Sunday, 21 March 2010

Highlights from the past week - first major arrival of spring migrants - DARK-BELLIED BRENT and BLACK REDSTART

Tyttenhanger Dark-bellied Brent Goose and Batford Black Redstart both excellently captured on film by Simon West

DARK-BELLIED BRENT GOOSE: a first-winter was present at Tyttenhanger GP from 16-18 March (Steve Blake et al);

EGYPTIAN GEESE: 2 at Willows Farm Pool, Tyttenhanger GP, on 17-18 March (Steve Blake) with another at Amwell NR on 20 March;

OSPREY: two different birds apparently flew north over Amwell NR late on 20 March (observers unknown);

MARSH HARRIER: the first of the year flew NE over Amwell NR on 20 March (Phil Ball);

RINGED PLOVER: single pairs at Amwell NR and Pitstone Industrial Estate on 20 March (JVHS/Ben Miller);

EUROPEAN BARN SWALLOW: the first of the year was at Amwell NR on 20 March (Jan Van Hein Steenis);

SAND MARTIN: southerly winds saw a major arrival with 4 at Amwell NR on 17 March, with the first at Wilstone Reservoir that day (Dave Bilcock) followed by 5 on 18th (DB, Roy Hargreaves, Charlie Jackson), 17 on 19-20th (Lynne Lambert, DB, LGRE, et al) and 23 on 21st (Ian Williams et al). Elsewhere, 1 went over King's Meads on 18th (Paul Hackett)

BLACK REDSTART: a first-winter female at Batford on 17 March (Darin Stanley et al);

NORTHERN WHEATEAR: the first two males appeared at Norton Green on 18 March (Darrel Bryant et al) (with a male still present there on 19th), with another at Stocker's Farm on 19th

COMMON CHIFFCHAFF: widespread arrival of singing birds from 18 March (many observers)

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