricted myself to the AMERSHAM AREA today and was very pleased to finally see the arrival of a few winter thrushes. Best bird though was a drake MANDARIN DUCK in Chesham - the first record for Lowndes Park Lake....
A single Jay made several forays to my bird feeders at CHAFFINCH HOUSE (LITTLE CHALFONT) but otherwise, little to speak of in the garden of late other than regular Goldfinch & Coal Tit and 2 flyover RING-NECKED PARAKEETS at 0930 on 10th.
Visited SHARDELOES LAKE for the first time in over a month, where waterbirds present included 3 Mute Swans (both adults and their single 2014 offspring), 156 Atlantic Canada Geese, 15 Mallard, 12 Gadwall, 1 female Tufted Duck, 18 Little Grebe, 3 Moorhen and just 44 Coot and 55 Black-headed Gulls roosting. There was a fair bit of Common Buzzard activity, and Red Kite, but highlights were the winter thrushes feeding on the lakeside trees and hawthorns, comprising of 12 Fieldfare, 35 Redwing, 5 Common Blackbird and 4 Mistle Thrush. Two Coal Tits were also here, as well as Blue Tit, Goldcrest and two parties of Long-tailed Tit totalling 14 birds; COMMON KINGFISHER, 2 Stock Dove and Song Thrush were also noted.
At BURY LAKE (CHESHAM), a pair of Mute Swans and 6 Coot were present (with 125 Jackdaws flighting over to roost), whilst at neighbouring LOWNDES PARK LAKE (CHESHAM), the roosting flock of Mallard (111 birds in total) was accompanied by a single drake MANDARIN DUCK - the first I have ever recorded at the site (since regular visits started in 1987) (see images below). Seven Muscovy Ducks were surviving, with just 30 Canada Geese, 5 Embden Geese, 6 Moorhen, 2 Pied Wagtails and a Goldcrest also noted. Woodpigeons were busy feeding on the shrubs.
Very quiet at CHESHAM FISHING LAKES (now under new management) (just 10 Coot & 25 Tufted Duck present) and at LATIMER GREAT WATER & PLACE (4 Mute Swans, 24 Coot, 8 Moorhen, 10 Redwing & 4 Song Thrushes) with the RIVER CHESS between NEPTUNES FALLS & LATIMER ROAD yielding an additional 8 Coot, 18 Moorhen, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck, Grey Heron and a large gathering of at least 50 Mallard. Three Song Thrush roosted in an evergreen close to the bridge, with Goldcrest, Green Woodpecker and 3 Wrens also logged