The long-staying Tundra Bean Goose at Tyttenhanger that had been present for over a week was enough to draw me to the main Gravel Pit on the 3rd December. Temperatures had plummeted since the previous week and I resumed to counting species rather than numbers as bearing the cold was already enough. I visited the main fishing lake first, which is evidently popular amongst the large count of 26 Great Crested Grebes. In addition 2 Grey Herons were also on the river periphery as were 4 Lapwing. Surprisingly the main gravel pit was largely empty of waders and the only birds of note were a flock of c.15 Goldfinches and Lesser Redpoll in the south eastern corner of the pit. From the hide I resorted to scanning the gulls that comprised of 300+ Black-headed Gulls, Common Gulls and 3+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls. In addition 2 Green Woodpeckers were around the hide, as was 1♀ Great Spotted Woodpecker. Unfortunately there was no sign of the Tundra Bean Goose or the two White-fronted Geese that had been reported only two days ago for the past week. In fact very few Geese were present, only 39 Canada Geese and 3 Greylag Geese.
Instead of waiting at the pit I made a quick tour of the Willows Farm area noting 1♂ Kestrel (3 seperate sightings of one, possibly the same bird) and 2 Buzzards circling over the quarry. On my return to the Main Gravel Pit at 12:50pm there seemed to be no new arrivals. All of note was a better count of the previous 8 Lesser Redpoll now without the Goldfinches and 19 flyover Lapwing.
Since little had changed I decided to move on to Beech Farm area, hoping to see Short-eared Owls. This was a new site to me and it took a while for me to find the correct location were they had last been seen. Unfortunately, again, there was no sign of any and with the sight already being well watched once arriving there seemed little chance of improvement. Birds of note however, was 1 Red Kite and the largest congregation of Redwing and Fieldfare in the sloe berry bushes I have seen this winter so far.
TYTTENHANGER MAIN GRAVEL PIT
A third visit to the Main Gravel Pit site at Tyttenhanger for a thrid time that day at c.13:45pm still yeilded no sign of either Goose species.
A little disappointing day with no sign of either of the key species, however, Tyttenhanger still seems a good place for future Gull roosts so may check out the sight more regularly early mornings and evenings for gulls.