Monday, 13 April 2015

Sat 11th and Sun 12 April 2015

On Saturday I went of to West Hyde, On arrival a singing Yellowhammer was a decent start. Lots of Skylarks in and around the rape field. A Red Kite drifted over. Then the jangling call of a Corn Bunting singing from the top of a rape plant. Too far for any photo's though. So should I stay local, Stockers, Woodoaks, Withey Beds or even twitch the Lady A in Beds? The previous day there were quite a few Ring Ouzel sightings, so I checked birdguides and 4 at Blows Down, Bedss and 7 at Steps Hill near Ivinghoe Beacon, Beds, A Redstart had also been seen early morning at Blows Down so that's where I headed off to. On arrival at Half Moon Lane the weather was quite poor with strong wind and rain getting heavier. I headed down to the paddocks first but unfortunately couldn't find the Redstart, Then along to the chalk pit where I didn't find any Ring Ouzel. Steps Hill not too far from Blows Down so that's where I decided to go next. Better luck at Steps Hill where I enjoyed some nice scope views of 6 Ring Ouzel (5m and 1f) also a Mistle Thrush. At one point a dog walker walked along the fence line exactly where the Ring Ouzels were feeding. Of course they all flew off. Shall I go and look for them or wait and see if they return? I chose the lazy option and after about 15 minutes one by one they all re-appeared, I had a nice chat with a couple of other birders and that was my birding over for the day,

Sunday 12th April 2015
A late afternoon visit to Wilstone Reservoir, Tring. On arrival quite a few Swallows and Sand Martins could be seen from the steps. I made way towards the new overflow where I bumped into Ian B. A male and female Garganey were nice to see near the Drayton Bank. Ian had found a Common Sandpiper earlier in the day so I asked him if it was still about?  He said that it wasn't where he had seen it earlier but another birder had seen it near the jetty, I decided to walk around to the jetty and Ian was leaving after 5 hour plus stint at "the ressies". We stopped to scan the bunds in the jetty area, no Common Sandpiper but there was a Redshank. Then we located the Common Sandpiper keeping close company with an Oystercatcher at the base of a tree on the bank that runs along the centre of the reservoir. Another scan of the bunds and 2 Common Tern were located. Common Sandpiper and Common Tern were my first of the year. Ian left and I stayed for a while longer. More views of the Common Tern and Common Sandpiper and off home where I caught the closing few minutes of the Manchester Derby,

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