Another day in the park and a few highlights were seen with c.20 Swifts, 7 House Martins, and 3 juvenile Black-Headed Gulls in with c.30 adults. The main highlights were non-avian with a Silver-WashedFritillary in Whippendell Woods and a Grass Snake attempting to eat a CommonToad!!
A singing Chiffchaff was near the Langley Way entrance and the Mistle Thrush flock is still present but they took flight mid count! 28 Black-Headed Gulls were sat on the cricket square in the afternoon and a couple of Stock Doves were near Cha cha cafe.
In Cassiobury Park this morning 2 Green Woodpeckers were on the grass by Cha cha cafe and the Mistle Thrush flock had increased to 16 birds. Later in the morning 18 Lapwings flew west over the lower high street which was unusual.
Myself and my partner decided on a night away from it all near Portsmouth so early Saturday morning off we went. Bird wise 3 Red Kites on the journey down including 1 in Chorleywood were nice aswell as 3 Buzzards. While in Portsmouth itself a few Common Terns were offshore being blown around in the strong wind.
My first full day back in the park in a while produced a few good birds but nothing you could call exciting. 7 Mistle Thrushes were opposite Cha cha cafe first thing along with 2 Stock Doves and 2 Great-Spotted Woodpecker. A Sparrowhawk flew over the concil yard and a Bullfinch was heard calling from the meadow.
After yesterdays excitement it was back to work and the birds of Watford! The highlight if you can call it that was the 1st juv LBB Gull of the year seen at KGV playing fields along with 2 singing Blackcaps and 4 Mistle Thrushes. At Cassiobury Park a Little Owl started calling briefly around 2pm.
2 photos of the White-Tailed Plover that I managed to take before it flew.
Well what a day! I finally had my car back from my girlfriend after 3 weeks of hersbeing in a garage and what good timing it was. At work I was using loud equipment and had missed a mega alert on my pager and it was 3 hours later I found out a WHITE-TAILED PLOVER had been found at Rainham Marshes RSPB in London. So after work I popped home for my optics and set off, unfortunately a crash in the Blackwall tunnel meant that everything was being diverted onto the road I wanted to use! Just like the twitch to Wales I walked up to the site and was told it was showing well. On arrival I was told it had flown out of view 3 minutes ago and so a nervous 50 minute wait ensued before it suddenly appeared and I had my 4th UK lifer of the year. It showed well for 4 minutes but then a Lapwing chased it off and it flew out of view showing its white tail.
During the wait 12 Little Egrets, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper and a Wigeon were seen.
First thing today at work was finishing off cutting back the footpaths in Oxhey park. 65+ CarrionCrows were sat on the sports area waiting for the locals bringing them bread and a Blackcap and Chiffchaff were singing still. Next stop was Riverside Park where a family of Whitethroats were busy looking for insects and another Blackcap and Chiffchaff were singing. And finally a job near West Watford had another Blackcap before seeing that Mute Swans had bred around the cress beds in Cassiobury Park with at least 4 cygnets seen.
The number of Mallards had gone down but the number of young had increased to 8. The 2 young Moorhen chicks were seen with 1 adult and 2 fully grown young. An adult Herring Gull paid a quick visit to nick a piece of bread.
A poor photo of a Large Skipper feeding on Rosebay Willowherb.
Apologies for the lack of updates. The main reason is because i've not really seen much of note! The last couple of days though have seen a couple of interesting things. Whilst cutting back the weeds from the path in the nature reserve in Cassiobury Park a couple of Blackcaps were singing along with a Chiffchaff. Another Chiffchaff was singing in the meadow. But a calling Kingfisher was the highlight as it flew along the river. On the insect front my first Banded Demoiselle, Meadow Brown and Large Skipper were seen.
On the pond in Watford town centre at least 25 Mallards are present including 6 ducklings. At least 2 Moorhen chicks were also present occasionally showing on the Western most island. A Grey Heron flew NE over the town hall.
And in Oxhey what looked like a family party of 4 Ring-Necked Parakeets were present in the council yard.
Born and bred in Watford,Herts, I started birding when I was just 8 years old because the old next door neighbours garden was very overgrown and attracted birds to his and our gardens! I first went to the Watford RSPB group at 15 and then I joined the Herts Bird Club in the same year. I was on the Herts Bird Club committee for 3 years. I started twitching in September 2001 after i'd bought my RBA pager and within a week of owning it i'd added Red-Necked Stint and American Green Heron! I keep 2 main lists which can be seen above.