A reasonably productive morning began at Pitstone Hill where 22 CORN BUNTINGS were feeding on the bare field south of the hill, with another 2 singing. Loads of Skylarks singing and a few Linnets and Yellowhammers but no early Wheatear.
Drove up to Ashridge, along monument drive, eventually finding a fantastic female LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER feeding quite high up in an area of Oaks and scattered birches near to Richard Birch's sighting of a couple of days ago.. In view for 2-3mins until I reached for my camera and she completely disappeared, with no further sign despite searching. A few Siskins and Redpoll were also in the same area.
At Pitstone Quarry the gorgeous adult MEDITERRANEAN GULL was preening on the shoreline and a male Mandarin was also there (Rob Andrews).