PICCOTTS END POOLS
- cloud 0/3
- wind 0-1/3
- temp. 1-2/3 increased to 2/3 by the afternoon
- fog 1-2/3
FARMLAND SOUTH OF HIGHPARK WOOD
There is some excellently managed area of stubble field, ideal for nesting Lapwing, Hares and other farmland birds so it was definitely worth a check for Grey Partridges. The first birds of note included 4+ Lapwing, including 1 which I presume was incubating eggs as it was sat motionless and crouched discreetly on the ground in an unusual squatting pose. 15+ Linnet also flew past as I scanned the fields as I enjoying good views of 5+ Hares. As the temperatures rose, the raptors took to the sky including 2+ Red Kite, 2-3 Buzzards and 1♂ Kestrel.
lots of rubbish shots of the Hares (all the same still very nice mammals)
As I approached the wooden bridge the wintering almost summer plumaged WATER PIPIT immediately flew up from the bank and landed near the top of a willow tree. I barely recognised since my previous visit and almost thought it was an entirely different bird species- the definitely the biggest change in plumage of an individual bird I have seen.
Water Pipit, in transition to summer plumageAlso of note was 1 Little Egret, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Grey Wagtail followed by 1 Red Kite, 1 Buzzard and 1 Kestrel all circling together (the Buzzard and Kestrel being mobbed by Crows). I did a thorough check of the watercress beds north of the bridge but still no sign of the Crane or Stork sp. all I could find was another flyover Lapwing, 1 Chiffchaff and a Small Tortoiseshell.
I decided to check the surrounding farmland in hope of finding more Little Owls for my survey. My wish was soon granted when an adult LITTLE OWL made a brief appearance in a small coppice just north of Gaddesden Place. Other birds in the area included 1 Yellowhammer and 2 Hares in the stubble field near Shaw Wood accompanied by a single Red-legged Partridge. Raptors were everywhere including 3+ Red Kites along with many more Buzzards most of which were in almost continuous view.
any ideas what animal this belongs to Chris Packham
RIVER GADE AT WATER END
I decide to revisit the Piccotts End Pools again just to recheck the area for the Crane/ Stork species and bypassed the River Gade. I was surprised to find the wintering ♂ Pintail was still on the river along with 9 Teal and another Little Egret.
PICCOTTS END POOLS
Eventually caught up with Dan Forder (pleased to meet you Dan if you are reading my blog) and together enjoyed 4 Little Egrets +1 more Little Egret which I briefly saw in flight near the weir. I didn't have time to hang around any longer as I was already late for the conference, all the same the mornings birding was rather productive and it didn't appear as if I was going to miss any new arrivals as the weather just got better.