Trip reports

Morning Walk to Wilstone Reservoir, Tring

Morning Walk to Wilstone Reservoir, Tring
RSPB images - Redpoll by Mike Langham

Sunday, 18 November 2012

It was a crisp, chilly start as we set off at Wilstone Reservoir, though warmer on the high bank as the sun drove the frost away. The early winter thrushes showed well over the fields and in the trees across the road from the reservoir bank. Observing the birds on the reservoir and its causeway was easier from the hide which shielded us from the bright, low sunlight. The hide gave us good views of the ducks, grebes, lapwing, a couple of snipe and the opportunity to compare a little egret and grey heron standing side by side. We were also treated to a surprise when the two sleeping swans raised their heads to show themselves as whooper's reminding us all that it is too easy to jump to the wrong conclusion at the first glance. The raptors appeared as we climbed the hill to circumnavigate the reservoir; kestrels in the trees, buzzard and kite soaring above. The best birds of the morning for me, and lifetime firsts for some of the party, were the redpolls feeding on the opposite side of the disused canal at the top of the hill. A fine opportunity to see these pretty little birds at close quarters.

Sightings: Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Red Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Redpoll, Yellowhammer.

Heard: Wren

Total: 49 species.