Sunday, 5 December 2010

More on that HAWFINCH sighting

This morning started off with a quick look for the Waxwings along Merchant Drive in Hertford. Unfortunately there was no sign but plenty of berries still around. I then went to Tyttenhanger where Ricky Flesher had relocated the BITTERN in the small reedbed on the north east side of the main pit. It showed well if distantly from the hide for about half an hour while I was there, occasionally fishing. The particular location can only be viewed from the other side of the pit, ideally the hide. Also present were a Little Egret and female Goldeneye, along with small numbers of the usual winter ducks.

Then it was off to do a Bird Atlas timed visit in Harpenden, TL11L. I was enjoying a pleasant if quiet walk when I approached a number of birds bathing in a small puddle along a public footpath next to Thames Wood. There were 3 Chaffinches, a Redwing, and amazingly a HAWFINCH. I watched it bathe for about 30 seconds before it flew to a nearby tree on the edge of the wood. A couple of minutes later it again showed in another beech tree along the edge of the wood.

The location is at approximately TL151125, along the appropriately named Mud Lane (which is actually a public footpath). As far as I know the wood is private. The exact place is slightly to the east of the large transmitter which is in the wood. If anyone wants to go, the best place to park is probably at the Three Horseshoes pub on Harpenden East Common, and walk northeast along the footpath.

That's what I love about the bird atlas - it takes you to new places and who knows what is there to be found - Graham Knight

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