After having trouble uploading photos for over a week i'm suddenly able to do it now so here are a photo of a Pied Wagtail I took from the kitchen window and a rather crappy pic of the Latimer Great White Egret!
Fieldfare numbers had dropped to 25 and 5 Redwing were noted. 6 Siskin were by the car park and by the cress beds a Treecreeper showed well as did a Grey Wagtail. By the hide a Coal Tit put in a brief appearence along with a male Pheasant. Finally a Little Egret flew over the rustic bridge calling.
The first bird of the day was a Lesser Redpoll that flew over the yard as I locked my car. 2 Cormorant flew over and around 50 Siskin were by the mini railway. Fieldfare had risen to 50 with small groups flying over.
With the snow on the ground Fieldfare were more noticable around the park with at leat 30 flying around. A Buzzard being mobbed as it flew north was the first in a while and a Cormorant headed over the river.
With snow forecast and having to be back home for my weekend with my boy I chose to have the day off work to save being stuck in inevitable traffic. So from the living room window I sat watching the snow arrive and fall and my first Fieldfare of the year fly into a nearby tree briefly.
Just after dawn 4 Cormorant flew over the yard and mid morning a Treecreeper flew across the path between the rustic bridge and the paddling pools then just before lunch another Cormorant flew over Watford Museum.
At this time of year very little time is spent in Cassiobury Park as there's lots of work around Watford to get on with. It was one of these out of park times this morning that saw a nice flock of around 25 Waxwings flying over the girls grammar school heading west but not seen again. In Vicarage Road cemetery 2 MuteSwans flying low and 2 Herring Gulls keeping warm on top of chimneys were unusual sights. In the park 10 Siskin were the highlight.
After yesterdays snow made seeing any interesting birds a bit tricky today saw the sun pop out and most of the snow melting. A group of around a dozen Goldfinch flew over the yard and about 20 Siskin were near the mini railway but a Water Rail that squealed near the hide became the 60th species for the year.
A quick stroll around to the local shop in Chipperfield saw my first Sparrowhawk of 2013 flying over fields opposite the Land Rover garage then mid afternoon I headed down to the Chenies/Latimer area for my 3rd attempt at the Great White Egret. Just as I got to Latimer 3 Buzzard also got onto the year list. On arrival I had a split second flight view so I headed along the road to view the area from above. The first white shape turned out to be Mute Swans but I soon got onto the egret as it wandered along the edge of the river in the overgrown grass.
After 11 days of no real birding as such I had a couple of hours to get down to Hilfield and hopefully see some more ducks for the year list. A Pheasant was by the entrance gates and was the first of 9 new species for the year which also included a female Bullfinch by the hide. Unfortunately there was nothing of note in the gull roost.
It's now official that the start to 2013's year list is the worst I've ever had since I started keeping a year list back in 2001. A Skylark that flew over the car park in Whippendell Wood was the first addition since the 6th and becomes only the 47th species this year! Hopefully the predicted snow this weekend wont materialise and I can get out and add a few more? 2 Cormorants flew over just before I went home and a Grey Wagtail was heard first thing.
After a quiet weekend and just Rook added to the year list it was back to work and another uneventful day bird wis. An adult Mute Swan was on the canal bearing an orange ring with the numbers 037 on it with 3 youngsters. A Goldcrest was near the Rustic Bridge.
After the short trip to Norfolk it quietened down towards new years eve culminating in sitting on the sofa watching the fireworks from London!! 2012 was a strange year with 212 species seen in total but of those 212 only 6 were new birds for me (Spanish Sparrow, Parrot Crossbill, Common Yellowthroat, Short-BilledDowitcher, Baillon's Crake and Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll). But in a county context 2012 was a bumper year for me with no fewer that 8 county ticks (Caspian Gull, Fulmar, Little Bittern, Spotted Sandpiper, Sabine's Gull, Slavonian Grebe, Long-Eared Owl and Great Northern Diver. Heres hoping for a good 2013!
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.