Tuesday, 6 April 2010



A bright and breezy day with some warm spells of sunshine pushing temperatures up to 57 degrees F. Although the wind was initially SW, it veered during the day to a cooler SE.

It was an excellent day for incoming migrants, with good numbers of Osprey, Tree Pipit, Common Redstart, Common Tern, Garganey and Yellow Wagtails arriving, along with the odd male Pied Flycatcher and Common Cuckoo, as well as some 'new' vagrants, most notably a Black-winged Stilt on the Isle of Wight. On a local basis, it was also a very productive day, a flock of WAXWINGS being the main highlight............

(1230-1310 hours)

The singing male COMMON CHIFFCHAFF was still in the tall Poplars of Reedbed Wood, with the two different CETTI'S WARBLERS in the reedbed, the male BLACKCAP still and the singing male WILLOW WARBLER first found by Chaz Jackson still in trees and ivy just at the start of the causeway. Two male REED BUNTINGS were singing and in parachute display in the reedbed.

Twelve Great Crested Grebes were on the reservoir, with just 4 Pied Wagtails in the horse paddocks and a male Grey Wagtail by the lock.

The neighbouring Grand Union Canal held 10 Mute Swans, including 3 first-summers, whilst Startop's End Reservoir held just 35 Tufted Ducks of note.

My proposed visit to Wilstone Reservoir was immediately interrupted by a very important call from Dave Cleal. He had just discovered 6 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS.................


Following up on Darin Stanley's text message, I was delighted to connect at 1540 hours with the stunning male COMMON REDSTART that he had once again discovered earlier in the afternoon during his lunch hour - his 5th individual in fact. The bird was showing well in the 'usual hedgerow' visible from the layby, and was darting out for insects and frequently perching out in full view on the wire fence. It represented my first for the year both nationally and locally. It was virtually in pristine spring plumage and may well be an individual male that annually stops off here as it stages its return migration. Alan Reynolds, Jim Rudland, Dave Calder and Simon West were also present, Simon obtaining the image published above. A male Sparrowhawk also drifted over.

Nearby, 5 LITTLE EGRETS were showing well on the stream at East Hyde at 1600 hours.

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