Saturday, 7 January 2012


Popped over to Norton Green yesterday after work at lunchtime to try and find the Great grey shrike that was found on Monday. Unfortunately with limited time it was not successful-in fact it had not been seen all day. It was re-found an hour after i got home.
So this morning I got there early and met someone leaving that I  knew-he had not seen it in a good hour. As we were chatting, a tractor pulled up towing a shed and out poured a load of gun dogs and shooters. Not a good start and they were surprised to find birders on site. I popped up onto the tip briefly and noticed a load of travellers and their dogs sweeping the site, so there was no hope of seeing the shrike today, gave up and headed for Amwell.
 Did not look promising-only Tony was present and he had had a fairly dull morning.  Went up to Tumbling Bay and soon found the female Red Crested Pochard, but the Smew had done a bunk again. Not a great deal at hollycross, but the Siskin flock in the picnic area still present. Also had a very close Treecreeper.
arrived back at the Watchpoint to find Simon, Colin, Phil and a couple of the Sunday crew. Had a long chat with a bit of birding until Phil thought he had a dark moving shape in the reeds-presumably a Bittern but it could not be found despite a long search. I was on the verge of getting ready to leave when two drakeGoosander flew north, and just as we were celebrating Phil's Bittern became a reality feeding on the waters edge. Watched it for several minutes before it slipped away, and this time a few of us made a definite move to leave. We got as far as the bridge when the others called us back for a fine Red Kite over the hide-a superb final twenty minutes to what started off as a really bad day.

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