Thursday, 28 October 2010


Two COMMON RAVENS flew low west over Amwell viewpoint this evening at about 16.55, apparently earlier in the day they had been seen over the wood from the viewpoint and also at Kingsmead. There have been a few sightings of up to 3 birds in the area over the last couple of weeks, though this is the first time I have caught up with them myself. For London enthusiasts, tonight's sighting were within the LNHS recording area.

Also this evening at Amwell 4 Mandarin Duck, 5 Red-crested Pochard, 1 Marsh Tit. Nothing notable in the gull roost (only about 100 birds roosted) (Barry Reed)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

PEREGRINE in Hemel Town Centre

The ringed adult female PEREGRINE was showing very well yesterday afternoon, roosting on its favoured ledge on the tall building on the east side of the Marlowes Roundabout and just south of its junction with the A 414 at TL 054 063. This bird successfully reared three youngsters at a nest-site this summer, despite the pair failing the year before.

Monday, 25 October 2010


This first-winter GREY PHALAROPE was unwittingly found and photographed by Victoria Gibbs at a small field puddle in Preston, near Hitchin, on 25 October - a remarkable record (many thanks to Graham Knight for the information and to Victoria for providing confirmatory images)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

HEN HARRIER still present today - and great piccies taken by Mike Ilett !

This beautiful and endangered juvenile HEN HARRIER was still performing today - frequenting the rolling countryside visible from the layby at the top of the Coombe Road at Kelshall. Mike first found this bird several weeks back now and it looks as though it may stay for the autumn. The local farmer has stocked the area well with Grey Partridges (250 or more have been released) and with these and an abundance of rodent prey, the bird can survive for many months.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Juvenile HEN HARRIER in East Hertfordshire

For nearly two weeks now, a juvenile HEN HARRIER has been present in the Coombe Road and Deadman Hill area at Kelshall/Sandon (Mike Ilett, LGRE, JT, et al). It is typically wide-ranging and has been patrolling the fields and field-edges, waiting for an opportunity to surprise one of the young Grey Partridges in the area.

There are also two COMMON RAVENS in the area, 7+ Red Kites and PEREGRINE.

17 October - CASPIAN GULL at Amwell

A first winter CASPIAN GULL was in the roost at Amwell NR tonight from 18.10 until dusk (18.30) - it was on one of the little islands towards the Gladwin hide - generally a rather meagre roost tonight, with only about 200 large gulls present.

Also at Amwell today;

3 Red-crested Pochard (2 female types and a moulting male, on Hollycross pit)
At least 6 Mandarin Ducks (including at least 2 males)
1 Pintail (eclipse male)
2 Brambling - overhead
5 Redpoll
10 Siskin
25 Fieldfare

On Wednesday Bill Last had a flock of about 15 TREE SPARROWS in a maize filed on the valley sides adjacent to the pit - had a good look for them again today (also looked yesterday) - but no sign - just 1 Brambling (Barry Reed).

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Record number of RED KITES for Hertfordshire

While driving home yesterday evening I came across a large gathering of Red Kites over Stubbock's Wood, north of Tea Green (TL138238). I counted at least 27 in the air at once, and think that is an under estimate as several dropped into or behind the wood. The Kites were accompanied by a couple of Buzzards and a wheeling flock of Jackdaws and Rooks. I viewed the spectacle from a passing-place on the narrow Stony Lane, north-east from Tea Green and from another passing-place on the slightly wider Lilley Bottom road (Roger Hicks)


I arrived at Balls Wood today to be greeted by an amazing flock of 50+ Lesser Redpolls feeding in a large Silver Birch at the intersection of The Roundings and Elbow Lane. This is the largest flock I have seen in Herts for many years and are presumably migrants (Alan Reynolds)

Friday, 1 October 2010


This superb juvenile LITTLE STINT photographed by Dave Hutchison is still present on Wilstone Reservoir this morning. There was also a SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPIT present (found by RH).
There had been two juvenile LITTLE STINTS present earlier in the week, plus a RUFF, as well as 14 NORTHERN PINTAILS.


Dan Forder has located the adult female PEREGRINE this evening, roosting back on its favoured turret on the BT building adjacent to the main roundabout in central Hemel Hempstead