Saturday, 23 April 2011

Hatfield Aerodrome

Had a wander around Hatfield Aerodrome this afternoon quite a nite site for warblers as lots of scrub and hedge around lots of Whitethroats around least 20, the ones that I could check where the common version but i suspect there some lesser on site as it quite a big area. In the sand dune area there were a lovely pair of Wheater, a male and a female showing well. Also around was a Cuckoo (briefly seen), Blackcap, Willow Warbler,Chiff-Chaff, Green Woodpecker (very vocal), 2 Meadow Pipits and quite a few Sky Larks.

Wander around Tyttenhanger Pits

On good friday after had had a nice wander round Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits a few butterflies in the air with the highlight being 2 Painted Ladies my first of the year and still quite a few Orange-tipped flying around. On the Pits themselves was a lovely pair of Garganey though only the male was showing while i was there, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Little Ringed Plover along with 11 Common Tens. Around the Pits were Sedge Warblers, Willow Warbler , Blackcap and Common Whitethroats.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Paxton Pits

Went for a day trip to Paxton Pits with my local RSPB group in the morning walked around the main lake with many species of warblers seen with the a large amount of Willow Warblers singing never heard so many in one place, Blackcaps, Chiff-Chaffs, Whitethroat, Cetti Warbler (heard only and Lesser Whitethroat though not seen by me. But the highlight of the day was seeing and hearding the stunning Nightingale for such a small bird they have so much engery and seem to sing non-stop, the ones here seem to like the patch around the Kingfisher Hide which is where most where. Out on the lake we had a quite a few Tufted Ducks, Mallardsand  Cormorant around and the Cormorants nest building with Grey Herons, Greylag and Canada Geese flying overhead often.

In the Afternoon we did the meadow walk where we saw a large selection of butterflies with a large number of  Orange-tipped and Holly Blue and a good number of Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Large Whites and Peacock and a few Green-veined White and Small White. In the woodland here we saw and heard quite a few of the Woodpecker with the Green laughing around us it seemedand the warblers singing a wonderful day out.

Singing Willow Warbler

Singing Nightingale

Heron hunting

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Heartwood Transect

Doing my transect today quite sunny to start but clouds picking up later but still plenty to see with 15 Orange-tipped seen over the walk along with Peacoks, Brimstones, Large and Small Whites and 1 Small Tortoiseshell. But the hightlight of the today was seening a stunning Garden Warbler a first for me around Punders Wood along with the usual Blackcaps and Chiff-Chaffs.

In the Afternoon  headed for Tyttenhanger and Broads Lakes where around the edge of the pits was a few Willow Warblers, Chiff-Chaffs, Blackcaps and a Pair of Common Whitethroats my first of the year. In Garden Wood was a Nuthatch called and a pair of GS Woodpeckers briefly around a tree maybe looking for a nest site. On the main lake were quite a few Lapwings, Lesser-backed Gulls Great Crested Grebe including one of nest, a Little Ringed Plover feeding and up to 5 Common terns were flying between the main lake and Willow Farm Lake.

At Colony Broads Lakes found that the Great Crested Grebe had left there nest but were out in the middle of the lake woth the young ones on the mothers back while been feed regulary by the male so looks like there in good hands.

Young been fed

Mother with young on her back

Monday, 11 April 2011

Sucessfull day

Did my 2nd week of the transect this morning at heartwood forest quite a bit around with the highlight been 9 Orange-tip butterflies and 1 Holly Blue in section 5 and my first Hertfordshire Small tortoiseshell in section 6 and first Green-veined of the year. Other spieces of note were 2 Peacocks, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 Male Brimstone. Birdwise had a lovely flock of Linnets in the trees across section 3 and 5 Blackcaps trying to out sing sing each other in the wood in section 5 a lovely sound and a lovely buzzard over section 6.

 In the afternoon headed to the Watercress LNR where there were quite a few Butterflies flying with at least 8 Holly Blues a very good number, Comma, Brimstones, Small and large Whites. On the Mere was mallard and duckling and 1 Little Grebe with a GS Woodpecker drumming by the sheds along with my first site record of a Sparrowhawk overhead. In the middle pond the Water Rail finally showing himself to me showing quite well white feeding. Also Around was a lovely Wren building a nest and Blackcap and Chiff-chaffs singing and at least 6 Bullfinches.

Wren with nesting material

Female Bullfinch up in the tree

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Fowlmere and Therfield Heath

Went out with Brian E and his brother to Fowlmere on saturday weather was perfect with sun shinning and birds singing with Chiff-chaffs and Blackcaps and a couple of Willow Warblers espically vocal though the blackcaps seem to dislike my camera :) though managed to get a few Chiff-chaffs pictures.

Around the reserve were also lots of Brimstones and Orange-tipped butterflies with a few Holy Blue and Large White. From the Hides had a nice view of a blackcap and heard the Water Rail squealing and a Cetti Warbler up to the usual trick of been heard but not seen near the large hide. Overhead we had views of I think of the same Kestrel so I suspect he nesting nearby and 3 Buzzards overhead.

On the way home stopped at Therfield Heath and had a little walk around with mainly Chiff-chaffs and Blackcaps singing and quite a few Skylarks overhead. After walking to the top of the Heath got some nice view of the landscape around as it was so clear.

Also around at the top were some Jackdaws and Rook feeding some got some of my better images of the underated rook

Monday, 4 April 2011


Started my first full year of doing the transect walk at Heartwood Forest for Butterfly Conservation to allow them to monitor the butterflies and keep an eye on the environment in general. Though no Butterflies around today due i think mainly to the wind picking up along the usual good points allowed me to asses the work over the route and any changes with the major chance being that the end of the transect walk goes through the old farmers field rather than round the edge. Quite a few birds around though with 3 different birds of prey with 3 Buzzards, 1 Red Kite and a Kestrel. Other birds of note were Yellowhammer, Chiffchaff and a lovely singing Willow Warbler.

Rough route of Transect Walk


In the afternaoon as i had my monthly visit to the hospital paid a visit to Cassiobury Park quite a productive afternoon with plenty of Blackcaps and Chiff-chaffs around and saw most of the commoner woodland spices with GS and Green Woodpecker and Treecrepper seen and Nuthatch only heard. Along the Canal a lovely Grey Heron was fishing and let me get quite near to him before getting spoken by a runner. Also of a note was both Sets of thrush in the woodland a lovely Mistle Thrush in the Parkland.

Mothering sunday

For morthing sunday took my mother to Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire a lovely National Trust owned property with a big parkland and garden with love of spring flower still out including the Daffodils looking stunning down the hill and the house is a stunning Renaissance-style ch√Ęteau.

Around the house was lots of beautiful antiques and clocks and painting of various members of the family shows there won't short of a penny or two!!

Intresting to learn about Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild and hs family history and how quickly the family had built up their wealth.

Some very Intresting pieces of Architecture around the outside my favourite were around the back of the house


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Around St. Albans

Mallard swimming in the mere
Had a lovely morning walk in Watercress LNR where i saw my first duckling of the year shows spring is really on the way and my first Blackcap on site singing away and along with the Chiffchaffs everywhere lovely just to walk around. Also around were the usual Coot and Moorhen but less birds on the feeder than in the winter season as there starting to nest and pair up by now.

Soing thrush on the path
In the afternoon headed to Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits where much to my surprise after walking by the river colne caught a sight of a lovelt stoat not sure who was more surprised. Then after a scan from the hide headed into Garden Wood where a nuthatch seemed to be nesting along with the Chiff-chaff and Blackcap singing and along the path caught sight of  a lovely Song thrush feeding.

 Walked around the pits with 2 Redshank and quite a few lapwing and plenty of skylark singing in the fields around quite lucky that the one below landed quite near.

Skylark in the field
After my walk around the pits checked on the Great Crested grebes at Broad Colney Lakes but she seem fine sitting on the nest but no sight of the male hope he fine.