Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Last week at Norton Green

The DARTFORD WARBLER remained all week and was actually still present today while from Wednesday to Friday, the site hosted a WRYNECK for the second consecutive autumn. Although very elusive, I did eventually manage to get a few images as it moved between patches of scrub just south of the traveller camp....

Tuesday, 6 September 2016



Tony Hukin rang me at about 1130 hours to say that he had just found a DARTFORD WARBLER whilst searching for Whinchats at NORTON GREEN. Darrel Bryant had joined him and the two observers were watching it as they spoke. Now Dartford Warbler is a pretty good bird for Hertfordshire with only nine previous records, with just 3 since 1984 (a pair at Common Wood Common, near Chipperfield, on 1st May 1897 - perhaps breeding, a male at Berkhamsted Common on 27th May & 11th July 1922, a male again there on 27th March 1927, another on 24th March 1938 & 7th May 1939, a male on 10th November 1946 & 9th November 1947, a first-winter at Essendon Golf Course on 9th November 2005, joined by an adult male on 12th December 2005, both birds surviving until 1st January 2006 and a first-winter at Tyttenhanger GP on 11th February 2006). I happened to be at Blue House Farm EWT at the time of the call so wasn't able to respond immediately but met up with Mike Ilett later in the afternoon, where we both enjoyed some excellent views of the bird, as it repeatedly perched up in the Middle Scrub, about 100 yards south of the traveller site. The bird was a first-year, Mike managing to get some nice images of the bird (see below). I stayed on site until 1730 hours, being joined by Phil Rhodes and Chris Beach and the odd other local birder. Perhaps 19 observers in total. Darrel's 3 migrant WHINCHAT were still present, as well as a single Common Whitethroat