Started my main autumn holiday on Friday and it has been a bit slow.
News on Friday morning of a Pink Footed Goose at Amwell flying off at 0730 was bad enough, but to hear that Phil Ball had seven Whooper Swans mid morning (flying past an oblivious Bill Last) was worse. Both are county ticks for me (there are some dodgy Whoopers seen in the west of the county now and again). The Whoopers stayed until just after 1100-Jay Ward missed them by minutes and I was hoping to get down early afternoon after finishing work.
Colin did not fancy the potentially wet and very windy trip to the east coast yesterday-news from Jay and bloggers like Penny Clark later suggested it was pretty good, so I ended up at Amwell for a few hours.
The Pink Foot had been present again overnight but departed early, but unfortunately it later flew up river while everyone was looking out from the watch point. To me it sounds a bit suspect as it is associating with the Canadas-but so is the Barnacle so it must be a wild bird, right? Its on the Lea at Ware today so I guess I will catch up with it eventually.
Main feature of the morning was the Redwing movement. Hard to say how many I saw in the 3.5 hours I was there, but every few minutes a scan of the hills to the north west would produce birds, sometimes 20, sometimes well over 200. Phil reckoned a total in excess of 10000 would not be unreasonable. No other thrushes were in the flocks though one or two lone Mistles flew around, and Blackbirds and Song Thrushes were more evident in the bushes.
Other moving birds included a few Skylark and Meadow Pipits and a few finches. Three Pied Wagtails on the scrape was a bit unusual, presumably the locally bred birds. Three Cetti's are calling from the reeds and Snipe numbers seem to be building up, but otherwise it was just the usual assortment of gulls, ducks and raptors.
Drove back via Bennington, but no indication of thrushes in the fields and hedges.