Wader sightings have increased in the last week or so with good numbers seen. Fourteen Turnstone present on the 8th and the second Knot of the year seen on the 10th were the highlights. Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel seen most days. Little Ringed Plover, Greenshank and Sanderling also noted. Black and Arctic Terns seen in small numbers on many days this month. A Little Tern seen briefly late afternoon on the 2nd was the third seen here this year. Red-crested Pochard with nine duckling seen today are the first I have seen here and is probably the first breeding record for Farmoor.
While walking my dog Billy early afternoon around the Farmoor countryside walk, I stop for moment to scan for the long staying Bonaparte's Gull. I soon got on to the Gull and to my surprise saw a Little Tern flying close to it. This is the third recorded here this month, also a Black Tern was seen earlier in the day.
On my afternoon walk around Farmoor today I was surprised by the numbers of Yellow Wagtail there were. Earlier in the the day on my first visit I counted five which had now increase to twenty plus. I was told later that after I had left this number had increased to over thirty.The Bonaparte's Gull was still present giving good views in the morning and the second Whimbrel of the year was seen.
A 1st summer Bonaparte's Gull found early afternoon today by Tom Wickens was the first seen here since 2009. This is the fifth county record with all coming from Farmoor this century. This is a great find by Tom and it is not only a Farmoor Reservoir year tick but also a tick for Billy's life list. This takes the Farmoor 2017 year list to 114 and Billy's life list to 161.
Very quiet at Farmoor Reservoir this year so far, with few birds of note seen to date. So when I made my second visit of the day my expectations were not that great. But like many times in the past something turns up and today it was a Knot. Not a rare bird for Farmoor but one that is on my could miss birds list for the year.
Good start to the year with two Jack Snipe and a Shelduck seen on the 2nd. Water Rail numbers are high with three birds on Pinkhill and more heard and seen on Shrike Meadow and Buckthorn Reserves. Also noteworthy was a flock of 24 Red-crested Pochard which were present on the 1st and a Little Owl heard calling late afternoon today.