Monday, 14 February 2011

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment