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around Hemel Hempstead...

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

HEMEL MEGA: ARCTIC TERN at canal at Corner Hall / Boxmoor


ARCTIC TERN hunting along canal between B&Q, Corner Hall & Hemel Cricket Club, Boxmoor for at least 5mins at 13.15, coming within 8 meters! - First for Hemel.

[At such close range obviously short-necked/bull-headed with long tail streamers giving it a 'wings forward' look compared to a Common Tern's more 'Gannet' proportions. Clean, light looking wings with clean dark edge. Shorter, stubbier-looking, plain wine red bill. Greyish below enhancing light cheeks. Appearing more floaty & buoyant than Common Tern.]



Monday, 2 April 2012

PEREGRINE + RED KITE Record

Whilst at work today...


Water Gardens

Female COOT - I can't remember the last time I saw a Coot here.
Female MALLARD - the particularly well marked one with a white-ringed neck.


Corner Hall offices

4 RED KITES - circling high together towards Town Centre c.10.45 - as far as I know a Record Count for the Town Centre.
BUZZARD - a lightish bird gliding high SW 11.10.
Female SPARROWHAWK - c.12.10.
Large RAPTOR - Buzzard-sized or bigger with white markings gliding high N 12.20.
COAL TIT - singing
CORMORANT - circling low over canal 14.10.
RED KITE - circling low 14.25.
Female PEREGRINE - circling slowly heading S 16.45 - I was alerted by the concerned call of a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL.
Female SPARROWHAWK - circled up quickly seemingly to make Peregrine aware of her presence 16.45.
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL - calling in true seaside fashion 18.10.
2 SPARROWHAWKS - flying W from Two Waters 18.10.
2 GREY HERONS - flying around high over for a minute whilst one was calling, before going separate ways 18.20.

Female PEREGRINE over Corner Hall offices.

Whilst watching the 4 Red Kites this morning I saw what looked like pieces of brown paper falling from the clear blue sky. At first I presumed one of the kites had dropped whilst 'playing' with it as they often do. Though on further observation the pieces of paper were falling over a largeish area of sky & from higher up than the Kites were soaring. The only logical explainations I can think of are either that this was paper that had been burnt on a fire somewhere last night (hence the brown appearance), the hot air from the fire carrying the pieces high up into the cold night air, then, as the saying goes, what goes up must come down? Or, perhaps the pieces were from a fire burning this morning, then carried up by the thermal that the Kites were soaring on then as the pieces reached the top they popped out of the thermal & fell to the ground? Either way it was a very perculiar sight.





Sunday, 1 April 2012

Who am I fooling?

I'm not going to write any April Fool's sightings here today or any pinches or punches, but instead would like to mark today as a bit of a fresh start, beginning of spring, new tax year's resolution for the fool that is me.
I've been finding it very hard since starting this blog to keep it up-to-date, with many posts being late or completely missing. This is due to having an increasingly heavy workload (which I can't complain about), finding more & more so that my time at the computer is committed to work activities, & any free time spent out in the field itself, as well as balancing all this with a busy home & social life. So, I'd just like to make an apology for any of those loyal readers out there who so often come here to read about their local birds only to find I haven't written in weeks!
To make up for my lack of posts in the past few months I'm going to put some extra effort back into writing this blog, even if it means writing posts on my mobile phone & sending them through when I get a moment. Spring migration is under way & so over these important next few weeks I will strive to get all of my sightings of birds arriving in the Hemel area onto here asap for anyone interested.
Luckily my new design project is based around British birds & wildlife, & so this may give me some extra opportunities to spend time in the field, hopefully meaning I get to find a few of those migrants that I would have otherwise missed.

Good luck when birding this spring - VELORAPTOR