Monday, 4 April 2011

Hills and Ressies

With some free time today,  I decided to explore the middle of the county.

I started off at Ivinghoe Beacon in the hope of seeing some migrants. A male Ring Ousel had been around for a week or so and I had hopes of seeing it. Walking down from the car park I was sure I could see my target bird in the distance and decided to get to a better vantage point. Only to find when I got there two idiot 'cameramen' stomping right up the area with absolutely no idea whatsoever that the bird had been there if they had just stood and looked.
 It was another twenty minutes or so after they had wandered off up the hill, that I spotted the  Ousel on the side of a bush, although the view was brief as it flew back into the scrub. Continuing my watch there were a few false alarms when a couple of Blackbirds came out, and then a brown bird that I first assumed was a female Blackbird, until it turned to face me showing a faded white necklace - a female Ring Ousel. So two for the price of one.
 Other migrants in the surrounding bushes included Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps. As usual there were lots of Skylarks, Linnets and Meadow Pipits about and a couple of Buzzards.

 Next stop was Startops and Marsworth Reservoirs where Mallards and Tufteds were the major inhabitants. I decided to have a look over the other side of the canal to see if there were any Yellow Wagtails fresh in. There were Wagtails but only about eight and all were Pied. There was a small flock of Jackdaws in the field, but one stood out from the rest. It had white patches on its shoulders - a 'Nordic' Jackdaw no less, pretty uncommon in these parts.

nordic jackdaw (click on the picture)

nordic jackdaw (click on the picture)
I then met Francis Buckle and while pointing out the Jackdaw to him he informed me of a Whitefronted Goose that had just arrived at nearby College Lake.
 This was my next destination. I hadn't visited here since the site was redeveloped and I have to say it really is quite an impressive place.
 There were at least half a dozen Redshanks, a pair of Oystercatchers and several Lapwings flying around and calling, most unlike Buckinghamshire.
The Whitefront was present, keeping the company of a single Greylag and it seemed they were in fact a pair. I don't know if it's origins are supect but it was certainly unringed.

white-fronted goose

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