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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
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Monday, 11 November 2013

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.

Now I had pretty quickly got from Great Gaddesden & Water End to Piccotts End Pools but I couldn't guarantee I'd not seen one of the birds twice so I had a quick check. I drove back past Water End but couldn't see the bird there, though hard to see from the car. Two birds were still at Great Gaddesden, so I nipped back again but again didn't see the Water End bird again on my way past. I decided I'd park up & check here properly but a lorry driver had decided to park in the National Trust car park at Water End taking up ALL of the spaces, so I had to just leave it for today.

I will check again at another time as I'd like to see if the local population is increasing. It could be that the bird that was frequently seen around the Boxmoor & Chaulden Bulbourne valley area has relocated to the Gade valley for some like company, something I will look into further.

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