Documenting surprising sightings, fascinating findings, & exciting encounters, with birds, wildlife, & other nature,
around Hemel Hempstead...

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Regular visitors will have noticed a decrease in posts to the HEMEL NATURE
blog - this is because I have been living & working out of the area, & due to the job my time out
& about with nature in Hemel is limited. I am working on a new blog to come soon & hope that the work that has gone into HEMEL NATURE will prove useful & interesting to those still visiting it.

In the mean time you can follow me at my new accounts on the following social media platforms...

Instagram @DanFWildlife >

Twitter @DanFWildlife >

Facebook I am still building on but you can still follow me none-the-less
by 'Likeing' the @DanFWildlife Page >

Many thanks for your support,


Thursday, 3 November 2011


Whilst working at my office in Corner Hall today...
21 REDWINGS flew over SW towards Boxmoor at 9.40am.
C.30 GOLDFINCHES landed in the Alders bordering B&Q briefly - I wonder if this is the small local flock growing as nearby flocks join, as has happened in previous winters.
A RED KITE floated low over the rooftops & off towards Bennetts End at 2.40pm.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

LITTLE EGRET Going to Roost Again

In the morning the usual LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was stood on the roof of the Scout Group HQ on Queensway.
At about 8.50am a GREY WAGTAIL was at the Water Gardens just downstream of the Market Square.
Near to Hemel, on the edge of St. Albans, a RED KITE was circling low over the road, near the junction of Hemel Hempstead Road (A4147) & Potters Crouch Lane, at about 1.40pm & 2.50pm when I passed on a two hour driving lesson.
At 4.05pm a LITTLE EGRET flew to roost S over my office in Corner Hall.

As I walked home through the town, a BROWN RAT ran across the path infront of me opposite TK Maxx. It ran from below the ATM on the wall where there is nowhere to hide, to the river bank.
At about 6.25pm, the same PIKE as yesterday was sitting motionless in the shallows, at the Water Gardens opposite Bank Court. This time about half way across the river.

Later that night I heard REDWINGS flying over Highfield near Queesway again.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A Day of RAPTORS, Including Odd Colour-Ringed BUZZARD

Whilst walking to work this morning...
A GREY WAGTAIL was calling loudly at West Herts College where Queesway (B457) crosses the river Gade.
The Grey Wag's alarm call alerted me to a Male SPARROWHAWK sat in the autumn leaves on the grass river bank, only 10m from me - it would have been a perfect picture but once it knew I'd noticed it it flew into a tree.
A GREY WAGTAIL was about in the Water Gardens between the Police Station & the Market Square.
I counted 85 CANADA GEESE in total at the Water Gardens, but no Mute Swans.
The Female PEREGRINE was still at her roost on the BT building - even though the light was still bad I thought I'd take a snap.

The ringed female Peregrine at her roost on the BT building

Whilst working at my office in Corner Hall...
A SPARROWHAWK was circling as I arrived.
A Juvenile COMMON GULL flew S.
At 10.00am a SISKIN flew over calling.
A SKYLARK called as it flew over.
At 10.40 I heard a SISKIN call again.
C.10 GOLDFINCHES were back & forth - the charm seems to be growing.
A Female CHAFFINCH was accompanying the Goldfiches in the Alders bordering B&Q - surprisingly I se Chaffinches very rarely at the offices.
At 10.50 a JAY flew N towards town whilst calling - another bird seen rarely here.
At 11.35 a Female KESTREL circled for a few minutes - only the second I've ever had here.
At 1.05 another SISKIN flew over calling.

As I walked home at dark, at about 6.15pm, there was a 40-50cm long PIKE at the Water Gardens, sitting still in the shallows under the weir, up close to the bank, opposite Bank Court.
A bit later on I could hear one or two REDWINGS flying over Highfield near Queensway.

Most noteworthy today though was the following...
At 12.15, 2 BUZZARDS were soaring over Corner Hall together for a few minutes, slowly drifting E. I then noticed that one of the birds had a colour-ring on it's left leg, so I tried to get a photo to record it. Due to the height they were flying, & shooting at an angle through double glazing, the pictures aren't great, but do just about show that the ring is green.
This bird also had quite distinctive plumage, along with angled trailing edges to the wings & tail, giving it a slightly odd appearance, almost like a small Eagle.
The Buzzard accompanying it, whilst looking more 'normal' in it's structure, did seem to share similar markings on the wings & tail to the ringed bird, if just a bit paler. This leads me to think these birds could be related.
I couldn't make out any rings on this bird but couldn't help but notice its incredibly pale, almost white, tail, with only a hint of russet where the terminal band would be.
I'll see if I can get any info about the bird & will post it here as soon as I do, if I do.

Two Buzzards soaring together over Corner Hall

The odd Buzzard with a green colour-ring

Close up of the Buzzard's green colour-ring