A relatively early morning start at 7:05am to Kings Langley Woods was relatively quiet except for a large increase to at least 41 Pied Wagtails on the cricket field. 2 Sparrowhawks also flew over me together at the bottom of the woods (clearly showing a difference in size indicating a male and female). I was also very pleased to find the first recorded of nesting House Martins in the Kings Langley tetrad (TLOOR)! There were at least two nests one being attended to by an adult in which I could hear the calls of a second bird inside the nest. In adition 30+ House Martins were also swirling in a flock over the nesting site down Blackwell Road. From the bottom of the village I headed back uphill via Toms Lane to the farmland near Numbers Farm. 2 Yellowhammers and 5 Mistle Thrushes were the first birds of note but bird activity didn't increase much until later in the morning when a flock of 14 Linnets and 1 Buzzard flew over. When arriving at Parsonage Farm I turned right, back towards Kings Langley, encountered a group of 4 Jays, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Meadow Pipit, and a pair of Buzzards on the way towards to the RES organisation. The Buzzards showed well for at least half an hour allowing me to make a detailed study and comparisons. I also decided to sketch and take notes on the key facial features for gender and aging purposes. A Sparrowhawk was also in the same hedgerow being mobbed by probably the same group of 4 Jays whilst a Green Woodpecker took flight to avoid the building confusion. A Grey Wagtail was a highlight to the trip down along the River Gade seen from Home Park Mill Link Road. Even better were 2 Hobbies (1 ad. 1 juv.) that I saw just south of the village roundabout over the A 4251 near Clapgate Farm. A great step forward towads proving their local breeding status.
A walk with Theo (our dog) behind the KL School was also productive as I came across no less than 10 Yellow Wagtails (including 9 in the sheep fields neighbouring Chipperfield Road and 1 flyover at the A41 bridge). Also of note were 1 Red Kite, 1 Buzzard and an unusual raptor (despite being distant the main features included its brown hood, extending round the throat and crown, long/ buff streaks on its flanks, dark underside to the wings and tail (which had a white edge) and its slightly smaller size than the mobbing Carrion Crow, this matches very much the same description as the bird I photographed last year of which I posted up about on the 10th March 2011).