Herons, Herons, Herons

Bird News: Mockbeggar Lakegreat white egret 1, little egret 33, goosander 14. Ibsley Waterblack-necked grebe 1, great white egret 1 (same as on Mockbeggar earlier), yellow-legged gull 14+, goosander 75 (18 adult drakes), Egyptian goose 4, green sandpiper 1. Ivy LakeCetti’s warbler 1, water rail 3. Centrelesser redpoll 2 (on feeders).

First things first, many thanks to all for suggestions about the colour-ringed gulls. With your help and a bit of internet searching both have now been traced, their details are as follows:

The herring gull was ringed as a female on 24th June 2009 in Swindon and had not been seen since. The lesser black-backed gull was ringed as an adult male on 20th May 2011 at Choulet Landfill site, Guernsey. Had been seen once since, on 15th August at Burhou, Alderney, in a breeding colony.

The Lower Test Volunteer Team were in again this morning to clear up the diseased trees that they felled on Wednesday, we only clear the minimum leaving the rest as deadwood habitat. We had done the felling on Wednesday as the weather was good, with little wind, if anything it was even better this morning.

alder clearing

I went up to Mockbeggar Lake to see how the work on the fence has progressed, the answer is well, although they were not on site today due to a lack of posts, but I am assured this will be sorted by Monday. I did see the heronfest that goes on up there though, including the great white egret, at least 33 little egret and 10 or more grey heron.

grey heron, great white egret and two little egret

Back at the Centre I saw my first butterfly of the month, a red admiral, if the prediction of coming cold is true it may be my last of the year. On the nyger feeder there were 2 lesser redpoll along with the usual goldfinches.

I ate lunch in the Tern hide and saw the black-necked grebe in the distance and rather closer, this drake pochard which stood out of the water and preened on the floating rails.

pochard drake perched

I had not appreciated the detail of the shape of the bill pattern before. There was also a group of unusually relaxed greylag geese, they are usually very jumpy, something I attribute to their being a regular target for wildfowlers in the valley.


I was not under quite so much time pressure at the end of the day as usual, so I had a look from the Goosander hide before locking up. No colour-ringed gulls today, although two of the perched birds did carry metal rings. There were at least 14 yellow-legged gull and 75 goosander, including eighteen adult drakes, last evening there were 76, but only fifteen adult drakes.


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