THURSDAY 11 JUNE
Some torrential rain fell during the night leaving localised flooding. Once cleared, the day was clear and bright, with clear blue skies and average temperatures.
NEAR WALLINGTON (TL 269 342) (Hertfordshire)
Mark Hows and I and another local Beds birder enjoyed excellent views of a male COMMON QUAIL in flight this evening as it flew from the main track and out 85 yards into the barley crop. It started calling from just by the main track at about 1915 hours and continued again after it landed.
There are two calling males present at the site situated just south of the A505 Baldock bypass on the Wallington road. Park sensibly in the small laybys 200 yards along the road and follow the obvious footpath on the right for a further 150 yards. They were first heard on 6 June.
At least 9 CORN BUNTINGS were noted, as well as 15 Eurasian Skylarks, but there was no sign of the adult male MONTAGU'S HARRIER present for just ten minutes on Sunday 7 June (seen by both Darrell Bryant and Mike Ilett).
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING
My first visit in a while. A quick inventory revealed the presence of the following -:
Great Crested Grebe (14 adults including a pair with two small stripy young up against the central bank)
Mute Swan (9)
Canada Geese (11 adults)
Greylag Goose (22 adults and 17 well-grown goslings)
Mallard (62 mainly eclipse drakes)
EURASIAN WIGEON (two drakes remain, one now in eclipse plumage)
Gadwall (2 pairs)
*SHOVELER (pair near hide; scarce in summer)
*NORTHERN POCHARD (successful breeding - female with two small young; additional 17 adults including 5 females)
Tufted Duck (36)
RED-CRESTED POCHARD (adult drake still present in NW corner, bleached by wear on crown - found by Steve Rodwell on Sunday 7 June)
Coots (311 including 163 huddled together in a very tight mass on the Drayton Bank)
Black-headed Gull (1 adult)
COMMON TERNS (large gathering towards dusk of 88 birds, with a further 11 sat on the rafts)
HOBBY (4 hunting over Drayton Bank)
Highlight here was a calling male COMMON CUCKOO from fenceposts on the south side.
Also present were adult Great Crested Grebe, first-summer Mute Swan, 10 Tufted Ducks and 5 Common Swifts