Tuesday, 5 November 2013

HERTS MEGA - 5.11.13

2 record shots of the Mega Ibis
Remember remember the 5th of November is the old saying and I shall remember it now as just after lunch news broke of a Glossy Ibis in Herts! 2 years ago Steve Blake witnessed one at Tyttenhanger GP's briefly before it disappeared and a couple of days ago Andrew Steele briefly saw one at the same site before it too headed off. Late morning today and what is most certainly the same bird was re-found but frustratingly just over the county border in Essex. Thankfully it flew off and was discovered at Rye Meads RSPB reserve near Hoddesdon. So I headed that way straight from work and arrived on site fairly quickly. Inside the Lapwing hide were Joan Thompson, Ian Williams and Jason Ward (nice to have finally met you). Luckily the bird was still on show and I soon had it in my scope and on my list. The juvenile bird was the first ever twitchable in Herts and only the second in the county since 1887! So a true Mega. Just then Dominic Mitchell (editor of Birdwatch Magazine fame) entered the hide and got an eyeful of ibis through my scope! It also became my 200th species for the year (at last!).

Cassiobury Park - 4.11.13

5 Cormorant flew over in the early morning light on my way to work and once in the park 2 Siskin flew over and a flock of 90 Woodpigeon were the only ones seen from what was a large migration across the rest of middle England.

Cassiobury Park (the end of an era) - 3.11.13

I was in for the clean up after the fireworks the night before and during the morning 2 Siskin and a Meadow Pipit flew over. And so came to an end to my working in Cassiobury Park after 13 years. Due to the council contracting out the Dust, Street Cleaning and Parks there has been a re-structuring so myself and the guy I've been working with are now on the sports gang so while most of my work will be in the park it will just be on the sports areas so any sightings will be limited from now on.

Hilfield Reservoir - 1.11.13

As I couldn't sleep I woke up and went for a walk around Hilfield. As it turned out I should have just stayed laying in bed! 4 Meadow Pipit were on the dam until they saw me and flew north with 2 more fly overs seen later. Long-Tailed Tits were very much in evidence with over 40 seen in tit flocks. 2 Buzzard were disturbed by crows and 3 Mistle Thrushes flew east. The final bird of note was a Chiffchaff near the view point.

Herts Birding - 29.10.13

Little Stint, 2 of the Ring-Necked Duck, Blackwit and the Grey Phalablob!!
Every now and then the birding in Herts moves up a gear with 1-2 good county birds turning up. Today was one of those days so I headed up the A41 towards Wilstone Reservoir. I grabbed a parking space and walked up the steps and towards the hide. Just before I got to the hide I bumped into Bill Pegram who informed me that the birds id come to see were still present. With that good news I got to the hide and took a seat and within a minute I was the first of them. Out on the muddy spit to the left of the hide was a juvenile Little Stint. It busily fed along the waters edge occasionally vanishing behind other birds. This was my 5th in Herts and my 3rd on Wilstone. Quite quickly I managed to find the other good bird on the water just off the Drayton Bank. There fast asleep was the female Ring-Necked Duck. After about 10 minutes it woke up and I managed to grab the two photos above. This bird was my 6th in UK and my 2nd in Herts with both being seen on Wilstone. Other birds that were noted were 3 Black-Tailed Godwit and at least 70+ Golden Plover though there were probably more but I didn't count them! I then walked around to the jetty to try and see the Water Pipit but it had disappeared.

Once home I had a spot of lunch and headed over to Hilfield Reservoir where right over the far side was a 1st winter Grey Phalarope bobbing around on the choppy water. I tried my best to get a photo of it but as you can see above its more like an over exposed white blob! This was amazingly my 5th in Herts and my 2nd at Hilfield.