Friday, 17 March 2023

Watford - 13.3.23

A noisy pair of Peregrine zoomed over the first car park of KGV playing fields mid morning playing in the wind. They brought up 100 species for the year list.

Hemel - 11.3.23


Whilst making my morning cuppa I looked out into the garden and noted a female Blackcap on my fatball feeder. A while later she returned so I took a few snaps and these two were the best. The first one in the garden for about a year. 

Friday, 3 March 2023

Watford - 3.3.23

Whilst emptying the green waste bins at Cheslyn House I heard a male Blackcap singing around the car park. Number 99 for the year

Sunday, 26 February 2023

Tring + College Lake - 19.2.23

 Only my 2nd visit to the patch this year saw me add 7 new species to the patchwork challenge list including a year tick Yellowhammer and 2 Stonechat, 1 near Rushy Meadow and the other along the path to Cemetery Corner. These were just my 3rd and 4th records for the site. 

At College Lake the first returning Redshank was seen along with a pair of Oystercatchers.

The 2 Stonechats

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Stunning Sabine’s - 22.1.23

Sabine’s Gull

 A planned trip to Norfolk with Matt and George didn’t materialise due to vehicular problems so instead we had a half day down to Langstone Harbour in Hampshire instead.

On the drive down the temperature dropped down to a fresh -7c but thankfully had warmed up to -2c when we reached our destination! Not knowing exactly where our main target was we had a scan over the mud and sea and quickly notched up many year ticks before we found out where we should be. After a couple of minutes walk we joined a handful of other birders and there in front of us was the stunning summer plumaged Sabine’s Gull. For the next half an hour we enjoyed it as it flew short distances over the lagoon and mud occasionally dropping down to preen and feed. At one point it flew past our head about 6 feet away!

After our fill of this bird (my 5th in the UK) and a further 19 year ticks including Long-tailed Duck and 6 Black-necked Grebe we headed off up to Staines Reservoir to see the male Lesser Scaup that had been present for a while. Upon arrival we realised this might be a tad tricky as thick fog had enveloped the surrounding area and we could only see a few feet of water. 

With this we headed home via the back lanes to George’s house. Near Markyate we came across a large flock of Linnet and other finches including my first Brambling of the year. George went back later and found at least 10. 

The year list now up to 97 species.

Saturday, 21 January 2023

Cassiobury- 20.1.23

 The usual Little Owl was still in its favoured tree and from the bird hide a Coal Tit was on the feeders. On Cassiobury Farm’s small lake a single Egyptian Goose was seen preening and back by the hub a Magpie was chasing a female Kestrel.

Cassiobury- 17.1.23

 A couple of Nuthatch were seen from the yard

Cassiobury - 9.1.23

 Green Woodpecker was seen up near the top end of the park.

Cassiobury - 3.1.23

 The drake Mandarin that had been hanging out with the local Mallards was seen again and Stock Dove was noted from near the croquet lawns.

Tring + College lake - 1.1.23

 As it’s been 10 years since the inception of the Patchwork Challenge I decided to take part again but knowing I’m unlikely to get there often enough to challenge for the title!

A few hours around the 4 reservoirs and nearby College Lake produced 69 species. The main highlights were a self found Ring-necked Parakeet which was a patch tick, a female Smew which flew over Marsworth, Great White Egret and 2 male Bullfinch.