Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Chilterns

Wendover Woods - 0800hrs - frosty, mist and sun, light airs - Spent the morning in the Chilterns checking out sites for forthcoming magazine articles. Wendover Woods is a stunning place on a crisp autumn morning with the trees turning golden-brown, mist hanging in the valley bottoms and a cobalt sky over the hill tops. A 30 minute viz mig produced 100 Redpolls, 100 Chaffinches, 50 Siskins, 50 Redwings, 20 Mipits, 20 Skylarks, 10 Bramblings and 2 Crossbills overhead. There were plenty more thrushes and finches around the woodland walks plus tits, crests and at least one Firecrest. Nuthatches, Treecreepers, Jays and Great peckers also noted.
Tring Reservoirs - 1000hrs - The sun brought forth the raptors and at least 10 Red Kites and 2 Buzzards noted en-route and around the Tring Gap. The water levels were low on all four waters but there were still plenty of birds around this famous old birding site, including 2 Kingfishers, 5 Snipe, 2 Water Rails, Ruff, Dunlin, Cetti`s Warbler, 10 Redpolls, Green and Common Sandpiper and 100 Golden Plovers. Did a full circuit of Wilstone and didnt encounter another birder. This was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me as I first visited Tring Res as a snotty 10 year old boy in the mid `60s and have been returning ever since; definitely in my top 10 favourite birding locations.
College Lake - 1200hrs - Could not believe the transformation this gem of a site had undergone since my last visit (probably 8 years ago). Gone are the old wooden hides and visitor centre, to be replaced by a brand new eco centre, cafe and state-of-the-art hides. Plenty of wildfowl, Redwings, Reed Buntings, Kingfisher, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk and Green Woodpecker. A perfect example of what can be achieved with an old chalk quarry pit if you have someone with the vision and application of Graham Atkins, the sites founder.

 Wendover Woods, Wilstone Res, College Lake, The Chilterns 

ps: Back on the Marsh, a Pallas`s Warbler and a number of Redpolls (including Mealies) were trapped at the Obs and a Penduline Tit was reported from Hanson.

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