Monday, 31 January 2011

BEARDED TITS still present

A pair of BEARDED TITS still present this afternoon (15:20) 31st January. Close views obtained from green metal gate on north side of lake (TL473194) (Tony Moverley)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Amazing garden gathering of BULLFINCHES

An astounding 17 BULLFINCHES are visiting Robin Pearson's garden in Harpenden, as well as a male BLACKCAP (see image above)

Large flock of WAXWINGS in Bishop's Stortford

60 + WAXWINGS now on Great Hadham Road just west of entrance to wentworth drive (Graeme J Smith)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Lean Pickings


Another pretty miserable day weatherwise, with cold NW winds and intermittent rain all day. The light remained very poor and the rain got heavier throughout the afternoon.

After several false-starts, I finally got down to doing some target-birding in Bedfordshire.....


Very quiet apart from 18 Gadwall and a GREEN SANDPIPER in the stream.


I spent over two hours searching for Darin's two male Blackcaps but to no avail - the well-stocked front garden of no.43 did however produce 2 Rooks, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Dunnocks, Nuthatch, numerous Great and Blue Tits, 7 Long-tailed Tits, Greenfinch, 5 Chaffinch and 2 Reed Buntings.

The GREEN SANDPIPER was still present on the Sewage Treatment Works, with a nice COMMON KINGFISHER (perched and feeding on a Stickleback) and GREY WAGTAIL on the river inside the tiny nature reserve.


The usual pair of EGYPTIAN GEESE were present in the field opposite the mill, whilst 4 Common Teal (2 pairs) were feeding at the cress beds. At least 30 Redwing were in the area but yet again I failed to find any Common Ravens in the area and worryingly they have not returned yet to the usual nest (another pair I know of has now started nest-repairing).

At Bendish Lodge (TL 166 224), both Red Kite and Common Buzzard were noted, with a covey of 6 Red-legged Partridges at TL 154 232, the junction of Church Road and Lilley Bottom.

Monday, 24 January 2011

BLACK REDSTART at Tyttenhanger

This morning I found a BLACK REDSTART near Willows Farm. It was by the road to Tyttenhanger House, at the far end of the field next to Willows Farm car park. I watched it for a few minutes at close range, but then phoned the news to RBA: when I'd finished, the bird was nowhere to be seen.

AlsoLittle Egret on Colney Heath
Common Shelduck and Ruddy Shelduck on main pit
Drake Goldeneye on main pit
Tawny Owl calling in Garden Wood
81 Fieldfare and 44 Redwing in Colney Heath horse paddocks

David Booth

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Now 10 SMEW at Amwell - largest gathering for many years

Highlight of a mostly grey and cold day at Amwell were two MEALY REDPOLLS with six Lesser Redpolls which were present for less than an hour late morning near the lock at Tumbling Bay.

Ten SMEW were counted (three drakes). They flew up and down between Great Hardmead Lake and Tumbling Bay and some showed very well from the White Hide.

Furthermore: 1 Bittern, 1 Little Egret, 1 drake Mandarin, 3 Red-crested Pochard (Jan Hein)

Hatfield Tesco's WAXWINGS return

80 in trees and bushes around the recycling area at Tescos, Hatfield at 3.45pm (Anthony Dorman)

Friday, 21 January 2011



After a sharp frost, another cold day with clear blue skies and sunshine. Beautiful birding conditions.


A total of 5 collybita CHIFFCHAFFS were showing well in the afternoon sunshine in the overhanging vegetation bordering the River Colne at the extreme south end of Troy Mill GP (immediately behind the Broadwater Pit Sailing Club) but there was no sign of last year's overwintering Siberian Chiffchaff nor of any Scandinavian Chiffchaffs.

The area held a very impressive count of Coot - 512 in all - but surprisingly few Gadwall - and just 9 Great Crested Grebe, 18 Mute Swan and 96 Tufted Duck.


This used to be a brilliant site for wintering Smew but few people ever look here now. I did today bit it was very quiet - just Great Crested Grebe, 2 Mute Swans, 12 Tufted Duck and 58 Coot present.


Two EGYPTIAN GEESE-types were with the 52 Atlantic Canada Geese grazing and 16 Gadwall on the pool. Ten Common Magpies were also in attendance.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Images of today's SHELDUCK and yesterday's PINK-FOOTED GOOSE at Amwell


TREE SPARROW PORTFOLIO - some gorgeous portraits taken by first-rate bird photographer MIKE LAWRENCE

A light frost overnight and a welcome return to calm conditions. There was little wind all day and little cloud - in fact a glorious birding day. Not too cold either.


The LITTLE EGRET was still present in the roadside section of the Chess this morning, showing exceptionally well. Large numbers of Rooks were gathering close to the Rookery.


A single adult BARNACLE GOOSE of unknown origin pitched up with 2 Greylag Geese - the three birds grazing at the back of the field. At least 8 Linnets were feeding in Car Park 3, as well as 7 Mistle Thrushes.


Checked out Alan and Steve's large white-headed gull but sadly it was a 4th-winter Argenteus HERRING GULL rather than anything more exciting. The loafing gull roost on the sand was quite large and included an impressive count of 93 Commons; 7 Lesser Black-backed were also present.

My first local COMMON SHELDUCK of the year was a welcome sight, resting on the sandbank, whilst 3 drake Gadwall, 19 Tufted Duck, 5 Mute Swans, 88 Lapwing and a single each of Fieldfare and Redwing were also noted.

More impressive was the TREE SPARROW flock - a total of 20 birds - and the 3 BRAMBLINGS (a nice winter male and two females). Also attracted to the feeding station were 44 Yellowhammers, 11 Reed Buntings, 25 Chaffinch and 3 Greenfinches (the latter incredibly scarce of late). The fields yielded an exceptional 71 Red-legged Partridges, with a flock of 55 Eurasian Skylark in the crop.


Just 5 Little and 3 Great Crested Grebes noted and a handful of Gadwall.

The first summer migrants - COMMON SHELDUCKS

COMMON SHELDUCK on west pool until 9:45am when it flew east (Simon Knott)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


The Pink-footed Goose of unknown origin flew in with the Greylag flock into Amwell at 1:00pm today (Simon Knott)

Monday, 17 January 2011

WAXWINGS still in Hemel

At least 50 still in Wood Lane End, Hemel Hempstead today at about 9am. I did not see them when I was in our yard at 11.30 however they tend to congregate here several times a day in trees either at the front or back of the footpath between Henkel and Dixons. They still have plenty of cotoneaster berries along the path to keep them around for a day or so (Ian Williams)

Sunday, 16 January 2011


A COMMON SHELDUCK was seen at Tyttenhanger GP this morning (David Booth) - the first one in Hertfordshire this year.


There was no sign today of yesterday's reported Red-necked Grebe at Hilfield Park Reservoir but there was 1 BLACK-NECKED GREBE present - the first of the year (per Joan Thompson)

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE of unknown origin again at Amwell

A Pink-footed Goose of unknown origin flew in from the east with Greylag Geese this afternoon. I guess this is most likely the Holyfield individual regularly reported by Graham White (who was on site searching for Bitterns with the HMWT); on my (again horrible) pictures it appears to look different from the "Stevenage" bird we saw on 11 December 2010.

Otherwise:- at least 9 SMEWS (3 adult drakes) - 1 Mandarin (female) - 1 Peregrine, very buffy-coloured, in active wing moult.

The 3 Red-crested Pochards and 2 Pintails are still around. 1 Raven was seen in the morning (Jan Hein Steenis)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

RED-NECKED GREBE at Hilfield Park Reservoir

A RED-NECKED GREBE was present today at HPR but despite there being no reason, news of its presence was not released until well after dark. Nothing ever changes with Steve Murray and his merry men of suppressors at this site. He's quick enough to twitch everyone else's birds though

Strong winds make it really hard work


The mild weather did not extend into the weekend with another Atlantic depression bringing strong and pretty cold westerly winds. It remained dry though but very overcast and grey.

I had several target birds in mind today - Tree Sparrow, Hawfinch, Mealy Redpoll, Smew, Grey Partridge - but failed on virtually all counts....


Despite a well-stocked feeder, I could find no sight nor sound of any Tree Sparrows....

The main pit held Cormorant, 8 Mute Swans, 31 Teal, 8 Pochard, 26 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 30+ Common Gulls and the maize strip and feeders, Song Thrush, 11 Blue Tits, 3 Reed Buntings, 4 Yellowhammers and 3 Chaffinches.


A few birders about including Jan Hein and Alan Reynolds but little in the way of new birds. As it was my first visit to the site of the year I was pleased to see 4 EGYPTIAN GEESE, the 3 female RED-CRESTED POCHARDS and 5 SMEWS..

The roll-call was as follows -:

Little Grebe (1)
Great Crested Grebe (4)
Sinensis Cormorant (16)
Mute Swan (15 - including 2 on the canal)
*EGYPTIAN GEESE (4 on island)
Mallard (38)
Gadwall (146)
Wigeon (27)
NORTHERN PINTAIL (1 first-winter drake)
Shoveler (8)
Tufted Duck (52)
Pochard (21)
RED-CRESTED POCHARD (3 females on Hollycross Lake)
Common Goldeneye (9 present including 3 adult drakes)
**SMEW (5 present including two gorgeous adult drakes)
Lapwing (75)
Common Snipe (3+)
Common Buzzard (2)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (1)
Redwing (12)
SISKIN (40+)


Spent ages scouring the lanes for Grey Partridge but no joy - no Merlin either - but 75 Brown Hares, 170 Fieldfares and 55 Linnets in cereal crops at Crouch Hill, 4 RED KITES together and 2 Common Buzzards.


A total of 9 LITTLE EGRETS roosted

WAXWINGS in Bishop's Stortford

28 WAXWINGS in honeysuckle close in our garden - Kate Smith

Friday, 14 January 2011

A distinct lack of redpolls

Before I had to race off to Rainham this afternoon, I spent all morning searching Frithsden Beeches and Berkhamsted Common for the 200-strong redpoll flock. Despite walking the entire area, I completely failed to locate any again. Highlights included a TAWNY OWL, BULLFINCH, Nuthatch and Blue, Long-tailed, Coal and Great Tits (LGRE).

Thursday, 13 January 2011


I counted 100 at about 10:30 & 50 at 12:30 in the tall tree behind the security gate at rear of Dixons - access via The Campus. There is a closed office complex right by the tree so can safely pull off the road in their gateway. They are mobile but return to the tree seemingly when disturbed feeding. Wood End Lane is too busy to view safely and much further away from the tall tree (Graham Smith)

HEmel Hempstead today

During lunch today...The PEREGRINE was preening at its BT roost at 11.55.

Around 10 SISKINS were feeding on catkins in the tree to the left of the bench (as you sit on it) opposite Dominos Pizza in Hemel town from 12.00-12.10 at least accompanied by Chaffinches & Blue Tits.

The PEREGRINE was still on roost at 12.40.

Atleast 10 SISKINS were in trees with Goldfinches on Two Waters Road, Apsley at 12.45 (it's possible it was the flock from Hemel town, following me there!).

A male BULLFINCH was opposite McDonalds in Apsley (Dan Forder)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Welwyn WAXWINGS still

130+ WAXWINGS in WGC in Guessens rd by Guessens grove community hall (Mike Ilett)

WAXWINGS in the far east of the county

At 2pm there were at least 30 there, in the tree and on the ground in front
of the field gate. This is a short section of road south of Stanstead
Abbotts and the A414 roundabout to Hoddesdon/Harlow/Ware. The flock
subsequently flew south towards Hoddesdon and didnt return in 10 minutes,
but they may well do (Jonathan Braggs)


Just had a record number outside the council offices this morning. They were gathered in the oaks behind the offices just after first light. I watched 60+ fly off east, 35+ fly off north, which left 140+ behind (Chris Beach)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Hemel Wood End Lane WAXWINGS

The Wood Lane End flock has increased throughout the day with 70 at 1.30 and now stands at 90 mid afternoon (Ian Williams).

Welwyn Garden City WAXWING bonanza

I managed to coincide with a brief moment of sunshine late morning, nearly all the top berries have gone, just a few low down. A few Waxwings were in the large Oak opposite, then several more satellite flocks arrived until they totalled about 100, I have counted 93 in this photo below,

Robin Pearson

Chris Beach has confirmed that the two colour-ringed first-years within the flock are yet again birds initially trapped and ringed in Aberdeen in November 2010

WAXWINGS at Council Offices, Welwyn, still

At least 100+ WAXWINGS again this morning outside the council offices in Welwyn Garden City. Berries are going rapidly so not sure how long the Waxwing fest will continue for. One of the adults photographed above (Chris Beach)

Monday, 10 January 2011

Hemel WAXWINGS still

At 14:30, there were 56 Waxwing in the silver birches behind Dixons of Wood End Lane, during a late lunch stroll out of the office (Andy Grimsey). These fantastic images were taken by Tony Knight

Welwyn WAXWINGS still

Its gone WAXWING mad here in Welwyn Garden City. There is a large flock of 90+ outside the Council Offices now, but has peaked to about 120+ (Chris Beach)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

WAXWING recovery

Thanks to the swift returns of Waxwing Ringing Co-ordinator Raymond Murray, I was able to quickly trace Mike Nott's photographed 'red over red over white' individual. Ray confirms that this is a first-winter female trapped and ringed in Allenvale Cemetery, Aberdeen, on 21 November 2010 (ring number NW50483), seen again 6 days later at Nellfield, Aberdeen, before its sighting here in Hemel Hempstead.....

The Hemel Hempstead WAXWINGS - Mike Nott

The Hemel WAXWINGS were at the entrance to the Dixons Offices on Wood End Lane today - my photographic efforts displayed above. I arrived about 12:30 and no one else was there. I had seen about 60 birds briefly the previous day, so I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my car door to hear the sound of many waxwings calling. About 60 birds were in an old vine covered tree on the other side of the road to the car park entrance and were flitting down to a bush on the far side of the car park entrance to eat the berries. They seemed very settled and there were normally 10-30 birds on the bush at a time. By now some other birders had arrived including my friend Dave Hutchinson who crossed the road and starting taking pictures from below the perched birds in the vine covered tree. I joined him and we were both subject to a shower of berry parts and perhaps other, more bodily processed, material. These were certainly the most accommodating Waxwings I have seen so far. What was surprising was that for a period of ten minutes the Waxwings flew down and drank and washed in a puddle of water on the road near the kerb, only moving when the frequent cars went by. A new birder arrived who parked his car on the opposite side of the road directly opposite the feeding birds, opened his window and took pictures without even getting out! Over the next thirty minutes small flocks of 20+ birds flew off north until only about 10 were still there when I left at about 1:30 pm. The hedge that runs north from the point we saw the birds today into the Spring lane estate is stuffed with berries, so they may be there for some time (Mike Nott).

Welwyn WAXWINGS still

Approximately 60 WAXWINGS again early afternoon today - feeding in Cotoneaster on College Way and resting in Oaks on the Campus (Anthony Dorman)

A trawl of the St Albans area

Quite a productive ride round on the bike on some rather icy surfaces.

The Watercress wildlife association reserve near the city centre held a Water Rail, a flock of 25 Siskins and two Ring-necked Parakeets; the last species visits the feeders there regularly apparently. two Gadwall were also there.

Gorhambury Estate provided good views of two Red Kites and there was a mixed flock of around 60 Fieldfares and Redwings feeding on the grasslands with Fieldfares predominant. Another Red kite was also seen near Park wood, Chiswell Green.

Verulamium Park lake was still quite icy but did hold 8 Shovelers (Alan Gardiner)

BEARDED TITS still present at Southern Country Park, Bishop's Stortford

The pair still occasionally showing well beside west green gate, Southern country park, bishops stortford, last seen 1245 hrs (Graeme j Smith)

WAXWINGS in Sawbridgeworth

5 WAXWINGS on the TV aerial at 83 White Post Field again this morning at 08:40 (Mike Harris)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

CURLEWS over Broxbourne

Was walking around the lakes at Broxbourne and saw 4 EURASIAN CURLEW overhead. At around 500 feet I heard them very clearly, but still only identified them after taking a photo to check that I had heard them correctly (Terry Blackburn)


Highlight today was a 1st winter CASPIAN GULL at about 3 pm that unfortunately took off as soon as I had found it (but kindly flew by the viewpoint for some salient features), and did not return in the evening.

Otherwise:2 Pintails (1 adult male, 1 very dingy (1st winter) male), 100 Wigeon, 3 female Red-crested Pochards, 5 Smew (2 drakes) and 1-2 Bittern (only seen in flight) (Jan Hein Steenis)

The Caspian Gull record constitutes the first record of the year

Chiswell Green WAXWINGS

Six WAXWINGS outside my house this morning, one drinking from a puddle. Returning from St Albans there were two flocks of around 30 to 40 birds flying over Watford Road near the bridge over the A414 (formerly M10) which I am 90% sure were Waxwings so there the local flock is probably still in the area (Alan Gardiner)

And Hemel 66 still present too

Cycled over to see the WAXWING flock seen yesterday in Spring Way off Maylands Avenue but all the Rowans had been stripped of berries and there was no sign of the birds there. Relocated the flock in Wood Lane End opposite GO Interiors which started as a 13 flock and built up to 66 before flying off at 11: 30 am. They were feeding on Cotoneaster berries adjacent to a footpath which is lined with these berry laden shrubs for 80 metres . There are 2 tall Silver Birches they favour between feeds. I think they will be returning (Ernest Leahy)

Oxhey WAXWING bonanza continues

After learning that about 100 WAXWINGS were still in Bucks Avenue I decided to walk there and discovered that there were still around 200 but they soon became restless and small flocks flew off and back. Got picked up by my husband for a needed shopping trip to Watford and discovered around 100 in a tree near Bushey Arches. Coming out of Comet I saw more Waxwings flying overhead trilling away heading towards Watford Heath. Coming back from Tesco's supermarket (no Waxwings there ) presumably the same flock of around 100 perched in at all tree near B & Q. A quick diversion via Bucks Avenue saw no sign of them and no more sightings on the way home (JT).

Friday, 7 January 2011

And a superb selection of local WAXWING images taken by top photographer ANDREW MOON

Images of the WAXWINGS from Maple Cross (top four) and Sandown Road, Watford (lower three) all taken on 19th December (Andrew Moon)

Record day for WAXWINGS locally


Rain, rain, rain - almost all day long - certainly all morning - and from just 4 degrees at 0800 hours, the temperature rose to a balmy 11 degrees C by dark !

I eventually braved the elements at lunchtime after having to abandon my original plans of meeting up with MJP at The Lodge to search for pale redpolls. Instead, I decided to catch up with Hertfordshire WAXWINGS - and as it was, a record day for the species......

A bare minimum of 665 birds was recorded today but that figure could in reality be 1-200 birds higher, but difficult to know if some are repeat flocks. Anyway, I personally managed 231 at two locations......


A total of 165 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS was present in the tall trees bordering the northern perimeter of Tesco's supermarket car park in Hatfield at 1245 hours, commuting to the berry-laden shrubs opposite the recycling centre. This is presumably the survivors of the huge flock I saw in Hatfield on 11 December.
(the supermarket is literally just off of the A1 roundabout beyond the Galleria tunnel)


East Hyde was again very productive with a single JACK SNIPE showing very well close to the road in the stream. A drake Shoveler was a nice record here, along with 26 Gadwall, 8 Common Teal, 1 Little Grebe, 38 Black-headed Gulls, 16 Jackdaws and a performing WATER RAIL.

The two adult EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were still present in the field on the slope, 250 yards north of Lower Heath Lane, along with the 6 Greylags and 77 Atlantic Canadas, with the 8 EGYPTIAN GEESE (family party) in the same field but easily viewable from the road.

Driving along Cooters Hill Lane yielded some massive WOODPIGEON flocks feasting on the crops - a flock of 46 followed by a staggering 718 birds. There were also 6 Greenfinches feeding by Cooters Hill Barns.


In the town centre, 12 respective pairs of Jackdaw were present on the chimneys along the High Street, whilst in fields opposite the Mill ponds, 2 Brown Hares and a pair of EGYPTIAN GEESE was noted. A single LITTLE EGRET was feeding on the river, with a MARSH TIT scolding me loudly from roadside Hawthorns opposite the cress beds.


Quite surprisingly, 28 Rook nests were active in the village, with a field just west of the cressbeds yielding 18 Red-legged Partridges, 46 Fieldfare, 35 Common Starling and a Great Tit. Three LITTLE EGRETS were feeding on the beds.


A further LITTLE EGRET was feeding on the River Ver at TL 110 115, just south of the B 487 roundabout.


A maximum of 66 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS was feeding on a cluster of very heavily laden berry-bearing shrubs just north of the lane after 150 yards.

Elsewhere in Hertfordshire today, Waxwings were seen in Chiswell Green (70 - Alan Gardiner), Tanners Crescent, Hertford (32 - Graham Knight), Oxhey/Watford (200 or more - Joan Thompson/Geoff Young), Welwyn Garden City Council Offices (42 - Chris Beach), St Albans (60+) and Welham Green (30).


The adult female PEREGRINE was showing very well in her roosting location busily plucking a dead Feral Pigeon.


There was no sign of the two recent redhead Smew but in the ice-free areas of the reservoir were some impressive number of GADWALL - 292 in total - 0.02% of the British wintering population of this species.

There were also 26 MANDARIN DUCKS standing on the ice (13 pairs) whilst other wildfowl noted included 36 Mute Swans (19 first-years), 3 Little Grebe, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 48 Mallard, 26 Eurasian Wigeon, 56 Tufted Duck and 8 Northern Pochard.

Four noisy Ring-necked Parakeets were also in the area

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Amwell today

3 Smew (1 male), 3 RC Pochard, 1 Pintail (male) - Mike Ilett


36 Waxwings in a tall Silver Birch between Mansfield Gardens and Trinity Grove. Also a Red Kite at Waterford Heath (Alan Reynolds)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The two adult WHITE-FRONTED GEESE at East Hyde - Mike Ilett

BEARDED TITS at Bishops Stortford - LGRE Diary Notes 3/1/11


Another frosty start leaving a pleasant dry day. Another day spent trying to catch up on birds remaining present from the Christmas week.....


A single LITTLE EGRET was east of Bois Mill, 2 Mute Swans were in Lowndes Park and 43 WAXWINGS were still present in the Broadway (although had largely stripped the Rowan trees bare).

The most exciting find was an adult drake NORTHERN SHOVELER - present with 12 Mallard and a pair of Gadwall on the Pow Wow Lake - a very rare bird in the Recording Area averaging just one occurrence per year. Chris Pontin discovered it whilst walking the dog and I was able to connect with it later after he texted me. A superb start to the year with Goosander, Common Teal and Shoveler recorded.


Spent several hours searching for Dave Bilcock's redpoll flock but without success. Charlie Jackson had also spent a long time looking. In fact, the woodland was almost birdless - just 2 Nuthatches, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Carrion Crows, 2 Stock Doves and a singing male Chaffinch noted.


Had a brief look for Raven without success at Dagnall before adding 5 Gadwall and 2 Fieldfare from Water End.


A Common Buzzard was feeding on the ground in a field just east of Birch Wood. Nearby, there was no sign of the Waxwing flock on Watford Road.

(with Martin Parr & partner, Mick & Lynn Frosdick, et al)

A 'new' site for me and many thanks to Graeme J Smith and Mike Harris for very kindly supplying me with detailed access directions (which I shall share below).

As Martin Parr acknowledged, the pair of BEARDED TITS that were discovered on New Years Eve were difficult today. They remained very elusive, feeding at the bottom of the reed stems and sedge vegetation. After just missing them, I had to wait 90 minutes before they reappeared (in exactly the same spot), and then enjoyed fragmented views over a 10 minute period as they flew to Phragmites towards the opposite side of the reedbed. I was lucky - I got some great views of both the adult male and the female before they dived deep down into cover. Ian Bennell obtained some excellent images yesterday which I have reproduced above. A superb record and following hard on the heels of last autumn's Amwell occurrences (which I managed to miss).

The small reedbed also yielded 2 WATER RAILS and up to 4 Reed Buntings but little else of note.

DIRECTIONS: The Country Park is situated to the south of Bishop's Stortford and easily accessed from the bypass running south and west of the town. Once in Michael's Mead, take Moor Hall Lane from the southernmost roundabout and park carefully just beyond Brook Farm Close. The park is to your right. Take the perimeter footpath anti-clockwise and after 45 yards, view the reedbed and vegetation left of the pond.


Mainly frozen, with 78 Lapwing the highlight.


At TL 211 122, just SE of the Crooked Chimney Public House car park, a covey of 6 Red-legged Partridges was present in the field. In nearby Batford, by the migrant paddocks, a Common Buzzard was roosting.


The geese flock had moved from the river to the fields NE of the B653 about halfway between Lower Heath Lane and Farrs Lane at TL 137 165 and comprised the two adult EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, 6 Greylags and 77 Atlantic Canada Geese.

In Bower Heath, a male Greenfinch was observed, along with 25 Eurasian Skylarks in the 'goose field', whilst East Hyde and its River Lea produced the 8 long-staying EGYPTIAN GEESE, 12 Gadwall and 6 Common Teal.

Nearby, Thrales End Lane produced another covey of 6 Red-legged Partridges.(just inside Beds at TL 123 158).

A further Common Buzzard was seen in the Shell garage compound north of the A5 at Flamstead.


Arrived just in time to see the last 4 of perhaps 50 CORN BUNTINGS roost in the reedbed.

East Hyde early afternoon

At 1.30 the goose flock was in the field near Bower Heath Lane (in Herts), and contained two adult EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, 8 Egyptian Geese, 5 Greylags, 77 Canada and 1 Canada x Greylag (presumed) hybrid. These were viewable from the footpath (old railway line) near the Mill.

At East Hyde itself, the Water Rail showed very well again just upstream of the bridge in the main river with the male Common Goldeneye and a Little Egret (all in Beds), while the stream held a single Common Snipe and 2 Teal (Jason Chapman)

Welwyn Garden City WAXWINGS

60+ WAXWINGS feeding in the cotoneaster alongside the Council Offices. Some have been around all morning, the flock peaked at 60+ at about 11:30. As I write it is down to about 30 birds. I cannot believe that while I was on annual leave over Christmas there were 180+, my colleague got some good photographs (per Chris Beach)

Another Aberdeen-ringed WAXWING seen in Herts

Luckily once I had established with the finder that it was a double orange over green on the left leg there was only one candidate that it could be. The colour ringed WAXWING that was seen at Manor Way Borehamwood on 28 December 2010 was rung at Allenvale Cemetery, Aberdeen, on 4 November 2010 as a first year male. This was the first resighting (per JT)

HAWFINCH in Broxbourne Woods still; also Cheshunt WAXWINGS

Single HAWFINCH still in Broxbourne Woods (Danemead), also Woodcock, Buzzard, 40 Siskin.

Meanwhile, 55 Waxwings still by New River Arms roundabout, Turnford, and a further 15 flying south over Church Lane, Cheshunt (Graham White)

Two adult EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE at East Hyde - second day

Stopped at East Hyde from 12.15 till 12.45 on Bank Holiday Monday, where I was delighted to find two adult EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE amongst a flock of about 40 Canadas and Greylags, showing distantly down by the Mill and thus in Hertfordshire.... but not far from the Beds border. A great patch tick, and my first self-found in this region.

Also present - 1 Green Sand on the Stream with 2 Common Snipe, and a Water Rail showing very well upriver of the bridge (Beds). No sign of the recent Goldeneye or Wigeon, but 1 GBBG was new to the site for me, and a Red Kite showed overhead (Jason Chapman)

Both birds remained present today (Darin Stanley)

Monday, 3 January 2011


At least 53 Waxwings still in Tanners Crescent, 9.40am this morning. Very difficult to count as they are so active (Graham Knight)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Chiswell Green WAXWINGS

120+ Waxwings in roadside trees opposite pink/white berried Sorbus sp. in garden of 136 Watford Road this morning. The birds are also feeding in a small Hawthorn on the same side of the road as well as the Sorbus (per Alan Gatdiner).