The Chilterns - Had a long weekend in The Chilterns based in Dunstable during which time I recced a few sites for forthcoming articles and visited a couple of former local patches. The weather was cool throughout with sunshine, showers and a blustery, at times, near gale force westerly.
Friday - Weston Turville Reservoir - Pitched up early afternoon by which time the wind had really picked up and there was little to be seen apart from a couple of distant Red Kites and singing Blackcaps, Reed Warblers and Chiffchaffs.
College Lake - This long standing Wildlife Trust reserve hosted a Lesser Yellowlegs the day before, but unfortunately had departed in the night. A drake Garganey showed well along with an impressive array of breeding waders for an inland site - 10 prs Lapwings and a pair each of Redshank and LRP - plus Common Terns and plenty of Swifts and hirundines over the water.
Saturday - Dunstable Sewage Works - Together with Stuart Burton we met Rob Dazley and Don Green for a tour of my old local patch. Common Terns were nesting on No 4 lagoon and a Hobby zipped over, while 20 Swifts and hirundines hawked insects overhead. Six species of common warblers were seen or heard and at least two Grey Wagtails were nesting around the workings. On the wader scrape a Little Egret dropped in.
Tring Reservoirs - First stop Startops and Marsworth Reservoirs where hundreds of hirundines and Swifts were over the waters, plus 30 Common Terns, three Oystercatchers over and singing Cetti`s and Reed Warblers, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Long-tailed Tit. On Tringford a drake Red-crested Pochard was of note.
A circuit of Wilstone yielded 50 more Common Terns, four Hobbies over the reedbed and all the usual common wetland birds, while an Oystercatcher was nesting amongst the terns on a raft. The woodland near the hide delivered Treecreeper, Blackcap and Kestrel. We got caught in a couple of hefty showers along the way and walking back along the reservoir bank it was difficult to make headway due to the wind strength.
Sunday - Brenzett - 1400hrs - On the way home this afternoon had good views of a Common Crane flying over Brenzett heading towards Snargate and the Dowels.