I spent the day in Vicarage Road cemetary digging 2 graves for next week and during the day spotted the following. 4 Cormorants flew over along with 10 Swallows flying SW infront of the rain. 2 Ring-Necked Parakeets were also noted and 2 juv Woodpigeons.
My first Redwings of the Autumn in Herts were 2 flying over Oxhey Grange bowls club this morning with a Sparrowhawk over aswell. A leucistic juvenile Woodpigeon was looking ill around the edge of the green aswell.
2 photos of the 'Alder' Flycatcher, large waves and a sunbathing Common Seal!!
Up at 4am, in the car and off to Norfolk at 5am along with Joan Thompson, Phil Busby and Chris Sharp (nice to meet you!) Arrived at Cley beach car park and was nearly blown off my feet by the gale force wind!! Joan decided to take the boat from Morston to Blakeney Point but the 3 of us decided to walk (must be mad). With the 3 miles of shingle and strong wind it took 90 minutes to reach the plantation (7 or so trees!). After a short wait the bird popped into view and did so on and off for the hour or so we were there but as you can see from the photos above it didn't always perch out in the open too long although the pro's managed some good pics. The bird in question is an American member of the Empidonax flycatcher family but are very difficult to seperate in the field. It's most likely an Alder Flycatcher which is the same as the only previous UK record, the Cornwall bird 2 years ago. After seeing this bird my first Redstart of the year was seen nearby and 2 Wheatears and some Gannets were seen on the way back.
Once poor Joan had struggled back to the car soaked to the skin like the rest of us I informed her of a Bonelli's Warbler at nearby Wells Woods. We arrived and wandered into the dell. An hour of chasing around and all i'd seen were 2 Pied Flycatchers (year tick) and 2 GardenWarblers and a few Redwings. But in the end I saw the warbler but only in flight for 2 seconds so couldn't count it! Just after that a Siskin flew over.
It was a day of Jays today with 20+ seen around the park including a flock of 12 that flew over. 2 Meadow Pipits, 18 Canada Geese and a Grey Wagtail also flew over and a male Sparrowhawk flew along the river. The warm weather made a Chiffchaff start singing briefly!
There was only 1 bird of note today and what a goody it was. Around 11.30am while driving down to the toilets a small passerine flew up from near the log benches and lone Cedar tree on the hill. It was a fem/juv Wheatear but no sooner had I seen it then a Yorkshire Terrier got a bit too close and the bird flew up up and away over towards Whippendell Woods and was lost to view. It was only the 4th Wheatear in the park since 1938!!
I woke up at 9.45am had a stretch and checked the pager only to find a Wryneck had been found at Tyttenhanger GP's. I'd managed to miss the last twitchable one in Herts at Norton Green by about an hour so I shot over only to find that the original finder had only had a few seconds view was that was the only sighting. A county tick gone a begging! The only birds of note were a flyover Yellow Wagtail, a Hobby over the main pit and a Meadow Pipit over head while walking back to the car.
And just now while getting the washing in 2 Swallows flew North and 3 Meadow Pipits flew West.
A day top dressing the cricket square was livened up when a Hobby flew NE through the park. 3 Meadow Pipits also headed South along with c.75 Swallows though 1 of them decided to head North! 8 House Martins were still present flying over the car park and neighbouring houses. 2 flocks of Woodpigeon flew South early on totalling 20 birds and a Sparrowhawk was seen distantly to the East end of the park.
A day out in Essex with the family mainly for fresh air and an ice cream (but on the look out for 'Rossi' the Ring-Billed Gull) but unfortunately he didn't want to be seen. Instead 5 Mediterranean Gulls (3 ad winter, 2nd winter and a juv) and another 12 Little Egrets were seen.
Before heading homeI thought I would try to catch up with 1 of the Ospreys that was hanging around Bowling Green Marsh RSPB in Topsham. On arrival in the hide another birder told me that it had been seen earlier flying off then another birder by the viewpoint said that 2 had flown off even earlier! Birds that were seen included 2 Green Sandpipers, 3 Pintails, 2 Barnacle Geese, LRP and a Dunlin but it was the 34 LittleEgrets that were the highlight for me as it meant that i'd passed through the 1000 barrier of the species in the UK!! 3 more were seen nearby and finally a Red Kite over the M25 in Bucks on the final leg of the journey home.
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.