Sunday, 29 August 2010

Bank Holiday Part1

Took the car in for its M.O.T and service on Friday. In the evening heard of five Whinchats and two Wheatear at Norton Green.
Decided to go down first thing Saturday, but the northerly breeze and the clear blue sky suggested it would be unsuccessful, and as it turned out, I was right, everything had cleared out. The only compensation was seeing about a dozen Buzzards in the air, with three coming very close at times. For once, I had my camera.
 A few warblers were found-several ticking Blackcaps and two or three juvenile Whitethroat, and a single House Martin went over.
Decided to drive over to Sandon since I had the camera, but the Red Kites proved elusive. Did not see any Harriers.

Today I went down to Amwell. The pits were alive with martins and it seemed the composition varied through the morning. House Martins predominated over the paddocks, while Sand were abundant over the main water, but every now and again a cluster of House joined them. Seemed to suggest that small parties were continually moving through. Strangely, only a few Swallows were seen all morning.
Bonus bird of the day was seeing two Swifts-probably my latest Herts records as my local birds went three weeks back. One had a deep forked tail, prompting Phil Ball to suggest a 'probable melanistic Pacific Swift'.
The local Hohby's were taking full advantage of the feast and were frequently coming close to us. Only one Buzzard and a few Sparrowhawk were seen as conditions were not ideal for soaring.
A few interesting ducks again. Jan mentioned seeing a Mandarin, but it was out of view all morning. Not a problem as a male and two females flew in around eleven. Diving duck tend to be scarce in summer with only a few Tufties, but three Pochard flew through at noon.
Apart from Lapwing, there were only two Common Sandpipers to add to the day's wader list.

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