Monday, 7 June 2010

SPOTTED FLY at last, and a vagrant non-naturalised BARNACLE GOOSE


The hot weather gave way to slightly cooler conditions, bringing overcast skies and later, in the evening, a band of rain from the west. The wind was in the west but fairly light.

I spent the day birding locally, mainly intent in adding Spotted Flycatcher to my Hertfordshire Yearlist. Thanks to Darin Stanley, I finally succeeded. Another high was finding a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker nest.......


After numerous visits, finally tracked down the nesting pair of LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKERS which had been frequently observed carrying food. After hearing the male announce its presence with its long piercing call and watch it disappear into a line of trees, waited for a short while and heard the distinctive, noisy call of the youngsters. The nest hole was about 20 feet up in a relatively young tree and at feeding time, as the adults disappeared into the hole, at least one baby woodpecker could be heard.

The same site also yielded 3 singing male COMMON WHITETHROATS (two of which were feeding young later), a GARDEN WARBLER, a singing male Common Chiffchaff, a nesting pair of Ring-necked Parakeets, 4 Stock Doves and a singing male Greenfinch.


The largely dried up scrapes at Stockers Farm held just 1 adult Lapwing, whilst the farm buildings themselves 8 European Barn Swallows and the causeway, 2 singing male Western Reed Warblers. JT set me a quiz and the gleaming surprise was that of BREEDING Black-headed Gulls - 5 pairs in all - with one pair feeding three fledged youngsters on the raft. The rafts also accounted for 17 nesting pairs of Common Tern.


Thanks to Darin Stanley, I was finally able to add SPOTTED FLYCATCHER to my 2010 Herts Year List. A pair was nesting in the grounds of the Old Rectory, with one of the adults constantly returning to a lamp standard by the entrance and showing very well. I did not see or hear the long-staying male European Turtle Dove however, although Darin and Jo had seen it several times from the neighbouring pub garden on Sunday evening.

(1630 hours)

The OYSTERCATCHER family were still present, the two youngsters growing very well and quite independent now.

In with 11 Atlantic Canada Geese present in the grass field adjoining the pool was a single unringed adult (non-naturalised) BARNACLE GOOSE - another first for me of the Herts year.

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