Saturday, 8 February 2014

Kingfisher and Peregrine

Another wet and windy weekend. A lot of the local roads around the Beane at Walkern are under water, and some of the low lying Stevenage roads were closed yesterday. Took a gamble and went down to Amwell the usual way along the A602. A lot of surface water and debris at Hooks Cross as expected, and many of the roadside fields are very wet, but otherwise a pretty good journey.
Arrived the same time as Bill and we were joined by Phil as we approached the watch point. The water levels on the lake are higher than I have ever seen them, and the highest point of the island in front of White Hide is almost covered. Apparently it was far worse yesterday. With little to see here I went with Bill and sat in the James Hide for a while. Despite a couple of intense hail storms, the Kingfisher put in an appearance and showed quite well. One or two singing Cetti's Warblers did not show, but we did have a brief Water Rail cross h
the big cut in the reeds.
Bill left, and I eventually made my way down to Hollycross. The rivers have topped their banks and spread quite widely, and the dragonfly boardwalk is under water. The feeders were not all that exciting this time, and none of the more interesting birds showed, so with high winds and showers approaching I made my way back to the watchpoint where I met Barry.
We had a chat and noted that the Lapwings had been very jumpy all morning. Two other birders picked up a distant raptor which appeared to have a long tail, clean under parts, brown upper parts and an un barred tail so I assumed it was a Kestrel. A little while later what they suggested may have been the same bird appeared, put up the Lapwings and was quickly identified as a Peregrine which came close at one point. I got a few images, much better than my last attempt.
I decide not to stay any longer as the wind was getting very bad, but it was great to see two Red Kites fly over the main lake.

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