Monday, 8 August 2011

Cycle trip to Stockers Lake and other sites (3rd August)

The day started early and I was already at my first destination (up a small lane leading up from M25 roundabout just outside Watford) at around 6am, I was surprised at the number and variety of birds that I encountered despite the relatively normal location, the trick was obviously the early timing.  At least 5 Bullfinches were in the hedgerows including 3 fly over birds.  A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and calling Green Woodpecker were also present as well as a small flock of Linnets and the old oak trees lining they way hosted flocks of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits and Chiffchaff.  A pair of Buzzards also congregated at the Hunton Bridge.  Whilst cycling along the canal a pair of Kingfishers darted past before I arrived at my next stop, a small park just south of the M25 roundabout into Watford.  Here I saw 1 Reed Warbler, and other commoner species such as Goldfinch and Chiffchaff and a calling Bullfinch.


I cycled further into Watford to Cassiobury Park.  2 Ring-necked Parakeets (with dozens more heard), 3 Bullfinches, several Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a pair of Mistle Thrush's with 1 juvenile were the main birds of note.  I also heard a distinctive "plop" and crunching noise on reeds that is characteristic of a Water Vole, heard along the river Glade within the nature reserve of Cassio. Park.


As usual several warbler species were present at Croxley Common Moor, including Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats and Reed Warblers (skulking in the reed margin on the north western side of the moor).  Reed Buntings were also throughout the area.


Very little of interest at Stockers Lake except 2 Little Egrets, several sightings of a flypast Kingfisher and along the southern bank and a Sparrowhawk was circling with prey whilst being mobbed by House Martins uttering a distinctive "treew" alarm call.

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