Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Monday - RING OUZEL on Quainton Hills

Quainton Hills; RING OUZEL near base of North slopes. Spotted at long range on branch from roadside, think male. It eventually dropped down but fed close to bushes, this area is dampest spot on hills and where the Fieldfare were feeding earlier this week.Never had an Ouzel in this spot or on Nrth slopes at all before.

Dashed to Calvert but only 13 Common Tern, but lots of warblers in bushes.

Returned to Quainton but no sign of Rouzel, farmer feeding cattle close by so waited. After half hour was just going to give up when it came out, by now I was c 100mts from spot in bushes, just got it in frame when farmer came back down and spooked it!!! I waited another half hour but didn't show (Tim Watts)

Sunday sightings - 25 April

Warren Claydon and Ian had a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER reeling and a LITTLE GULL that flew through, early, on Calvert sailing lake. I joined them and then went to Hillesden.

After a while at Hillesden a male GREENLAND WHEATEAR flew into pools area, then got text from Warren, a WHINCHAT had appeared on open area.

On way out from Hillesden there were 2 Wheatear in Sheep paddocks.

On returning to Calvert there were c50 hirundines and a few Common Swift, Common Sandpiper and 9 Common Tern, all increases from a few hours previous (Tim Watts)

Saturday morning Update - 24 April

Calvert ; 0600 - 3+ of Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroats/1 Common Tern/ Common Cuckoo/ 10 Gadwall

Calvert Sailing Lake; 1100 hours - 1 LITTLE GULL sat on sailing lake/ 2 Cetti's Warblers singing/ Cuckoo calling.

Hillesden; 7 Common Redshanks/ 4 Yellow Wagtail/ Cuckoo/ 2 broods of 3 and 4 tiny Lapwing chicks (Tim Watts).

Friday, 23 April 2010

Quainton Hills today

In the area I managed to cover found 9 Northern Wheatear, 4 in S/E hollow, 4 on top of NRTH slopes and 1 on stone track on summit. Also 1 fem COMMON REDSTART top of West slopes and a poss Black Redstart in aerial compound. This bird was flushed from posts by walkers who got there just ahead of me.

Also 1 Yellow Wagtail/ c 40 Fieldfare feeding/4 Mipits.

Tim Watts

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Hillesden Sightings

A few notable sightings from Hillesden:

20/4/10 - 2nd summer male MARSH HARRIER, heading north low over the site. Also Little Ringed Plover, Lesser and Common Whitethroats.

21/4/10 - 4 COMMON REDSTARTS, 2 Wheatears, 1 Cuckoo (Richard K Broughton)

Also, 3 RUFF were present at Hillesden on Sunday, and again on Tuesday (Per Tim Watts)

Friday, 16 April 2010

Quainton Hills today - first COMMON REDSTART

Spent a mammoth 10 hours on Quainton Hills today. First 4 hours around tops only produced 1 Barn Swallow!! Had suspicions that a ridiculously distant bird was a female Ring Ouzel on slopes near Botolph Claydon but too far to tell. Dropped down to sheltered area at bottom of South slopes and crept through gate on last hedgeline, at same time spinning head left then right. This is Redstart trick! and worked: just got glimpse of grey back and bright orange tail going into bushes. Very wary bird but eventually got good views and some images of a stunning male COMMON REDSTART. Returned later and still in same hedgeline area, but still wary!!

Seeing this bird if still there, involves a 5 minute levelish walk from car. Park on verge by Quainton church, take tarmac track up to hills, and where path splits, take left stoney track by the log pile. Bird was in hedge and on posts either side, but mostly left of the metal gate. Sometimes far down on posts to left (Tim Watts)

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


CETTI'S WARBLERS (Paul W) - latest counts suggest 2,206 singing birds and rising in the UK

Calvert; 2 CETTI'S WARBLERS, 1 singing loudly in scrub behind hide + 1 in reeds. Also saw both, 1 darted across gap in reeds,shortly followed by a 2nd bird.
13 Gadwall including ' Luke' !!

Hillesden; 5 Redshank/ 2 oycs/ 2 L.R.P/ 1 Little Egret/5 male Shoveler/ 6 Gadwall/ 9 Teal/ 1 Yellow Wagtails/ 4 Common Snipe/ 10 Pied Wagtails (1st passage flock)/ 4 Swallow (Tim Watts)

Monday, 12 April 2010

Quainton RING OUZEL - further details

Female RING OUZEL with large Fieldfare flock on East slope of Denham Hill; not had one in this spot before and never seen one with Fieldfares - it was feeding right out in open a long way from cover but guess 400 + Fieldfare eyes are pretty good early warning system for any danger!!

Counted Fieldfares and an impressive total for time of year with 211. On summit of main hills there were c90 Fieldfare (possibly part of earlier flock?) and 3 Redwing.

At base of Conduit hill, 4 Redwing singing. 6 Mipits seen in display flight in 3 different spots.

The Ring Ouzel wasn't visible when returned at 11 a.m but Fieldfares in tops of trees so it could be lurking in the hedgeline. Very unusually for this date no Wheatears found (Tim Watts)

RING OUZEL at Quainton Hills

Tim Watts has found a female RING OUZEL with Fieldfares on Quainton hills. It is on the Denham Slope viewed from the road (Sunday 11 April)