Monday, 16 April 2012

Country Squires Day Out

 A mornings clay pigeon shooting at A1 shooting grounds near Barnet did not deter a Chiff chaff singing
as my cousin Alan Walsh and I were tutored by Wayne our guide on guns and safety.Our Italian
hosts made us comfortable with tea and rolls and we had an enjoyable morning.
Later we went trout fishing at Rib Valley in Ware where I managed a single rainbow,while 5
swallows flew over the lake.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Friday the 13th part 2

Walked the dog to Woodoaks with Sarah and found three Wheatears one on the manure pile.
Further on two on the track and in the bramble bushes at the far end,then returning to the farm.
The summer male Black Redstart showed well on the orchard fence.
A superb end to a good day.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Friday the 13th Croxley Common Moor

0830hrs walked to Maple Lodge managed  a Green Sandpiper before Geoff Lapworth whisked me off
to Croxley Moor where Joan Thomson,Lee Evans,John Edwards,Geoff and I were hunting the elusive
Common Redstart,eventually 3 Wheatear obliged ,although Lee was pissed off they were Iceland not
Northern while the rest of us bemused carried on looking for the redstart.Joan,Geoff and I left via
Olds Approach when Geoff found the male Redstart in a gorse bush,a good view of this stonking
bird in Herts is not always a premium.Thanks go to Sharpy for the griff and Geoff for the transport
and the bird.

April showers at Stockers

Birding with PLewis doing his wildfowl count,on arrival heard Willow warbler in car park and Chiff chaff ,a few duck were present as we walked canal side.We arrived at the hides as the heavens opened.A number of Blackcap were also present,in front of us a mixed hirundine flock moved through
in the rain mostly swallows ,house martins and the odd sand. A Great crested grebe was holding territory just in front of us.Moving on to the Preachers pulpit a large raptor flew over,Paul cry's its
an Osprey as it turns I am in full agreement as it flys north towards Chorleywood.Geoff Lapworth
arrives as a pair of Goldeneye fly around Hanging Wood then land on Stockers and the male begins
to display.Moving on more singing male Blackcaps at the boardwalk,on arrival at Stockers House a singing Dunnock holds territory on the lock keepers garden.
Back round the lake along the causeway a nesting Mute Swan  sits precariously vunerable.
Next up a singing male Reed bunting followed by the long staying  Cetti's warbler a devilishly
elusive bird to see let alone photograph.Theres 6 Common tern overhead  and on adjacent

Bury GP there is at least 7  Red crested  pochards,Little Egret is on the River Colne.
The heronry is still in full swing as youngsters are sitting on the edge of  their nests,Kingfishers calling and a Red Kite along Denham Way end our day.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

woodoaks farm early morning jaunt

On receiving a text from  Chris on the farm I hastened to  Woodoaks farm where I made my way to  the
dung heap a lone skylark was singing on the ground I guess it was nesting nearby.
I  just found the reported Wheatear in fact two when along came a dog walker and flushed them up the
track I was not pleased ,however I walked back to the dung heap where the male Wheatear had returned.Leaving the dung heap I walked back down the track .
Finally  on the barn the elusive female(most of them are) Wheatear was on the barn roof briefly
before disappearing.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Maple Lodge April morning

An early morning walk heralded good numbers of chiff chaffs and blackcaps up to 4 individuals of each.
Two long staying green sandpipers perhaps a pair . A single grey wagtail joined them and at least 4 herons were feeding on fish,a single snipe obliged.Great spotted woodys were drumming and calling
and back at the club house a pair of Mallard with two young,also of note up to36 common teal.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Woodoaks April fools day

Well fooled or foiled again no sign of the reported black redstart again,so Sarah and  I walked the
dog in glorious sunshine. Very few birds showing a singing skylark a few yellowhammers,little
owl in the orchard,old friends arrive Geoff Lapworth and Tony Hulls.On leaving a kestrel and
more birders arriving.Spring has arrived with Cherry Blossom looking  great at the Cross.