TUESDAY 27 APRIL
Delivered some prestige cars today along the South Coast. Driving back, stopped off in Hampshire for a trip of DOTTEREL........
PRESTON CANDOVER (HAMPSHIRE)
A trip of 9 DOTTERELS - Was very lucky to see these birds with Steve Mansfield today and from what I could ascertain, SIX birds were FEMALES, with 5 in full plumage and one in transitional, whilst the remaining three were males. They were feeding and resting in a bean field east of Preston Candover village on the south side of the road to Bradley at SU 620 418.
Adult Dotterels partially moult into breeding plumage between early March and mid May with the complete moult attained by the time they breed from the last week of May. During this spring period, a variable number of new feathers come through in the crown, on the mantle, in the scapulars, across the wing-coverts and tertials and of course the chest feathers.
Juveniles retain their old feathers much longer and many in June still appear to be largely in non-breeding plumage - some juveniles replace a few breast and belly feathers but the flight feathers remain very worn, bleached and abraded.
A female Northern Wheatear was also present in the field
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
The highlight of this evening's visit was a female MARSH HARRIER flying back and forth over the Wilstone reedbed at 1930 hours - my first in the county this year - along with 10 Mute Swans (6 first-summers), a female Common Teal, two drake and a pair of Shoveler, 7 Northern Pochard, 82 Common Terns and 15 Common Swifts.