FRIDAY 26 JUNE
Another dry day, with some hot sunshine on occasions - light winds.
Had a break from tetrad work today (continuing work on my Buckinghamshire Avifauna) and concentrated more locally, checking out several House Martin colonies and locally breeding Great Crested Grebes...
Some good results, with all 3 juvenile Great Crested Grebes doing well, 5 cygnet Mute Swans still surviving, my first Tufted Duck brood of the year and confirmed breeding of both WATER RAIL and GREY WAGTAIL on site for the second year running...
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (pair feeding 3 juveniles)
Little Grebe (6, with the first youngster seen)
Sinensis Cormorant (2 on island)
Grey Heron (2 juveniles)
Mute Swan (8, resident pair with their 5 surviving young and the first-summer female from last year's brood)
Atlantic Canada Geese (16+)
Mallard (26, including several more family parties)
Tufted Duck (14, including a brood of 6 ducklings - my first of the year)
Moorhen (12, including several young)
Coot (66, including some adults still sitting, some second broods and numerous surviving first broods)
**WATER RAIL (successful breeding: adults feeding at least 3 all-black chicks in reeds at far end, in same area as last year)
Red Kite (5)
GREY WAGTAIL (pair feeding two recently fledged juveniles by overflow)
Barn Swallow (2)
Common Whitethroat (singing male by cricket ground)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male)
Song Thrush (singing male)
Spent some time in HODGEMOOR WOOD but failed to find any White Admirals - just large numbers of Ringlets, Meadow Browns, 50+ Speckled Woods, the odd Large Skipper and this very confiding Red Admiral.
Not much in the way of birdlife but Stock Dove (calling male), Jay, Wren (4), Blackcap, Nuthatch (4), Song Thrush (feeding young) and Red Kite.
Biggest surprise in LITTLE MISSENDEN HAMLET was this Australian Black Swan on the Misbourne at the west end of the village - presumably the recent adult from Wilstone Reservoir. Also Green Woodpecker, Dunnock, Common Blackbird, Common Magpie, Goldfinch (2) and Red Kite in hamlet, but no sign of any Spotted Flycatchers.
Very little action at DEEP MILL LANE POND, although both Moorhen and Coot have successfully bred, but noticeable activity on the nearby BANK'S POND at GREAT MISSENDEN, where of 11 Tufted Ducks present, one female was accompanying 11 recently fledged ducklings. Several broods of Mallard, Moorhen and Coot too - and a breeding-plumaged Little Grebe. A Song Thrush flew across the pond with food.
At BURY LAKE, CHESHAM, extremely disappointed to see that the Lapwing field had been ploughed over (but hopefully all of this year's young fledged successfully), while Coots have down well (with 6 young) as well as Moorhen.
LOWNDES PARK in CHESHAM yielded 8 Muscovy Ducks, 62 Atlantic Canada Geese (with just 4 goslings) and 43 Mallard, with 2 Common Swift over, and 4 House Martins. The latter were almost certainly the two pairs nesting in WEY LANE - seemingly the only pairs in CHESHAM.
Both Great Crested Grebes remain on CHESHAM FISHING LAKES but no sign of any young yet but little else of note other than 35 Canada Geese (numerous young), 2 Mute Swans, 7 Tufted Duck, 12 Coot, Red Kite, COMMON KINGFISHER, 2 Common Swifts, singing Common Chiffchaff and this Green Woodpecker posing with a Common Magpie. No sign of any Western Reed Warblers or Reed Buntings this summer though.
The highlight of my visit to LATIMER GREAT WATER was an adult GREAT CRESTED GREBE - the first one I have ever recorded there in constant observing since 1987! Also 4 Mute Swans, 16 Coot and 13 Tufted Duck and a total of 10 nesting pairs of House Martin at LATIMER PLACE (in addition to the 6 active nests on the Railway House in LATIMER VILLAGE).
Adult Great Crested Grebe at Latimer Great Water - my first-ever record there
Between NEPTUNES WATERFALL and the road, this stretch of the RIVER CHESS still held the family of GADWALLS (6 well grown juveniles surviving), as well as 4 Mute Swans, a pair of Little Grebe, 8 Tufted Duck, Coots with young, Grey Heron, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker and a Mistle Thrush. This Sinensis Cormorant was atop one of the tall Oaks.
There was a distinct bloom to Great Water, presumably effluent discharged from Chesham Sewage Works.