FRIDAY 24 JULY
A nice morning but then thick cloud, thunder and heavy rain moved in from the west bringing localised flooding for a couple of hours. Front moved quickly east leaving a bright evening but fresh SW winds
Today, I spent a lot of time trying to find Common Crossbill flocks, but failed again. The highlight was a party of 3 Red-crested Pochards at Tring.
SHARDELOES LAKE (1030-1105 hours)
GREAT CRESTED GREBES (pair with three babies still, with two additional adults)
LITTLE GREBE (pair with three very small young and another pair with two well grown young)
Continental Cormorant (sub-adult still drying its wings on island with another which flew in from the south)
Grey Heron (3)
Mute Swans (family party of 7 birds doing well)
Tufted Duck (7)
Green Woodpecker (adult and two juveniles)
Barn Swallow (1 adult)
SAND MARTIN (1 adult)
Pied Wagtail (24 on the cricket pitch, mainly juveniles)
GREY WAGTAIL (1)
Song Thrush (1 feeding on the grass by the entrance gates)
PENN WOOD, COMMON WOOD, CHARCOAL GROVE and PENNHOUSE GROVE, as well as PUGH'S WOOD and BROOK WOOD - all woodlands in the Tylers Green area
Did a wide circuit of the various footpaths in a vain search for Common Crossbill flocks but completely drew a blank. I did however find several RED KITE nests, with a total of six juvenile birds being fed. Also, several RED ADMIRAL butterflies.
PENN STREET FARM (SU 925 954)
Again, no sign of the juvenile Common Cuckoo, but juvenile Moorhen on the tiny farm reservoir proving breeding. Four STOCK DOVE, 2 Linnets, 2 Goldfinches, 2 Barn Swallows and a male Blackcap, as well as 6 RED ADMIRALS and a PAINTED LADY.
Sadly, a freshly killed Badger on the northbound A413 at SP 899 009