Thursday, 8 April 2010

OUZELS on the hills - another wave perhaps


High pressure is now firmly in charge and with it came the warmest day of the year so far. Clear blue skies predominated, along with warm sunshine, with afternoon temperatures reaching just under 60 degrees fahrenheit. Winds were very light with a touch of southwesterly.

As is often the case with clear conditions, visible migration was stifled and in stark contrast to yesterday, few birds of note appeared. Bird of the day was undoubtedly the male BLACK-WINGED STILT which had relocated from the Isle of Wight to Essex.....

Sadly, a dead BARN OWL was lying on the central reservation of the westbound A41, just SW of Berkhamstead.


Marsworth Reedbed Wood held Great Spotted Woodpecker, a pair of Bullfinch, two singing male BLACKCAPS and an increase to at least 5 COMMON CHIFFCHAFFS. Both adult pair Mistle Thrushes were busy gathering food in the main field, and the male WILLOW WARBLER was still singing along the causeway. A single Song Thrush was also seen.

Up to 5 COMMON TERNS were on the reservoir, whilst the horse paddocks revealed the presence of no less than 8 YELLOW WAGTAILS (SR later had 9) and 2 adult male WHITE WAGTAILS.


Three RING OUZEL remained from much earlier in the day - two males and a female - moving between the southern flank of Inkombe Hole and the Steps Hill slope in line with the stile. Typically, they were very elusive, and repeatedly disturbed by dogwalkers, joggers and walkers.
Steve Rodwell had seen at least four early morning, including two which flew north over the Beacon trig point.

WILLOW WARBLERS had increased to 5 singing males in the area, with 2 Red Kites and 2 Song Thrushes also noted. A late REDWING arrived late evening.

As dusk approached, the fields around Down Farm attracted at least 107 FALLOW DEER out to feed, as well as several Red Foxes.

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