TUESDAY 25 JANUARY
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.....
EAST HYDE (HERTFORDSHIRE)
Very quiet apart from 18 Gadwall and a GREEN SANDPIPER in the stream.
MARQUIS LANE AND BATFORD NATURE RESERVE AND SEWAGE WORKS (HERTS)
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.
KIMPTON AREA (HERTS)
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.