Friday, 8 April 2011

Cassiobury MEGA MEGA!! - 8.4.11

The day started off with a Willow Warbler singing somewhere near the house as I left the front door. Around the park 2 Coal Tits were near the car park and between 10.30-11am, 16 Meadow Pipits flew over (1,7,3,3, + 2) all on the same course to the NW. Just before 1pm I had to go back to the yard to get more bin bags (as i'd worked so hard i'd run out!!) when walking back to the park vehicle I noticed a huge bird flying in with slow wing beats almost gliding at times fairly high up coming in from the East and heading West straight towards me. I thought to myself it could only be 1 of 3 species those being Common Crane, White Stork and Black Stork. I immediately got onto the phone and rang Joan Thompson (who was unfortunately for her at College Lake) to tell her and I was erring on it being a Stork sp but as it was virtually overhead I could see no obvious white T shaped belly patch surrounded by black ruiling out Black Stork and the wings (and indeed the whole bird) were all the same dull grey colour not white on the front and black on the trailing edge ruiling out White Stork. It then frustratingly veered off to the SW and was eventually lost to view as it was flying towards Rickmansworth. I was still buzzing with excitement half an hour later!! It's quite possible it is the same bird Lee Evans found in Bedfordshire on Monday and was subsequently seen in Bucks on the Monday and Tuesday followed at Otmoor RSPB in Oxfordshire later on Tuesday with a possible flying over Cookham in Berks the next day which isn't a million miles from Watford as the Crane flies!! Though where had it been on Thursday? It represents a new species for the park (obviously!) and amazingly is the 2nd new species added this week after the 2 Egyptian Geese!

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