THURSDAY 8 DECEMBER
Although the temperature reached 11.5 degrees centigrade today in the Chess Valley, the area seems to be experiencing an influx of winter thrushes, with a lot being noted this morning. This follows several nights of movement, with a lot of calling Redwings being heard overhead in the foggy conditions of late.
My first stop today was at SHARDELOES LAKE, where the highlight was undoubtedly a first-winter drake EURASIAN WIGEON, the first record for the site for a number of years (and the first in the Amersham Recording Area this year). The lake also held 66 Coot, 20 Mallard, 18 Gadwall and 7 Tufted Duck (4 drakes) but still no sign of a single Northern Pochard this winter! Otherwise, interest was provided by 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, a SISKIN, 4 Bullfinch, 4 Common Blackbird, 23 Redwing and at least 35 Fieldfares.....
At CHENIES BOTTOM, a single Little Grebe and 3 Mute Swans were west of the bridge, with 35 Redwing and 8 Fieldfare overhead moving west. A Little Egret was by Mill Farm Meadow, but there was no sign of the recent Common Stonechat there. Two different Song Thrush were seen, along with more berry-feeding Blackbird, Fieldfare & Redwing by FROGMORE MEADOW.
The local breeding pair of COMMON RAVEN flew west across VALLEY FARM PADDOCKS, SARRATT BOTTOM, where over 175 Jackdaw were flocking, 5+ Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Bullfinch and Goldcrest were also noted. LITTLE EGRET numbers have been very low this winter in the Chess Valley so it was pleasing to see 3 individuals frequenting CRESTYL CRESSBED. A single Meadow Pipit flew over, with COMMON KINGFISHER and Common Kestrel also noted.
At least 40 Redwing were feeding on berries in CHENIES VILLAGE as I passed through