I took the normal route around the patch encountering the usual species, 2 Yellowhammers, being the only birds of note. Butterflies still persisted despite the prospect of poor weather and included 4 Peacocks, 2 Gatekeepers, 1 Large White, 1 Small White and a Small Tortoiseshell resting on some dung.
Walking back through the pastoral fields I was stunned to see a bird fitting the proportions of a gannet fly west over the far end of the field! Raising my bins, the words "F*****G HELL!!!" came out my mouth as a NORTHERN GANNET entered my bins!!! I could barely believe it so grabbed my camera and fired of a couple record shots as proof. Very chuffed with myself as it represents my first in Herts not to mention the local patch!
It flew steadily westwards parallel to Chipperfield Road before disappearing in the direction of Chipperfield. Following some torrential downpour later this evening there's a good chance it may be grounded at one of the nearby lakes or res's. Let's wait and see...
Thanks Lee for correcting me on the aging of the bird. We believe it to be a 1st summer (2nd CY) bird.