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

Explore & find out more about wildlife in this West Hertfordshire town. To return to the full homepage just click the banner above...

Monday, 11 November 2013

LITTLE EGRET SE into Two Waters

Single SNIPE Species flew low over road (A4146) from flood meadows at Great Gaddesden this morning - looked pretty small, didn't notice long bill & flying directly rather than zig-zag so could have been the Jack Snipe seen there recently.





Possibly 5 LITTLE EGRETS along Gade Valley between Piccotts End & Great Gaddesden now - highest previous count is 4.


I scoured the Gade valley from Piccotts End to Great Gaddesden again this morning in case the Great White Egret was still around, but no luck. Also checked the area N or Great Gaddesden across Dagnall Road that I mentioned previously as a possible area worth checking due to the habitat, but on getting there noticed it wasn't as ideal as I'd thought, with much less vegetation on the flood meadow & a much narrower, more concentrated stream than I'd seen there in the past.

On the other hand, it seems there may be another LITTLE EGRET in the area, in addition to the usual 4 found along the Gade. I first saw one at Great Gaddesden, N of Hemel Garden Centre on the flood meadow, then a second here stood in the hedge literally at the back of the garden centre where the stream disappears through the fence. When driving back I saw one at the river at Water End, between the 'S-bend' bridge & the Red Lion pub. Then at Piccotts End Pools there were 2 Little Egrets, one around the sheep field & one at the back of the pools, later roosting in the trees there.

Small flocks of REDWINGS on the move today & coming down to land in drizzle at Piccotts End & Great Gaddesden.

2 LITTLE EGRETS, C.20 TEAL, & Flock of FIELDFARE over S at Great Gaddesden.

LITTLE EGRET at Water End b-w 'S-bend' bridge & Red Lion pub.

Male TEAL, 2 LITTLE EGRETS, 5 CORMORANTS & NUTHATCH at Piccotts End Pools

GREEN SANDPIPER at Piccotts End Pools

Thursday, 7 November 2013

LITTLE EGRET S over Corner Hall offices - going off to roost.

No sign of Great White Egret today despite scouring the Gade valley between Great Gaddesden & Gadebridge Park, including Water End & Piccotts End - though there is suitable habitat N of Gt. Gaddesden, parrallell to the A4146, that I did not check.

SISKIN, REED BUNTING, 2 LITTLE EGRETS, KESTREL & RED KITE at Piccotts End Pools.

2 RAVENS circling over field W of Piccotts End Pools then heading W over pools towards Potton End.


2 RAVENS - pair(?) seen in this area in previous Winters.



LITTLE EGRET at Water End b-w 'S-bend' bridge & Red Lion pub.

LITTLE EGRET, REED BUNTING & C.20 TEAL at Great Gaddesden.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

3 LITTLE EGRETS S over Corner Hall offices

HEMEL MEGA: GREAT WHITE EGRET touring Water End, Great Gaddesden & Piccotts End Pools!


GREAT WHITE EGRET at Water End / Great Gaddesden / Piccotts End Pools.

GREAT WHITE EGRET at Great Gaddesden flood meadows, N of Hemel Garden Centre.
Record shot of GREAT WHITE EGRET at Great Gaddesden flood meadows, N of Hemel Garden Centre
- with LITTLE EGRET & GREY HERON in background, showing the habitat & how I found the bird at this location.














































More images below...


UPDATE (extract from quick email):

Hi all,
sorry for lack of updates, battery went after trying to get news out, typical!

Basically I only went out early in case the Redbournbury GREAT WHITE EGRET had popped over to the ideal, if a bit disturbed, habitat at Piccotts End / Water End / Great Gaddesden with all the Little Egrets - well just as well I did!

First seen whilst I was stood at Water End flood meadows on N side of Nettleden Road walking S to go home! - At 9.06 I saw a huge pale bird flying N from over Heizdin's Wood, Water End with another bird that appeared a similar size & colour at distance, but that one went down towards the Red Lion Pub area of Water End.

As it neared I could see that amazingly it was the GREAT WHITE EGRET!

RAVEN low S over Great Gaddesden


RAVEN low over Great Gaddesden, heading S towards Water End.



C.25 TEAL, 2 LITTLE EGRETS, 3 GREY WAGTAILS & MEADOW PIPIT at Great Gaddesden.

HEMEL MEGA: JACK SNIPE & 7 COMMON SNIPE at Great Gaddesden! - at flood meadow N of Hemel Garden Centre.


JACK SNIPE & 7 COMMON SNIPE at flood meadows N or Hemel Garden Centre, Great Gaddesden - in main flood area where stream widens on N side of wooden bridge.



Monday, 4 November 2013

PEREGRINE FALCON low over Corner Hall offices - heading towards town centre.


PEREGRINE FALCON - appeared to be Female due to large size, possibly returning Winter roosting bird, though not at roost on BT building when checked about 5 mins later.



4 LITTLE EGRETS, 2 KINGFISHERS, 5 CORMORANTS, 2 TEAL, GREY WAGTAIL, GREEN WOODPECKER, KESTREL & RED KITE at Piccotts End Pools.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

2 BUZZARDS at Howe Grove, Highfield

REED BUNTING at Piccotts End Pools

LITTLE EGRET at Great Gaddesden

3 BUZZARDS, 2 RED KITES & SKYLARK at Nettleden Road, Water End.

Female CHAFFINCH with Viral Papilloma on both feet & legs at Valley Green, Woodhall Farm.


Female CHAFFINCH with Viral Papilloma on both feet & legs looking like its wearing white boots due to the thick coating, at Valley Green, Woodhall Farm - thankfully the bird seems unfazed by its condition, which is only lightly contagious in close contact & supposedly usually only through open wounds.