Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sally's past week

Despite watching the Marsworth reed bed from Monday through Thursday the elusive Bittern wasn't seen, although on Monday something larger than a coot was moving through the righthand reeds by the overflow and made a loud hissing bark noise which I think could have been it. The Barn Owl was seen every evening.

Ashridge Forest Fri am. Spent all morning in the Monument/Pond area but didn't find the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Lots of Nuthatches and more Treecreepers than I usually see, plus a couple of Great Spots.

Gallows Bridge NR Sat pm. Didn't see the Hen Harrier but one of the two pairs of Curlew were showing well in front of the hides. (see picture above).

Pitstone Hill Sun am. Arrived early in thick fog but did a quick check at Incombe Hole while it was clearing - as usual it was devoid of birds but the adjacent field held the usual flock of Fieldfare. Target bird was Wheatear. I could only find two in the ploughed field SW of the car park. Now and then they flew onto the adjacent grass path but were constantly flushed back by dogs, walkers, joggers and cyclists. In between the interruptions I managed to get some pics, the first three are of a stunning male and the fourth is of the second bird (Sally Douglas).

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