Both my brother and I went on the Hemel RSPB trip to the Ver Valley and Tyttenhanger. We joined up at the Verulamium car park around 8:00am, but only got going after about 20 minutes as we waited for the rest to arrive. This left time to start listing birds from the car park including a Nuthatch, flyover Grey Wagtail, Jay, and 2 Mistle Thrushes. We were led by John Fisher through the local area starting at the church outside the Verulamium Museum. We noted 4+ Mistle Thrushes, as well as a Goldcrest and 1 House Martin. Unfortunately the Gorhambury Estate that we planned on walking through was closed due to a shoot going on, instead we took the alternative route along the A5183. Although we expected to see less via this route we still encountered coveys of Red-legged Partridges consisting of 1 on the estate, and 2 coveys of 6 and 12 on the NE side of the A5183 road. 1 Buzzard and 5+ Skylarks were also noted. We then continued along the bridleway past Shafford Farm were we encountered a Reed Bunting, perched on the electricity wire and an ad. Little Owl near the dam. As we wound our way through the grazed fields we also saw 2 Linnets, 1 Red Kite, a flyover Hobby, 2 Buzzards and a Grey Wagtail at the Redbournbury Mill, our final destination were we continued by car to Tyttenhanger.
Little Owl standing in the open in the open door of an old shed
Little Owl hiding from a mobbing Chiffchaff
view over the grazed wet grassland near Redbournbury Mill
Grey Heron surprising flushed from a field
Grey Wagtail at the Redbournbury Mill
Soon after arriving we were notified of a Black Tern that commuted between both the NE and the main pit. Also on the mud was a Redshank, 2 Common Gulls and 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 6+ Buzzards were also circling together over the east side of the pit and a ♀ Kestrel was also actively hunting over the grassland to the west of the NE pit. A good flow of 25+ Meadow Pipits also flew west over the pit. Other birds of note included 7 Mistle Thrushes, 10 Gadwall (7♂, 3♀), 5 Shoveler (1♂,4♀) and a Hobby.
Black Tern on the NE pit spit amongst B H Gulls for protection
view over the main gravel pit at Tyttenhanger
Black Tern commuting between the NE and main pit