SUNDAY 30 DECEMBER
Largely remained dry today with just the odd sharp shower during the afternoon; temperatures pegged back to 6.5 degrees C
In the CHESS VALLEY (BUCKS), the GREAT WHITE EGRET was showing well in Mill Farm Water Meadows, still eeking out small mammals and other prey in the long grass; Green Woodpecker noted too.
At STOCKERS FARM FLOODMEADOW (HERTS) (at TQ 055 935), a white morph adult GREATER SNOW GOOSE was present for its second day with Atlantic Canada Geese, showing particularly well. It was unringed and fully winged and was superbly photographed by Dale Ayres (see above). It is presumably an escape.
The meadows had also attracted 28 Eurasian Wigeon and 6 Pied Wagtails, whilst 12 noisy Ring-necked Parakeets were nearby in tall trees; a flock of 8 House Sparrows remained resident at the lock house.
Joan and I checked the ring numbers on the 34 Mute Swans present on BURY LAKE (TQ 053 938) and BATCHWORTH LAKE (TQ 058 940), the following all being noted - BLUE 979 - a rehabilitated individual - and '4AEJ', '834', '832', '844', '815', '624', '818', '001', '904', '819', '948', '805', '816', '841', '907', '806', '840', '813', '656', '804', '040' and '951' - the last three listed from the latter lake.
On neighbouring STOCKERS LAKE (at about TQ 048 936), the adult drake SMEW was showing well, preening and occasionally diving amongst the Tufted Ducks. Also a single Egyptian Goose and 17 Common Goldeneye amongst good numbers of other wildfowl.
At HEDGERLEY LANDFILL (BUCKS), 20 Red Kites, 24 Lapwings and several Great Black-backed Gulls of note