Friday, 17 February 2012

East Hyde and behind the RSSKL (17th February)

Set of from Kings Langley with Stuart Harrison for east Hyde in hope of finding the Jack Snipe that had been seen during the cold period, many thanks again Stuart for the lift.


We arrived at East Hyde around 14:00pm and soon had found 4 Snipe along the River Lee as well as a total of 5 Little Grebes.  After scanning the bank of the river for some time, a fellow woman birder pointed out a WATER RAIL (a year tick), a nice surprise as it fed on the western tributary.  We were also treated to the sight of 2 Red Kites souring into the air followed by 2 Buzzards, soon after a single Red Kite and Buzzard began circling together shortly before the Red Kite decided to land in a tree neighbouring Lower Harpenden Road.  Other good birds followed including, 1 Little Egret in the river, 1 juv. Grey Heron and 32 flyover Linnet.  Despite the good start and numerous observers, we still couldn't locate the Jack Snipe until the same lady pointed out an "unusual Snipe", with a little more patience we were soon treated to good views of a JACK SNIPE (a life tick) bobbing incessantly just infront of a Common Snipe, making it very easy to make a direct comparison in size.

the Jack Snipe (facing left) is in the center of this utterly rubbish record shot

All the time I spent at East Hyde was on or near the bridge but the day still got better with a brief appearance of a wintering GREEN SANDPIPER, not stopping of for long before pelting down the river towards Hyde Mill Farm.  For the rest of our visit we were also treated to excellent views of an ad. Kingfisher perched on the edge of the western tributary of the River Lee.  It made three dives into the river and was twice successful in catching small fish.


Little Egret

On the larger expanse of water, on the eastern tributary, Teal, Gadwall and Mallard were all present as were several Moorhen and 2 Canada Geese.  Other birds of note included a calling Yellowhammer and 1 Stock Dove.


Despite being in the driver’s seat, Stuart managed to point out 6 Red-legged Partridges at the side of the road whilst driving down Thrales End Lane, not bad multitasking.  As we passed Long Dean Park I kept an eye out for the roosting Jackdaws and sure enough a flock of 27+ Jackdaws headed NNE over the wood.


Once again I was behind the RSSKL walking Theo, almost as soon as I had come back from east Hyde.  By now darkness was setting in and birdlife had decreased significantly.  c.121 Jackdaws flew over in a ENE direction to go to roost and 1 Green Woodpecker was heard in the woodland edge just north of the first field behind the RSSKL and 3 Fieldfare were of additional note.

Thanks once again Stuart for the lift to East Hyde.

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