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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,


Tuesday, 30 April 2013

2 (Pair) HERRING GULLS calling over, & BLACKCAP singing nearby, at Corner Hall offices.

Saturday, 27 April 2013


Yellow Wagtail at Water End, 27/04/13.

Yellow Wagtails at Water End, 27/04/13.

HOBBY at Water End

HOBBY - 1st of the year.

Hobby at Water End, 27/04/13

Female WHITETHROAT, 2 Male YELLOW WAGTAILS & 2 (Pair) of LAPWINGS at Water End

WHITETHROAT - 1st of the year.

LESSER WHITETHROAT singing & C.4 YELLOW WAGTAILS at Piccotts End Pools

LESSER WHITETHROAT - 1st of the year.
C.4 YELLOW WAGTAILS - 1st of the year.

Male Yellow Wagtail at Piccotts End Pools, 27/04/13.

Male Yellow Wagtail at Piccotts End Pools, 27/04/13.

Record shots of Yellow Wagtails at Piccotts End Pools, 27/04/13.
I used these shots to try to differentiate the individual birds
& came to the conclusion that there were probably 4 birds
but there could have been up to 5.

NUTHATCH singing at G'bridge Park

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Now 5 MALLARD Ducklings outside TK Maxx, Town Centre

Adult LESSER BLACK- BACKED GULL at Water Gardens, Town Centre

WILLOW WARBLER still singing, probably at Two Waters

Large BUZZARD circling around Apsley, Two Waters, Boxmoor & Corner Hall.

Buzzard over Corner Hall.

2 COMMON TERNS perched on street lamp beside Two Waters Way near B&Q, Corner Hall / Boxmoor

WILLOW WARBLER singing - heard from Corner Hall offices

WILLOW WARBLER singing either at Two Waters or Boxmoor, heard from Corner Hall offices & confirms my thoughts that I had possibly heard one at distance here yesterday.

Willow Warblers are actually very rarely heard singing around Hemel Hempstead, especially so close to town, & not really even seen that often so I am pleased with this record.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

1st MALLARD Ducklings, noisy NUTHATCH still, & smart Adult large gulls sticking around.

  • NUTHATCH calling again near Queensway & Nickey Line this morning.
  • 2 MALLARD Ducklings near TK Maxx, Town Centre - My 1st of the year.
  • A very smart Adult HERRING GULL & an Adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL together at Pennine Way sports fields late morning.

2 COMMON TERNS back & forth between canal at Corner Hall & Durrants Hill Fishery, Two Waters

2 COMMON TERNS - 1st of the year.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Male GREY WAGTAIL coming to within 3m at Water Gardens, Town Centre

Grey Wagtail & Feral Pigeon friend at Water Gardens, Town Centre.
(Taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3 compact camera.)

CHIFFCHAFF singing at Keen's (Kings) Field, Adeyfield

Monday, 15 April 2013

This mornings highlights... GOLDENEYES & GREY PARTRIDGES plus Spring WARBLERS & HIRUNDINES.

Here is a summary of notable sightings on a cycle before work this morning...

  • 2 Female GOLDENEYES! - Very surprised to see these flying low S over Leighton Buzzard Road at Piccotts End, appearing to come from Piccotts End Pools. [I first noticed 2 smallish ducks flapping quickly that looked 'different' heading towards me from across the fields then following the main road. As they neared the short necks & 'tall' heads became apparent. As the birds went over across the road they appeared generally brownish with oval white bellies with diffuse edges, & as they were heading away from me I could see the short white wing bars from behind/below.]
  • 2 (Pair) GREY PARTRIDGES - a Pair along the Nettleden Road at Water End down from Highpark Wood.
  • 2 (Pair) GADWALLS - on the river at Water End near The Red Lion Pub in an area perfect for them to breed, & these are the first I've seen at Water End for a good while.
  • 2 (Pair) LAPWINGS - showing display & courtship behaviour in the field behind Piccotts End Pools where they are rarely seen let alone showing signs of breeding.
  • 2+ SWALLOWS - my first of the year over fields S of Piccotts End Pools.
  • 5+ HOUSE MARTINS - my first of the year over fields S of Piccotts End Pools.
  • 2 WILLOW WARBLERS - my first of the year & both singing W of Piccotts End Village, one at Leighton Buzzard Road & one in the wood across the road to the W.
  • 5 CHIFFCHAFFS - all singing. 1 at N Gadebridge Park, 1 at Piccotts End Pools near Gaddesden Hall, 1 at Water End near The Red Lion, 1 at Water End near the E end of Nettleden Road, & 1 at Highpark Wood, Water End.
  • 2 RED KITES, 5 BUZZARDS & 1+ Female SPARROWHAWK all up around Piccotts End - Two of the BUZZARDS visiting a previous breeding site.
  • 2+ BUZZARDS & a KESTREL at Water End.
  • 2 LITTLE EGRETS - 1 at N Gadebridge Park & 1 at Water End near The Red Lion.
  • NUTHATCH at Water End near The Red Lion.
  • KINGFISHER - at Piccotts End Pools
  • REED BUNTING - at Piccotts End Pools.
  • Partly Leucistic JACKDAW - at Gadebridge Park. Had bright white markings around its head, neck & underside. 

The rest of my sightings from this morning are listed in the below posts...

5 BUZZARDS at Piccotts End

LITTLE EGRET & NUTHATCH at Water End near Red Lion

KESTREL hunting at Water End

Pair of GREY PARTRIDGES & 2+ BUZZARDS at Nettleden Road, Water End

Pair of GADWALLS at Water End near Red Lion & 2 CHIFFCHAFFS singing nearby


2 BUZZARDS & Male LINNET at P.E Pools

CHIFFCHAFF singing & REED BUNTING at P.End Pools

Pair of LAPWINGS showing display or courtship behaviour at field behind P.E Pools

3 RED KITES at Piccotts End, NE of village.

SKYLARK singing & KINGFISHER at Piccotts End Pools, also BUZZARD, RED KITE & Female SPARROWHAWK

C.3 SWALLOWS & C.5 HOUSE MARTINS over field S of Piccotts End Pools

Another WILLOW WARBLER singing in wood to W of Piccotts End

WILLOW WARBLER singing near L.Buzzard Road at Piccotts End

My 1st WILLOW WARBLER of the year & not actually found that often in the Hemel area.

3 HOUSE MARTINS at Piccotts End

My 1st HOUSE MARTINS of the year.

HEMEL MEGA: 2 Female GOLDENEYES low S over L.Buzzard Road at Piccotts End!

More details of the 2 Female GOLDENEYES > HERE <.

Partly Leucistic JACKDAW at Gadebridge Park

SWALLOW at field N of G'bridge Park, Piccotts End

My 1st SWALLOW of the year.

CHIFFCHAFF singing & LITTLE EGRET in river at N. Gadebridge Park

Monday, 8 April 2013


Other than the usual or commoner birds, an evening visit to Piccotts End Pools produced...
  • 12 COMMON GULLS over S
  • 2 HERRING GULLS (1 Ad, 1 2nd Sum.) over N
  • 1 Ad. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL over N, then a bit later 1 more LBB over N with a Possible 2nd Summer YELLOW-LEGGED GULL
  • C.50 FIELDFARES, C.10 REDWINGS, 1+ MISTLE THRUSH, 1 SONG THRUSH & 2 STARLINGS feeding together with CHAFFINCHES in the sheep field SE of the pools, as well as a Possible RING OUZEL seen flying into the hedge SSE of the pools - when inadvertently flushed seen from behind as a black thrush with long wings which looked silvery pale, also heard possible Ring Ouzel 'chucking' call between Fieldfare 'chacking' calls.
  • 13 SISKINS
  • 1 Male REED BUNTING partly singing

3 COMMON GULLS E over Boxmoor / Two Waters

BUZZARD over Boxmoor

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Road casualty Male POLECAT on A4147

A very large Male POLECAT is dead due to vehicle collision on the A4147 Hemel Hempstead Road at 51.741854,-0.399476 , next to the small raised road divider with national speed limit sign & bollards (E bound side), between layby & M1.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances it is good to see that Polecats are in this area of Hemel where I hadn't seen them before.