Thursday, 2 June 2011

Wendover Woods and Wilstone

A good trip to Wendover were several farmland birds were along the roads and surrounding farmland along the way to Wendover including Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Linnet, Pheasant, Bullfinches and singing Willow Warblers.


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 Blackcap1 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.

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