Monday, 15 February 2016

Didicot Alley

Walked to the west of the estate primarily Christine Bessants patch  behind
Longlees. As a teenager we called it Didicot Alley, a hedgerow parallel with
Beechen wood partially hides the top end of Maple Cross village.
Here in chilling winds and blue skys a party of 20 Yellowhammers with mixed tits and finches feeding in the lee of the path.
The sun picked out the bright yellow plumage of the males as they fed on seed on the arable land.
While watching Ashleigh Barter came past with her dog as did Bunny Brown with his spaniels. I took there leave and walked through Beechen Wood where at its end four Red Kite displayed overhead.

Monday, 8 February 2016

rainy day at Stockers

Well it was a windy day in tricky ricky as I made my way to Bury Lake  to park up and walk towards the causeway , it had begun to rain again so I headed for the hide then the rain passed and I walked on near the preachers pulpit I saw a splendid male Goosander.
I moved on to the Kingfisher hide where superb Goldeneyes were displaying then a kingfisher flew past.
At the feeding station a small flock of Siskin obliged along with other passerines and a rat.
The rat moved on as did I from the other side of the lake the Yellow legged gull showed well be it distant,I slogged on through the mud but no RCP
Stopped at the farm alas no Little Owl but at least 50 Wigeon.
The Wigeon were a bit flighty as I left for the café and home before the rain.

Friday, 5 February 2016

On to Stockers before the rain

Headed to Rickmansworth parked the bike in the Aquadrome car park ,then strolled pass Bury lake till I got to Stockers ,a detour to the farm produced 57 Wigeon on the flooded field but no sign of the Little Owl. Next up a circuit of Stockers a few Little Egret and
Goldeneye always a pleasure.
From the tern hide a gull was looking a bit different the legs appeared yellow at a distance,I only had my bins so I wasn't going to be too cocky . Opposite some birders were scoping something so I walked around to see them .We then concluded it was Yellow legged gull, Tony Hulls had clocked it a couple of days ago.
So the Watford RSPB guys and I were pleased it was still showing.
I enclose a shot of the Amwell bird my thanks to the photographer.

Maple Lodge and Stockers before the rain

An overcast mild morning with a little sunshine greeted me at Maple Lodge. Lime green catkins fluttered in the wind as a Great spotted woodpecker came to the feeding station.From the Rotunda hide up to 17 Common  Teal . I spoke to Tony Hulls briefly before notching up some more duck.
Of note Pochard and Shoveler ,on adjacent Lynsters farm 2 Egyptian geese obliged amongst Canadas and Greylags in the paddock a nice surprise was a wintering Chiffchaff

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

London Calling on the border with Lewis

A cold windy afternoon in West London just a few miles from our Herts homes ,Lewis and I crossed the border in to Harefield Middlesex or as it is now known the London Borough of Hillingdon.
I worked in this manor when I left school a good few years ago now.
The area in question is fields and woodland behind the dogs trust on route to Uxbridge where Asio
flammeus the diurnal owl was hunting voles in late afternoon sunlight.
Not quite a paradise but Stonechats and Skylarks also obliged along with crows and gulls from the
nearby tip.
We also heard Green Woodpecker ,and few Redwing , a partial corpse of one attributed to Sparrowhawk. But it was the three Short eared Owls that were excellent as light faded on the
border in West London.