Friday, 2 April 2010

Tyttenhanger wins out again

Today's YELLOW WAGTAIL at Tyttenhanger captured on film by John Forgham


Continuing cold, with fresh westerly winds which veered slightly more SSW towards late afternoon. Some hefty showers throughout the morning and a belt of rain which was pushed quickly through and cleared by mid afternoon.

Another good day in terms of migration and although nothing new appeared in terms of variety, some good counts continued of those species arriving, particularly hirundines.

(morning visit; with Steve Rodwell)

The EGYPTIAN GOOSE was still present, initially on the main reservoir and then later back in the field with 38 Greylag Geese to the east of the reservoir. An adult Mute Swan also joined the flock briefly.

There were 9 Black-headed Gulls present and during the day, both Steve and Ben recorded some good Common Gull passage.

Hirundines were once again well represented, with 156 present up until midday, including 72 European Barn Swallows, 83 Sand Martins and 1 HOUSE MARTIN, whilst the east bank, in between walkers, attracted 4 Pied Wagtails, a first-summer male WHITE WAGTAIL and 3 passage Reed Buntings.

COMMON CHIFFCHAFFS were singing from just south of East Poplar Wood and from trees behind the reedbed near Cemetery Corner, whilst a singing male WILLOW WARBLER (my first in Herts this year) was present in the hedgerow in the SE corner of the reservoir.

A pair of Common Buzzards was displaying over the hide and a male LINNET flew west.


At midday, Startop's End held 4 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Mute Swans and the adult drake Red-crested Pochard, with migrants represented by 48 European Barn Swallows, 28 Sand Martins, 2 HOUSE MARTINS and a cracking male WHITE WAGTAIL on the algae bunds.


An early afternoon visit yielded a selection of migrants, including a feeding flock of 47 European Barn Swallows over the cut-off lake, a cracking adult male YELLOW WAGTAIL at the edge of the shingle edge of the track across the cut-off lake and a male NORTHERN WHEATEAR for its second day in the sheep field up near the top gate.

An impressive 10 TREE SPARROWS was feeding in the flattened maize field, in the shelter of the hedgerow with Yellowhammers, Dunnocks and Reed Buntings, with the pair of Common Shelduck on the main pit, a drake Shoveler, 6 Common Redshank and 56 migrant Common Gulls, predominantly immatures. A Common Chiffchaff was in full song in the wood behind the conveyor belt.

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