I left the house around 6:45 and cycled to Wendover Woods were I hoped to see the resident population of Firecrests. Unfortunately I made some drastic navigation errors and added several extra miles onto my trip unintentionally which made me even later. I eventually did arrive at 9:45 after cycling a grueling 20 miles there. I even got lost after I arrived at the wood, but still saw a fair amount of birds along the Firecrest Trail including a small flyover flock of the 3+ resident Crossbills. Closer to the Go Ape huts I encountered a Spotted Flycatcher followed by some commoner resident species such as Nuthatches, Tits and and some migrant warblers including singing Garden Warbler, Willow Wrabler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. 1 high flyover Red Kite was also present and on my second round walk of the Firecrest Trail (this time not pushing my bike, thankfully) I think I heard 2 Firecrests and in the plantations near the centre of the wood Whitethroats were singing followed by a Red Fox that skulked into the undergrowth. Back in the car park I was extremely grateful to see two small parties of 5+, 4 and a single female Common Crossbill fly over the trees, calling in flight. 1 pair and a juvenile Common Crossbills also remained in the coneferous trees in the car park and enabled me to get excellent views (amazing birds!!!). The photos aren't top quality but the views I still got lifted my spirits for the rest of the day.
female Crossbill, best bird I've seen in a car park by far
juvenile bird following parents
stunning male Crossbill
adult male preening
My second stop of the day was at Wilstone were I made a short visit from around 2pm just to check the variety of birds present. There was very little about and most of the wildfowl had dwindled to a very low local population. c.40 Common Terns were around the reservoir and chicks could already be seen on one of the tern rafts. 3 Hobbies were hawking over the reservoir at one point providing excelent views meters away from the hide. Other birds of note were a dozen Lapwing, 4 Little Egrets (in the willows to the left of the hide) and a brief view of a Kingfisher along the western side of the reservoir.