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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.

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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...


  1. Sounds like a great day Dan - and Jim's had a good one too - Wish I'd got out now!

    Cheers, Martin

  2. Yes had a great morning Martin, glad I got out before work & hope to do it a bit more from now on. Sounds like Jim had a fantastic day! Take care, Dan.


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