Saturday, 25 January 2014

Siskins Robins and Earth Stars

No plans to go out this weekend, and horrible weather forecast for Sunday.
Had a day off yesterday and went down to Hatfield to do some shopping. On the way down I drove through Bramfield and Tewin, returning via Knebworth and Datchworth. Hoped to locate a flock of Golden Plover, or maybe a finch/bunting flock but apart from one field of corvids, the journey was largely bird free.
Today I paid the usual visit to Amwell. Rather misty and cool for some time, but it did improve a bit as the morning progressed. Lots of singing crests and tits as I walked up the lane, and there was a big flock of loud Siskins along the railway line, and some Long Tailed Tits feeding in the bushes.

Bill Barry and Tony were at the watchpoint. Simon arrived soon after and we talked about the Whitethroat he had found near the Meads yesterday-one of three winter records apparently. One Grey Wagtail flew over, followed by a Pied. Duck seem to be showing signs of Spring-the Goldeneye and Gadwall were displaying as were some of the Great Crested  Grebes.
Phil arrived and mentioned his discovery of Earth Stars in the woods. Everyone went off to see them and Phil and I went down to the new scrape to try and locate a Chiffchaff we had both heard, without success. I then carried on down to the James Hide, hoping again that the Bearded Tit might appear. Lots of Long Tail, Blue and Great Tits on the feeders, along with Reed Buntings, and two Cetti's warblers but no sign of the Bearded (Ron reported it from the watch point in the afternoon).
Carried on down to Hollycross meeting up with Barry and Bill again. One of three Redpoll was seen on the feeders along  with the regular Marsh Tit. When the sun came out it highlighted the catkins by the bridge.

I made my way back via the woods, encountering the large Siskin flock again. One of the males posed for me.

Also the very vocal Robins were posing all day-one in the woods and the other the watch point bird.

Bumped into Mick Cotton with his camera and mentioned that the Siskin flock was worth going for. As he left, I located the Earth Stars and got a few low angle close ups.

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