Sunday, 31 January 2010

Herts Tick!! - 31.1.10

A selection of photos of the juv Glaucous Gull.

The last day of January produced a new county tick for me. A planned trip to Amwell NR in the morning never materialised which was just aswell as around 3.20pm I recieved a phone call from Joan Thompson to tell me a Glaucous Gull was currently on show from the viewpoint at Amwell so thankfully only 1 trip instead of 2 was needed!!

I arrived just before 4pm and immediately got onto the juvenile Glaucous Gull sat on the ice in with the rest of the gull roost. My 4th in the UK and first in Herts.

Also present were 5 Smew (1 drake), 7 Goldeneye, 2 Bitterns, 6 Reed Buntings, 1 Water Rail and a Cetti's Warbler.

Another bird free day - 30.1.10

Just a few gulls flying over towards Hilfield Reservoir were seen so not very exciting!!

At Home - 29.1.10

I took a day off from work to try and complete my Cassiobury Park/Whippendell Woods list so very little birding done. Just a Blue Tit and a Robin in the garden were seen.

Watford Again - 28.1.10

An early morning spin around Cassiobury Park saw 1 Grey Wagtail with a couple of Pied Wagtails then it was out around the borough with just a few Lesser Black-Backed and Herring Gulls around the town centre and a Nuthatch by Callowland Rec.

Apologies - 27.1.10

Firstly my apologies for not updating for a few days. Today was finishing off the subway job but the only highlight was of 4 Herring Gulls chasing a Black-Headed Gull with some food in its mouth!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Watford Watching - 26.1.10

A day tarting up a shrub bed next to a subway saw just a few Feral Pigeons, Black-headed Gulls and a couple of Herring Gulls.

At least 21 House Sparrow were seen in a bush in a back garden on Newhouse Crescent.

Cemetary - 25.1.10

50+Redwings and a Green Woodpecker were seen in Vicarage Road cemetary.

Cley NWT- 24.1.10

Marsh Harrier, the juv Whooper Swan, 5 of the 80 Snow Buntings, a Redshank and a Stonechat.

A Watford RSPB coach trip to the North Norfolk coast saw 9 year ticks added. On the way a Buzzard was seen sat in a field near Shenley, a Little Egret sat next to a stream in Fakenham and a Barn Owl flushed from a roadside hedge by the coach at Blakeney.

Once at Cley the year ticks started to appear. A small flock of Twite along the beach road was followed quickly by a Water Pipit. 6 Red-Throated Divers were on the sea along with an Easterly flying Razorbill which became species number 100 for the year.

A walk to towards Salthouse was needed for the next 2 year ticks. A flock of c.80+ Snow Buntings and a juv Whooper Swan were seen with a single Eider offshore. The final 2 ticks were a fly over Linnet and a pair of Egyptian Geese.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Cassiobury Park - 23.1.10

45 minutes in the park checking if the Lesser-Spots had returned yet only saw 2 Siskin and a Great-Sotted Woodpecker in the meadow area.

Watford - 22.1.10

Another quiet day with 6+ adult Herring Gulls re-appearing around the building in the town centre where they almost definitely bred last year.

Watford - 21.1.10

Not much too shout about today with an adult Lesser Black-Backed Gull sat on top of the North stand at Watford FC, a few small groups of Redwings dotted around the town and around 3pm a Little Egret was in trees by the river in Cassiobury Park viewable from the car park.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

West Watford - 20.1.10

A Great-Spotted Woodpecker was the most exciting bird of the day mainly due to having a hard hat on my head and a loud hedge cutter in my hands!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Cassiobury Park - 19.1.10

2 Cormorants flew over the council yard at 7.50am and 2 more were seen later in the day. Also seen were 14 Ring-Necked Parakeet, a charm of around 50 Goldfinches, 50+ Siskin around the fishing lake, 2 Sparrowhawks a Little Owl and a dead Song Thrush on the path outside the cafe which looked to have been dinner for a Sparrowhawk.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Oxhey and Watford - 18.1.10

The day started with 2 Lesser Redpolls that flew over the council yard in Oxhey. Later in Vicarage road cemetary there were still around 20 Redwings and a couple of Fieldfares. After lunch a Sparrowhawk flew over the yard in Cassiobury Park mobbed by 2 Carrion Crows and later at home the short visiting Song Thrush started singing from a anearby garden and a Goldcrest was singing from a tree in the garden.

Back Garden 17.1.10

Again virtually birdless now the snow has gone with Starlings being the only bird to visit the feeders.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

B****r all! - 16.1.10

A day stuck in doors produced nothing more than 2 Black-headed Gulls and a singing Robin to show for it.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Cassiobury Park - 15.1.10

A Lesser Redpoll overhead was the highlight with 2 Ring-Necked Parakeets also seen.

Cemetary - 14.1.10

More snow clearing in Vicarage road cemetary saw 25+ Fieldfares and 20+ Redwings. A Green Woodpecker was also seen.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Cassiobury Park - 13.1.10

After having to crash my car into a hedge on the 90 minute (usually 15) drive to work this morning (either that or into a car) I had a brief wander around the park in which time I found 2 Treecreepers in a tree in the car park. The only other bird of note was a drumming Great-Spotted Woodpecker.

Cassiobury Park - 12.1.10

A great day in the park with 3 new year ticks. The first of these were not 1 but 3 Water Rails feeding in a small patch of water at the far end of the meadow. The other 2 were a pair of Bullfinch by the fishing lake and a Sparrowhawk over the meadow.

Other highlights were30+ Blue Tits, 40+ Great Tits, Coal Tit, 8 Fieldfare, 6 Ring-Necked Parakeets, 2 Treecreepers, Skylark, 60+ Siskin, Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, Lesser Redpoll, 6 Stock Dove and a juv Mute Swan over the yard.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Cemetary Sightings - 11.1.10

More snow clearing in Vicarage Road cemetary produced a flock of 25+ Redwing but not a lot else!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Garden Tick - 10.1.10

A Collared Dove put in an appearence with 3 Great Tits and a Blue Tit but a local moggy soon made them fly off!

Breaking News! - The first Song Thrush for the garden appeared at 3.20pm and is still present at the time of writing!

Back Garden - 9.1.10

6 Starlings flew in at 10am and joined the usual suspects on and around the feeders.

Back Garden - 8.1.10

A Grey Wagtail briefly on the shed roof was the highlight. 3 Great Tits were also equally as brief on the feeders.

Cemetary Sightings - 7.1.10

The surprise sighting whilst clearing snow in Vicarage Road cemetary was 3 Canada Geese flying low West most likely towards Hampermill Lake. At least 4 Song Thrushes were hopping around in the trees looking for food.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Cassiobury Park - 6.1.10

A very snowy day did produce another 2 year ticks in the shape of a Kingfisher showing well from the rustic bridge and a Coal Tit flitting around in a small pine by the entrance to the car park.

Other birds of note included a Lesser Redpoll, 40+ Siskin by the canal, 6 Teal on the cress beds, 20+ Blackbirds around the park, 2 Grey Herons and a Goldcrest in the same tree as the Coal Tit.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Watford + Oxhey - 5.1.10

3 more year ticks today were Great Tit (probably the first time its taken 5 days to see one at the beginning of the year!) at Oxhey Park and a Little Owl at KGV Playing Fields.

Also at Oxhey Park were around 30+ Redwings feeding on a Cotoneaster by the entrance gate (Bushey Arches end) while other notworthy birds at KGV were 2 Common Gulls and a Fieldfare along with a small group of mixed finches.

And finally the 3rd year tick of the day were 30+ Siskins that flew over the Premier Inn hotel on Water lane around 3pm.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Back to work :( - 4.1.10

8 year ticks were seen during the course of the day dotted around various sites in Watford. These were - Ring-Necked Parakeet, Jay, Long-Tailed Tit, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, Lesser Redpoll, Treecreeper and Nuthatch.

Back Garden - 3.1.10

3 Blue Tits emerged from nowhere to start mobbing one of the local moggies!

Back Garden - 2.1.10

A Goldcrest was the only year tick of the day.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Kent Birding - 1.1.10

Myself and my friend Bob Harris decided to start the year off birding around Dungeness. A Buzzard near Potters Bar was only the 4th bird seen. Unfortunately we reached Ashford and hit a massive snow storm that had coverd 2 lanes of the M20, so fearing we'd be stuck for days we turned off and headed to North Kent.

First stop was Oare Marshes where the highlights were 90+ Avocet, Spotted Redshank, Pintail, Bearded Tits and a couple of Marsh Harriers.

Next stop was Leysdown on Sheppey but due to the strong winds the sea was splashing over the sea wall and dashing our hopes of seeing any divers or grebes.

We then headed inland to Capel Fleet and saw a ringtail Hen Harrier.

A quick visit to Harty Ferry added Red-Breasted Merganser and Rock Pipit to the list and finally we went back to Capel Fleet for roosting raptors and had excellent views of a male Hen Harrier but slightly worse views of c.6 Bewick's Swans and a Barn Owl.

78 species in total so not a bad start to 2010.