Sunday, 5 December 2010

Red Letter Day at Amwell - MEALY REDPOLL and CASPIAN GULL recorded

At 12:30, I found a MEALY REDPOLL in a 40-strong Lesser Redpoll flock near Hollycross Lake. A typically "grey" individual, lacking any buff in the face or in the wing. Unfortunately, the birds were very mobile and I lost it quickly. The flock was seen later in the afternoon, but the bird was not. They appear to come back to the birches along the footpath from time to time.

Later, in the gull roost, a 2nd winter CASPIAN GULL was present from 3:30 till 3:45, when someone fired a gun a couple of times which sent all the gulls to the reservoirs (and left one bird for dead: heart attack or shot?)... Alan Harris also had an adult MEDITERRANEAN GULL in this flock.

A Dunlin which spent all day in front of the viewpoint was only the third one this year.

Probably the most curious sight today was a swimming Rabbit, trying to escape a Stoat. The Stoat got out of the water quite quickly, leaving the Rabbit to float around for a minute or so, before it tried to reach the bank. All the while, an unringed juvenile Harris's Hawk watched the proceedings. This was the third day in a row a hunting Stoat was seen.

Other birds:

1 Egyptian Goose
3 Pintail (2 females from the viewpoint, 1 drake out of sight)
2 Smew (female)
1-2 Bitterns (not showy at all)
1 Marsh Tit

Jan Hein Steenis

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