Friday, 25 February 2011

RAVENS tracked down at last


After the warmest day of the year so far on Thursday, today followed in a very similar vein, although light drizzle moved in from mid afternoon. The winds were still very light and from a SW direction, the temperatures holding steady at 14 degrees C.

I had put aside today to search for Common Raven in Hertfordshire and was very pleased with my results. Whilst watching them though, I received a call to say that Richard Broughton had discovered a Northern Grey Shrike in North Buckinghamshire, so that was my afternoon sorted.........


A freshly killed Rabbit on the road had attracted a Common Buzzard and no less than 7 Red Kites whilst nearby, I eventually located the local pair of COMMON RAVENS - the female sat on a new nest but constructed in the same tree and the male flying in just very occasionally. It was interesting listening to the contact calls at the nest-site - the sound incredibly far-carrying. A single Lapwing and 2 Yellowhammers were also seen.


The Rookery at Kimpton Grange (TL 165 180) was very busy and noisy and now contains 40 active nests.


A Common Kingfisher was on the Lea at Batford, whilst 2 Red-legged Partridges and a pair of Common Teal was noted at East Hyde.


Another fine Rookery, situated in the belt of Scots Pine, Larch and Ash trees bordering the lane, totalling 35 active nests.


Two further dead Badgers on the A41, both in the vicinity of the Wigginton turn-off at SP 933 110

Wednesday, 23 February 2011



A very wet morning but considerably milder than of late, with temperatures recovering to 14 degrees C by mid-afternoon - spring is on the way! The drizzle did eventually clear at about 1300 hours but grey cloud prevailed throughout.

I managed to clean up on Dunlin and Water Pipit today and evidenced hints of migration......


Many LESSER REDPOLL now visiting the feeders including some bright adult males, with a pair of Greenfinches present for at least an hour this morning.


Following a call from Steve Blake, I returned to the Main Pit at Tyttenhanger and connected with my first Hertfordshire DUNLIN of the year. Steve had earlier seen six (presumably part of yesterday's flock of 9) but when I arrived at midday, just 5 winter-plumaged birds were showing well on the sand spit.

The spit also held 28 European Golden Plovers and 212 Lapwing, whilst the gull roost yielded 2 adult Argenteus Herrings, 8 Lesser Black-backed, 27 Common and 168 Black-headed. A drake Gadwall was present, Great Crested Grebe, 18 Tufted Duck, 9 Common Teal and 24 Coot, whilst passerines included a yaffling male Green Woodpecker, 2 Bullfinches and a Eurasian Skylark in full song.

WATER END (HERTS) - 2 drake Gadwall on the Gade.

GREAT GADDESDEN (HERTS) - a single LITTLE EGRET present on the river and 7 Common Teal just north of the village on the Gade.


Found a new ROOKERY today in trees at the back of Merry Weather House, close to Hudnall Corner. A total of 18 active nests. This part of the Gade Valley also yielded no less than 8 different RED KITES.

HALL FARM, DAGNALL (BUCKS) (SP 995 158) - a male Skylark in full song


Thanks to Roy Hargreaves, I was finally able to add WATER PIPIT to my local Year List. I have been chasing this bird since the turn of the year but at long last it has finally given itself up and was showing well early afternoon just yards before the new overflow on the north bank, feeding unobtrusively and fertively along the concrete edge. It still remains in full streaked winter plumage.

The other interesting thing was the number of COMMON GOLDENEYES - a total of 10 seen, by far my highest count this winter. The two adult drakes were still present and for about five minutes, both birds with three females flew around as if they were getting ready to depart.

Also noted were 19 Great Crested Grebe, 2 LITTLE EGRETS, 12 active Grey Heron nests on the Drayton Bank, 1 Mute Swan, 65 Greylag Geese, 12 Gadwall, just 34 remaining Eurasian Wigeon, 73 Common Teal, 33 Shoveler, 39 Pochard, 38 Tufted Duck, just 172 Coot,316 Woodpigeons (feeding on the crop), 8 Common Starlings and 9 Redwings.


I decided to do a complete census of the birds present in the woodland bordering the south end of the reservoir with a total of 18 species recorded. The reservoir held just 2 Mute Swans, a Great Crested Grebe and 5 Teal but the wood produced 54 Jackdaws (several pairs now on territory), 7 Rook, Great Spotted Woodpecker (drumming), Robin (4), Blue Tit (9, mostly singing or displaying), Goldfinch (12), Common Blackbird (4), Song Thrush (2, 1 in the gardens and a singing male), Mistle Thrush (pair), Jay (pair), Great Tit (3 singing males), Dunnock (singing male), Wren (just 1 songster noted), Long-tailed Tit (pair) and Chaffinch (4). A single SISKIN was the highlight but note no Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper or Coal Tit.

A single Skylark was in full song over fields south of the Grand Union Canal by Little Tring.


Most interesting was an apparent migrant flock of female COMMON GOLDENEYES - 8 birds together in one close-knit flock on the main pit.

Otherwise, typically quiet with just the 1 OYSTERCATCHER still (on the island on the main pit), 8 Common Snipe and 12 Lapwing on the marsh, 3 Mute Swans, 2 Gadwall, 4 Wigeon and 9 Pochard. A flock of winter thrushes was feeding on one of the islands including 3 Mistle Thrush, 15 Fieldfare and 2 Redwing.


A Song Thrush was an unusual sighting here whilst 8 Pied Wagtails were clearly freshly arrived immigrant birds.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

WAXWINGS in Stortford

20+ WAXWINGS in Silver Birch in Oriole Way between entrance to Honeysuckle Close and The Brambles at 1340 hours (Graeme J Smith)

A wave of DUNLIN turn up at Tyttenhanger and Darin's STONECHAT remains at Batford

Up to 9 DUNLINS joined the large Lapwing flock on the sandspit at Tyttenhanger Main Pit this morning (David Booth, Steve Blake) but had all disappeared by late afternoon when I arrived; also Ruddy Shelduck and Common Shelduck and 13 European Golden Plovers (LGRE)

Meanwhile, the female COMMON STONECHAT is present for a fifth day at Batford (Darin Stanley)

Monday, 21 February 2011

COMMON STONECHAT still at Batford

This female has been on site for at least her 4th day - a record length of time for a Stonechat at this site (Darin Stanley).

And still no let up with the WAXWING numbers

At Waterford Heath at 1430 hours, 100 Redwing and 80 WAXWINGS by the entrance to the South Heath by the laybay in Sacombe Road (Alan Reynolds)

Sunday, 20 February 2011


Not sure if this is of interest but stumbled on a lovely male COMMON STONECHAT today near Willian (Manor Wood), close to Letchworth. Park in Manor Wood car park and take footpath that leads to A1. Was in field edge and hedgerows about 200 yards from A1 (Mark Reynolds)

COMMON STONECHAT still present at Batford

This female COMMON STONECHAT was still present today at Batford Weedy Fields (Darin Stanley)

RAVENS and SMEWS at Amwell

A Pied Wagtail early in the morning was a year tick for the site. We're still awaiting Meadow Pipit!

I had 5 Little Egrets, 39 Linnets and 2 Ravens early in the morning, and a total of at least 8 Smew (2 adult males, 6 redheads), on Great Hardmead, Tumbling Bay and Hollycross Lake.

Little else of note today (despite a reasonable build-up of gulls in the afternoon), but Stoat and Weasel were nice. Although the Weasel lives near the viewpoint, it was only the second time I've seen it this year (Jan Hein).



After having spent virtually all week 'wardening' a certain vagrant Turtle Dove, I concentrated my efforts on Hertfordshire today, trying to catch up on a few birds I was still missing.....

Sadly, the weather was very poor, with cold SE winds bringing dank, misty weather with very poor visibility.


A total of 8 Mute Swans now back in Chesham, with two pairs on Lowndes Park Lake, a pair on Bois Mill Pond and 3 birds (regular pair and one of last year's young) at Waterside.


At Pitstone Quarry, I finally added COMMON REDSHANK for the year. It was feeding in the shallows close in to the observation point. There were also 260 Lapwings present, as well as 8 Tufted Duck, 6 Coot and an assortment of gulls - 225 Black-headed, 41 Common and 6 Lesser Black-backed; a Dunnock was in full song.

At nearby Tunnel Way Development Scrapes, the pair of RINGED PLOVERS were still present.


My first visit in a while and the first of three today. The water level has risen dramatically and is now at its highest level. The wintering WATER PIPIT is still present but still extremely elusive - primarily a dawn bird. As a result, no sign of it during my morning visit.

The long-staying redhead adult female GOOSANDER is still present, along with 5 female Common Goldeneyes; 3 LITTLE EGRET were the other highlight (and possibly responsible for the Wendover report of 3 Cattle Egrets!).

The full itinerary: Great Crested Grebes up to 14; Grey Herons (10 active nests on the Drayton Bank); Sinensis Cormorants (16+ with at least 6 active nests in the two tallest trees on the Drayton Bank), 6 Mute Swans including a first-year; pair of Atlantic Canada Geese, 65 Greylag Geese in an adjoining field; 10 Gadwall; just 5 Shoveler; just 17 Common Teal; just 22 Eurasian Wigeon; 92 Tufted Duck; 109 Northern Pochard; 279 Coot; 55 Lapwing, 8 COMMON SNIPE in the cut-reeds by the hide, Grey Wagtail, 2 Great Tits, male Common Blackbird and Goldfinch.

A noisy CETTI'S WARBLER to the right of the hide was my first of the year and one of two different birds to survive the freeze (per Johnne Taylor).

Roosting gulls at that time included 3 Argenteus Herring Gulls and 3 adult intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gulls.


The pair of Red-crested Pochards was still present, along with 5 Great Crested Grebes, just 1 adult Mute Swan, 8 Pochard, 1 Shoveler, 35 Tufted Duck and 142 Coot


(Afternoon visit) Shovelers have returned to Marsworth as they do each spring with 63 snorkelling together; 7 Pochard also present, along with 6 Tufted Duck and 2 Coot; also 3 Moorhens and 12 Atlantic Canada Geese in the paddocks and a male Great Tit in full song.


With so much Badger activity at the moment, it came as no surprise to see one dead besides the main road in Cow Roast.


Three BLACK-NECKED GREBES are now present, including one adult in full breeding plumage.

A female GOOSANDER was eventful here but little else of note apart from 2 Mute Swans, 2 Gadwall, 2 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Dabchicks. There was a large gull roost including 500+ Black-headed, 60 Common, 6 Argenteus Herring, 28 Lesser Black-back and incredibly my first county GREAT BLACK-BACKS of the year - an adult and immature.


Returned to Marworth Reservoir with Dave Bilcock and others, primarily with the view of counting CORN BUNTINGS. A grand total of 159 was click-counted and roosting by 1700 hours, a massive increase on my previous counts this winter. Prior to roosting, many of them perched in the trees at the back of the reedbed.

Dave and I also saw 2 EURASIAN BITTERNS (one in the Bucks section of reedbed as well as the regular rooster midway along the reedbed, whilst Paul and others saw a third bird close to the sluice), heard 1-2 squealing WATER RAILS and saw the two resident BARN OWLS hunting over the meadow.


Thanks to Steve Rodwell who remained at the gull roost until last knockings, I managed to see a single adult GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL at last light roosting in the melee - this is a very scarce species at the reservoirs. As darkness drew in, there were also 39 Lesser Black-backed Gulls present (probably all migrant intermedius and evidence of active passage as just five minutes earlier Steve counted only 32). There were also three different adult Argenteus Herring Gulls in the roost, whilst Black-headeds numbered over 3,000 and Common Gulls over 80. Once again, there were no Mediterranean Gulls present in the roost.

Friday, 18 February 2011

First STONECHAT of the year

Darin Stanley discovered the first COMMON STONECHAT of the year in Hertfordshire today - a female on fenceposts at the back of the weedy field at Batford opposite the paddock layby. JT, Allan Stewart and I saw it later this afternoon.


A single TREE SPARROW feeding on track with House Sparrows and Chaffinches near farm cottages at Woodoaks Farm, Maple Cross. (at approx TQ 033 929). 09:30 this morning (per HBC)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Long-staying WAXWINGS still in Toms Lane, Kings Langley

c60 WAXWINGS again at 8.30 by the cotoneaster near the Kings Langley end of Toms Lane (several observers)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


After a long & boring wait between 08.30 & 11.30, 2 HAWFINCHES located in a large oak tree at the rear of 'The Old Rectory' opposite the church at around 10.30. Appears they maybe feeding on the grounds of the Old Rectory' and occasionally fly over to the church. None seen at the church from the time I was there, joined by Tim & 2 others (Darin Stanley)

Monday, 14 February 2011

BARN OWLS in Weston

At around 4.15pm, Two Barn Owls flew in front of the car and then one was hunting up the hedgerow.......

in Weston, about 500 yards past the church, down the road toward Halls Green (Stephen Mason)

No Hawfinches in Broxbourne but LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER


With the wind veering more to the SSW today, the mild conditions continued. It was also very bright, with some sunshine and blue skies, and dry throughout.

More local birding today, although a visit to West Essex was purely to target a new county bird - COMMON RAVEN.......

(0800-1300 hours)

A long vigil spent in search of Hawfinches, where 5 had been seen over the weekend. Despite premium conditions, not a sign of them in their usual area just down from the car park nor in the previous roost trees. None were heard either.

A LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER called once late morning from trees bordering the stream, whilst two TAWNY OWLS were located in evergreen roost-sites. Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were also seen, along with 2 Common Treecreepers, Nuthatch, Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Siskin and Eurasian Sparrowhawk.

At least 140 Chaffinches were foraging in the understorey adjacent to the footpath down from the car park and with them were two BRAMBLINGS - a fine male and a female - whilst 15 LESSER REDPOLLS were also seen.


Thanks to the discovery by David Bradnum, Paul Whiteman and Jonathan Lethbridge yesterday morning, I was able to add COMMON RAVEN to my Essex Life List this afternoon. A pair was showing in fields just to the north of the Cobbin's Brook to the east of Fernhall Farm and were initially feeding on the carcass of a small deer or fox. Then they turned their attentions to a live Rabbit, perhaps infected by myxamotosis, and eventually killed it after a number of attacks to the head and eyes.

Common Ravens are a national success story with more and more pairs spreading east from the core breeding areas in Wales, so much so that upwards of ten pairs are now breeding in Buckinghamshire, at least 7 in Bedfordshire and perhaps 5 pairs in Hertfordshire.

To see these Essex birds, one must park on Crown Hill in Epping Forest directly opposite the entrance to Copped Hall (at TL 431 004). Walk north through the white entrance gates and follow the road over the M25 for 800 yards to the Copped Hall pond just right of the first junction (at TL 432 016). The Ravens are to the north of the pond lookout in the fields in the Cobbins Brook vicinity, to the west of both Spratt's Hedgerow Wood and Little Rookery Wood.

Sunday, 13 February 2011



The wind veered to the SE today but temperatures still held up. Although the rain held off until late morning, it then moved in and continued into darkness, somewhat hampering viewing.

The milder weather experienced over the weekend certainly spurned on some of the earlier migrants, with a marked arrival of OYSTERCATCHERS in our region, some more RINGED PLOVERS, COMMON SHELDUCKS, many FIELDFARES and numerous gulls reorienting northwards........


A single RINGED PLOVER was back on the scrapes and showing well.


Yet another complete blank drawn on the redpoll flock but 2 Skylarks feeding on the Common, a Green Woodpecker and a male Song Thrush in full song.


At Hatfield's Tesco's adjacent to the A1, 168 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were once more in the car park.

Danemead HAWFINCHES and Amwell today

At Amwell, I found back the missing three Red-crested Pochards on Tumbling Bay.

Otherwise: 2 Little Egrets, 1 Bittern (shortly in flight at noon), 1 Common Shelduck (late morning), 1 Pintail (dropped in late morning), 2 Ravens (distant & flying east late morning) and 33 Linnets on their way to a roost.

I missed a fly-through Goosander as I went to Danemead in the morning, where I saw two HAWFINCHES (and heard two more) between the parking and Danemead reserve [one was seen around 2:30 in the traditional roost trees]. A large, mobile flock of Chaffinches contained one leucistic bird and a (heard-only) Brambling. On Danemead, one Mealy Redpoll was present in a flock of 25 Lessers (Jan Hein Steenis)

Just over border in Essex - 2 COMMON RAVENS

COMMON RAVEN is a very rare bird in Essex and London and two birds were showing well all day today. Here is Graham Ekin's report -:

Decided to investigate the mid-day pager message about a pair of COMMON RAVENS at Copped Hall, Epping Forest. Was amazed to find them still present in the valley just N of Copped Hall at TL 428 022. Best to view from the track and adjacent to the duck pond.

I parked on the pull in opposite the impressive entrance due S of the hall and between Upshire village and the B1393. Walk N over the M11 to the hall. Keep walking N past the hall to a farm gate. Walk right at the gate and the pond in is on your right. To your left is the valley. Between 13.20 and 14.30 the birds were showing on and off either in the trees or feeding in one of the grass fields. Les Hatton arrived just after I got there. New Essex bird for both of us.

Directions: I came off the M25 at junction 26 and drove E along the A121 to its junction with the B1393. I then took the small C road West for c 0.5 mile before parking. This small C road goes towards Upshire and is on the left about 1.5 miles N up the B1393. (contributed by Graham Ekins)

HAWFINCHES and WAXWINGS at Bramfield Village

A single HAWFINCH was seen in the Old Rectory garden at 12.00pm and again behind the church at 1.00pm. There were also 46 WAXWINGS along Winding Shott, 100 metres north of the church at 1.30pm (Alan Reynolds/Allan Stewart)


The 3 HAWFINCHES were seen in flight from the playing field behind the church at 0730 (missed by 10 minutes), and again briefly up the road from the front of the church at 0800 (missed by being in the wrong place). Then finally, a better and longer sighting in the Oak tree further back in the garden across the road (found!!) at 0915, and again at 1015 - after which most people left.

Heard occasional 'crest calls in the Yew trees but nothing showed. Other highlights were the flock of 6 Bullfinches in the hedge on the far side of the playing field, Red Kite, Nuthatch, Green and Gt-spotted Woodpecker - and House Sparrows (rare in my part of Harpenden!) (Roger Payne)

Amwell: Redhead SMEW attacked by Eurasian Sparrowhawk

I made a visit mid-morning and whilst I recorded nothing out of the ordinary species-wise, I did note something unexpected.

I approached the Bittern Pool and noted 8 Tufted Duck and 2 redhead SMEWS. Suddenly a female Sparrowhawk came in low from my right, the Tufteds raised their necks in the usual 'alarmed' pose but remained still. The two Smew however panicked and both immediately pattered across the surface and into the air. The righthand bird made it away over the reeds, but the lefthand bird was in serious trouble. The hawk was on it in a second and as impact seemed inevitable, the Smew folded its wings and plunged straight into the reeds and out of sight. The Sparrowhawk then banked and made two passes over where the Smew had disappeared, but did not drop in.

I found this odd for two reasons, the first that a diving duck is almost completely safe from airborne killers whilst on the water (so why not remain there, as the Tufted's) and secondly the mode of escape. One must wonder if it will ever manage to extricate itself from the reeds it plunged into? (Mike Harris)

WAXWINGS in Cassiobury Park

My girlfriend and I discovered 32 Waxwing at Cassiobury Park at 11:30 today.. All were vocal in a tree in the wetland area near the green bridge but with small groups peeling off and heading off over the car park. Also a Little Egret present (Des Mackenzie)

Saturday, 12 February 2011

COMMON RAVENS again at Amwell

At Amwell today:

Both COMMON RAVENS over Easneye Woods in the morning (before 9:30), before disappearing east. They flew back southwest late in the afternoon, crossing into London airspace (the first time I have actually seen this — they came from slightly different directions and could easily have passed behind our backs if the gull roost had been a bit more interesting)

Otherwise the usual suspects were seen: 4 Little Egret, 1 Bittern (Bittern Pool), 1 Pintail, 6 Smew (2 drakes), 15 Goldeneye, but strangely no Red-crested Pochards (Jan Hein)

FIRECRESTS and HAWFINCHES in Bramfield Churchyard

Andrew Miller obtained this shot of one of the Bramfield Churchyard HAWFINCHES as it perched near the top of one of the tall trees


Another very mild morning and dry too but rather cloudy. The cloud cleared from the west by early afternoon but then the wind picked up, giving much fresher conditions.

Decided to revisit Bramfield today, in the hope of seeing more HAWFINCHES, but despite Laurence seeing four this morning, a long vigil produced just one; Graham White also had 5 birds at Danemead, Broxbourne Woods, most likely part of this same flock.......


In over four hours to 1500, just one female HAWFINCH pitched up in the tall trees adjoining the churchyard walk during that period. It did perch long enough however to allow 20 or so observers to enjoy good views through my 'scope. There was a large turn-out of birdwatchers today at the site - over 43 attending in the period that I was there - certainly popular birds the Hawfinches.

The two FIRECRESTS were again present, moving from the churchyard (where the male was often in full song) to the Laurels and Junipers in the grounds opposite of 'The Old Rectory'.

Also in the vicinity were 45 Redwings, 4 Greenfinches, 2 Nuthatches, Common Treecreeper, Coal Tit, 5 Long-tailed Tits and Common Buzzard

BEARDED TITS still present

The pair of BEARDED TITS showing very well this morning, Southern Country Park, Bishops Stortford (Graeme j Smith)

Thursday, 10 February 2011

More HAWFINCHES than at first thought

Now 8 HAWFINCHES showing well in Bramfield church this morning at 7.45am (Mick Ilett)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


I drove past the water cress beds at 5pm today and counted 9 Little Egrets feeding. The most I have seen together anywhere (Bob Peddar)

HAWFINCHES show well in Bramfield Churchyard



Two LESSER REDPOLLS joined the 10 or so Goldfinches feeding on the Nyger feeders this morning - the first in the garden this year. One was a nice male.


Bramfield Woods were once a traditional site for HAWFINCH in Hertfordshire and flocks of up to 25 could once be found in winter. In Bramfield Churchyard yesterday morning, Graham Knight discovered three of these beautiful finches and when myself, Mick Frosdick, David Booth and others visited this morning, they were fortunately still present.

Some superb 'scope views were obtained as all three birds perched in the tall trees bordering the footpath within the churchyard - an adult male and two females. As management work was going on inside the churchyard and a bonfire was burning, the three birds were reluctant to stay and after dropping down into the dense evergreen trees within the yard, repeatedly flew off east towards Bramfield House and Priest Wood. I had a couple more brief views of the birds perched up in tall trees by Bramfield House before they were all disturbed by a passing Sparrowhawk.

The village was surprisingly productive for birds with Chaffinch, Greenfinch, 18 Goldfinches, 4 Meadow Pipits, Common Buzzard, 2 Nuthatches, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Wren, 15 Redwing and 4 Goldcrests noted.


Rather disconcertingly, again no sign of the pair of Common Ravens that have successfully bred in the area for the last six years. Other pairs I have looked at in the past week are busily displaying and carrying sticks in to the nest so it looks as though the birds have deserted or have been killed.

A single Red Kite was noted, 4 Common Buzzards and the regular pair of EGYPTIAN GEESE at Kimpton Mill.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Discovery of wintering HAWFINCHES in Bramfield village and first RINGED PLOVER of year

3 HAWFINCHES in the churchyard at Bramfield (near Hertford), in tops of the tall trees at 8.45am and 2.30pm (Graham Knight and others), whilst the first-year EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was again at Amwell NR (Simon Knott).

The first RINGED PLOVER of the spring arrived at Tyttenhanger Main Pit this morning (Steve Balke)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Stanborough LITTLE EGRET roost now up to 14 birds

The Stanborough Lakes Little Egret roost has been increasing in size over the last month or so. A quick check last night revealed 14 birds roosting at 17.30 - Anthony Dorman

Friday, 4 February 2011

MEALY REDPOLL in Stevenage garden

This beautiful adult male MEALY REDPOLL was photographed by Glen Harris in his Stevenage garden

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


The was a 1st winter EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE present at Amwell NR at lunchtime - it was on the island from the viewpoint from about 12.30 and flew off after about 20 minutes (per Barry Reed).

Also; 4 Smew (2 males)
2 Common Raven (seen by Bill Last)

WAXWINGS in Potters Bar

Just had 48 WAXWINGS in the Garden feeding on Apples. At 15 Cranborne Crescent, Potters Bar - they seemed to be flying around the estate (Ricky Flesher)

Whitwell Area

Took a look along the road that runs between Lilley and Whitwell this morning and found a large number of Red Kites, most notably a loose group of 11 circling around near Breachwood Green at TL155230. I also saw one Red kite well north of this point and two at Whitwell; I think these were all different birds but there is a small chance that I saw the same bird twice.

Whitwell Cress beds had four Little Egrets and a Green Sandpiper present when I first looked. I then found 5 more Little Egrets in a field nearby which took off and joined the other Egrets on the Cress bed.

There were a few gulls on the field to the north of Whitwell including Common Gulls and a couple of Kestrels were seen along the route (Alan Gardiner)