Most of the day was spent in a hotel finding out more about the future of the park and what things may or may not happen with the heritage lottery grant we have been awarded. But before the meeting the 60 or so Redwing were still present and after the meeting the first Meadow Pipit of the year in the park flew over the toilet block.
Firstly apologies for the lack of posts but since last Wednesday (20th) I was unfortunate to catch the lurgy that has been going around and with that it meant that 99% of the weekend was spent either in bed or on the sofa aching in places I never knew you could ache! But back to work it was today and even feeling rough I still managed to note at least 60 Redwing in with Starlings by the top football pitch and down on the river the Mandarin pair were again on the river just south of the rustic bridge, a Grey Wagtail was on the flotsam hanging into the river and just on the other side a male Pheasant was looking for food.
An excellent day in the park today with 2 possibly 3 singing Chiffchaff along the river and while emptying the bins I tried to see one of them but instead picked up 2 birds over the woods dropping down behind the trees possibly heading towards the canal. They were a pair of Goosander! They were only the 2nd ever record for the park and the first time i'd seen them. They also got onto my year list! The pair of Gadwall were still in the meadow and the pair of Mandarin were on the river just south of the rustic bridge with 3 birds (2 male) reported to me in the afternoon. Siskin and Redwing were still hanging about the cafe area.
As I was a bit early for work this morning I headed down to the bottom of the park in the hope of at least hearing the singing Chiffchaff that was found last week. Luck was in as soon as I stepped out of the car I heard it singing from the area around the old cress beds but due to work and flooding I couldn't try to see it. 2 adult Mute Swan were still on the river. Mid morning I had to go to the cemetery in Vicarage Road and while there 5 Fieldfare and 4 Siskin were seen.
3 Lesser Redpoll flew over the croquet lawns around 1.30pm then after work I popped up to the reservoirs at Tring. First stop was Startop's End Reservoir. I climbed the steps from the car park and immediately connected with 5 Red-Crested Pochards (3 male). I wandered around the reservoir in the pouring rain in search of the Water Pipit but apparently I missed it by about 5 minutes after a dog walker had flushed it. 3 Grey Wagtails were along the waters edge. A Water Rail and Reed Bunting were heard on Marsworth Reservoir On Tringford Reservoir 2 more male RC Pochards were in the middle of the water. A quick visit to Wilstone for the gull roost was aborted as the rain became heavier but not after i'd seen my first Goldeneye of the year.
Canada Geese were again the first bird of note for the day but this time it was 11 birds that flew over the yard as I got out of my car. The Gadwall pair were still in the meadow with Little Egret and Grey Wagtail in the surrounding area.
Even though its still cold the first signs of Spring were seen today with both Magpie and Carrion Crow carrying sticks for nest building and a Blackbird with a mouthful of worms. A Treecreeper was seen down Lime Walk with 2 Goldcrest. A Lesser Redpoll and Grey Wagtail flew over the yard. After lunch 2 RedKite flew in over the yard before going their seperate ways and an hour before hometime a Rook headed over the tennis courts. On the way home a Red Kite flew over Hempstead Road and another over Kings Langley high street.
The first stop of the day was the Oxhey depot again and this time the Lesser Redpoll count had risen to 7 with a further 2 on feeders in the garden of the last house before the allotments. 8 Siskin were around the car park back in the park. A Grey Wagtail flew over the toilet block and a Goldcrest was by the rustic bridge. 2 adult Mute Swan flew in over the fishing lake and landed on the river by the meadow bridge and in the meadow itself 2 Coot were present.
25 Siskin were feeding in Alder trees by the car park first thing whilst out on the football pitches around 20 Redwing were feeding with a small flock of Starlings. A rough count of Blackbirds throughout the park and along Lime Walk (path between the park and Grove Mill car park in Whippendell Wood) approached almost 40 birds with the majority of them being males. A quick visit to our Oxhey depot saw 3 LesserRedpoll still present.
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.