Set off for Hatfield Old Aerodrome this afternoon (Saturday 23rd) at about 2 pm. After walking down the path past Notcutts and past the BT trial site I glimpsed a SHORT-EARED OWL flying about the rough ground. After a few minutes it caught a vole which it flew off with, big mistake! The local Kestrel caught up with it and after a lot of screeching the two circled higher and higher and then interacted again; the vole was dropped and the Kestrel dived and caught it, all this happening right above my head! After all this excitement I walked back down the path and saw owl number 2 hunting in the field right by the path, about 30 metres away. It too caught a vole but chose to eat it on the ground. I last saw it heading off towards Hatfield with a Kestrel in close attendance.
I then went to Tyttenhanger in the vain hope that the Bittern might fly in. After a walk round, not a lot to report, I spent a half hour or so waiting with Ricky Flescher but nothing materialised. Some Water Rails were seen by others and I saw a GREEN SANDPIPER on the small pit on the Lafarge site, quite a few Yellowhammers were also reported from the Tree Sparrow hedge.
I then drove to Stanborough lakes but I couldn't stay long, only 2 Little Egrets had flown in by the time I left. All in all a very enjoyable afternoon (Robin Pearson)