Recording Area Annual Totals

97 Species in 2013, 99 in 2012, 94 in 2011, 108 species were recorded in 2010;

Monday, 15 September 2014

LINNET surprise

Yet another day of easterly winds, unusually warm, dry and partly cloudy...
Two House Martins flew west over CHAFFINCH HOUSE at around 0900 hours but otherwise, still extremely quiet on the garden front
Thanks to Steve Blake, I finally caught up with a COMMON STONECHAT in Hertfordshire today and after I finished my August Round-up of rarities for Birdwatching magazine, I made my way over to TYTTENHANGER GP....
The COMMON STONECHAT (a young male) was highly mobile and was commuting between the fenceposts along the east shore of the main birding pit and the hedgerow that borders the footpath. It did not allow close approach, the following shots being taken at distance...

Not much else of note other than a single migrant Meadow Pipit (see pic), Green Woodpecker, 7 Long-tailed Tits and a Common Chiffchaff, with 140+ Black-headed Gulls roosting on the pit, along with 1 adult Argenteus Herring and 7 Lesser Black-backed.

I then decided to walk the CHESS VALLEY - CHENIES harbouring a few House Sparrows, 4 Collared Doves, 2 Dunnocks and a singing Goldcrest. No sign of any chats in either the paddocks or ploughed fields but Red Kite and its youngster in trees by MOUNTWOOD FARM plus 3 Jays and a Green Woodpecker.

At the CRESTYL CRESSBEDS (SARRATT BOTTOM), Jay, Chaffinch, Green Woodpecker, 8 Moorhen, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail and a Grey Heron noted, with at least 1 WATER VOLE on the tributary. Both RING-NECKED PARAKEETS were once again in the tree by the lane and VALLEY FARM HORSE PADDOCKS added more Pied & Grey Wagtails, the usual LITTLE OWL, another Green Woodpecker and 4 remaining Barn Swallows. Most outstanding however was a flock of 135 LINNETS feeding either side of the access track to the farm - the largest flock I have seen in the Recording Area since I first moved here in April 1987. A large percentage were juveniles, indicating a bumper breeding season.....

The rest of the Valley was relatively quiet, although a HOBBY flying high east over MILL FARM MEADOWS was one of a very few seen this year in the area.

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