Saturday, 11 December 2010



The warmest day in over three weeks with temperatures reaching 7 degrees C. Ice on many of the gravel pits and reservoirs was beginning to melt with many wildfowl on the move between sites. There was a little bit of brightness but generally it remained grey and overcast. The winds were light.

As has been the case for several weeks now, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were the talking point and today they were just everywhere. My tally for the day was 252 birds - but there were many more, especially in Hertfordshire.


My first port of call was Wendover, where a highly mobile flock of 14 WAXWINGS was commuting between Lionel Avenue (just off of the main road) and the Haglis Drive cul-de-sac.


Next off, at around midday, I relocated Anthony Dorman's flock in Hatfield, where a total of 124 WAXWINGS was flying in to five heavily laden Pink Rowans within the flat complex at the entrance to Hillfield. They were commuting between here and the tall Poplar trees on the adjacent Langmead. Not one appeared to be ringed.


I spent the last hour of daylight at Marsworth - overlooking the reedbed. A total of 88 CORN BUNTINGS eventually came in to roost (best count this winter so far) and at least 1 CETTI'S WARBLER has survived the freeze.

The wintering EURASIAN BITTERN flew from 75 yards from the causeway at 1614 hours and quickly out of view and the resident BARN OWL at 1630. At least 3 WATER RAILS were squealing (with two walking across the ice) and at dusk, a TAWNY OWL started hooting from trees at Tringford.


At Amwell NR, Barry Reed and others recorded the MEALY REDPOLL (feeding in Birches with 6 Lesser Redpolls) and towards dusk, the Stevenage PINK-FOOTED GOOSE flew in with 6 Greylag Geese and a flock of Atlantic Canada Geese briefly.

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