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Regular visitors will have noticed a decrease in posts to the HEMEL NATURE
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Sunday, 30 October 2011

1st Gadebridge Park LITTLE EGRET, & 1st FIELDFARES of Winter

Ablaze with autumn leaves...
The view towards St. Mary's Church, from the football pitches in Gadebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead - 30/10/11
I took a brief walk this afternoon, through Gadebridge Park, to Piccotts End Pools, & back. The dull, grey atmosphere of the day was no match for the vibrant, firey hues of the autumn leaves adorning every tree in sight. Whilst eating my lamb samosa & onion bhaji from the Jet garage I saw...

At Gadebridge Park...
A LITTLE EGRET flew S at treetop height at 1.20pm, following the River Gade towards town - this is the first I've seen here but very much expected at some point.
As the Egret passed 2 SISKINS called as they flew between the treetops.
A RED KITE meandered S through the park, doing it's best to look like a marsh Harrier.
A flock of STARLINGS & possibly some Winter Thrushes were whirling about at the football pitches before settling down near High Street / Piccotts End Road.
A SISKIN was heard once more.
Up to 10 CHAFFINCHES were moving about.
A SONG THRUSH darted along a hedgerow.

At Piccotts End Pools...
A KESTREL flew towards the pools from the village & one was heard calling later on.
A Male SPARROWHAWK did its best Merlin impression as it purposefully sped low across the grass.
2+ RED KITES were constantly patrolling the area.
2+ BUZZARDS were about all of the time, one making a high-speed vertical stoop, from great height, at one of the Kites.
2 LITTLE EGRETS were mobile.
A GREY HERON flew in.
2+ STOCK DOVES were often back & forth.
One or two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were about.
9 LINNETS were twittering about most of the time.
A GREENFINCH oddly repeated just a 'peuuw' call, which had me guessing for a few minutes until I could find it.
Quite a few CHAFFINCHES were around the gate to the green.
C.10 FIELDFARES were feeding in the hedge near the gate & moving about the area - a bit late but my first of the winter.
A GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER few across the pools.
Atleast 1 GREY WAGTAIL was about.
2+ PIED WAGTAILS were resting on the wires between feeding on the field behind the pools.
A single MEADOW PIPIT flew over S.
Most surprisingly, over the field on Piccotts End Road & Dodds Lane, a SKYLARK was in full song & performing its display flight at great height for all of the hour I was at the pools!
No sign of the Juvenile Peregrine of recent.

Common Buzzard - Piccotts End Pools, Hemel Hempstead - 30/10/11
On my way back to Highfield...
At 3.50pm a Female SPARROWHAWK was on the hunt around the Old Town & Queensway, circling low over the rooftops whilst the crowds had already started to gather below for the Old Town 'Halloween Night'.
A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, which I presume was the usual Queesway bird, was hanging around low over the takeaways opposite West Herts College, upsetting the Feral Pigeons.

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