Late morning and I was sat reading the paper when I recieved a call from Tony Blake saying he had just found a Spotted Sandpiper at Hilfield and was I nearby to come have a look! 15 minutes later and I was watching the bird but frustratingly it was fairly distant and facing away so all I could see was a Common Sandpiper looking bird but with paler upperparts before it started chucking it down with rain and the bird dropped onto the bank and out of view. A few minutes later it popped back on top of the damn but shot round to the other side of the bridge. A couple of other key holders arrived and slowly we walked up to the bridge and viewed from there. Another few minutes wait and the finder saw it fly to the SW corner of the reservoir and the rest of us watched it there for just under 5 minutes noting even at that distance the obvious orange bill. Then without warning it flew off low over the water eastwards. Whilst flying I noted the white wing bar was restricted and finished short of the inner wing (an ID feature for Spotted Sandpiper). It was lost to view near the East bank and as of yet hasn't been seen again.
Singing Chiffchaffs were now up to 3 birds with the original 2 still in the nature reserve and another was at the far East end of the park. A Sparrowhawk flew over being mobbed by crows and 2 Bullfinches were in the woods near the fishing lake.
A Red Kite was near Kings Langley and another was seen over Stocker's Lake. A Cetti's Warbler was heard on the causeway. An Egyptian Goose was seen from the Tern hide and I saw my first ever Little Egret on a nest aswell. But it was the show stealing Little Bittern that was the highlight of the day. As you can seee from the photos it did show well at times!
After hearing the belated news and seeing the belated photos of a Little Bittern at Stockers Lake on Sunday most Herts birders were left thinking what if. So imagine the amazement when news broke that it had been refound by Tyttenhanger regular Steve Blake. Annoyingly for me I was sat in the Drs for 50 agonising minutes before I headed over with a pounding migraine! (I thought some fresh air would do me good!). I arrived on site to learn it had just flown round the back of the island on the river. A nervous wait finally paid dividends when it flew out and spent ages fishing just the other side of the river. At one point it caught a perch and spent a long time trying to swallow it without the spines sticking in it's throat! Annoyingly I'd left my camera at home so used my phone to take my pics.
Who'd have thought that when I started this blog back in 2009 that it would still be going and having 700 posts?!
Anyway in the park today (30th May) 2 brrods of Canada Geese were seen on the river by the fishing pit. 1 brood had 3 juvs and the other had 5 and were all together with their parents. A Grey Wagtail on the cress beds was a rare sighting this year and a Treecreeper was near the mini railway.
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.