Documenting surprising sightings, fascinating findings, & exciting encounters, with birds, wildlife, & other nature,
around Hemel Hempstead...
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Thursday, 28 August 2014
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Friday, 22 August 2014
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Monday, 18 August 2014
1st Winter WHINCHAT with 2 WHEATEARS at horse paddock at W end of Nettleden Road, Water End.
This is only the 3rd Whinchat I have seen in the Hemel area & as far I know only the 3rd record too.
Here are the two best shots I managed of the Whinchat when, with the Wheatears, it was flushed by something & it flew in my direction into cover along the footpath on the S side (top of slope) of the paddock. The light was very dim due to the huge black clouds going over so I'm afraid they aren't the sharpest of shots. I'll post the rest with more details soon...
|1st Winter WHINCHAT at Water End|
|1st Winter WHINCHAT at Water End|
Saturday, 16 August 2014
Friday, 15 August 2014
Thursday, 14 August 2014
This is the first Juvenile LITTLE EGRET recorded in the Hemel area, which confirms that this is also a new individual to the area as only Adult birds have been recorded so far. It was standing in a small tree with a GREY HERON beside the canal at the Box Moor Trust's Gadespring Cress Beds at Old Fishery Lane, Chaulden / Boxmoor. It later stood on the footpath at the cress beds, before moving into the thick of the vegetation out of sight. The whole time it seemed relaxed & unperturbed by my presence, not at all wary like many of the local adult birds, even the tamer ones.
Perhaps this youngster has made its way along the canal from Tring Reservoirs to the NW, or Stockers Lake to the SE, where Little Egrets now breed.
I will post the photos shortly.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Monday, 11 August 2014
Others seen recently inc. 1 at entrance to Grovehill Playing Fields & 1 on Shenley Rd. near Valley Green, Woodhall Farm.
Friday, 8 August 2014
|Male LINNET at Piccotts End Pools.|
|Male LINNET's beautiful rosey breeding plumage.|
During a fairly quick visit to Piccotts End Pools before work this morning I saw the following birds of note...
This MISTLE THRUSH must have been a particularly white-looking juvenile but with regular colouring to its new adult feathers. It appeared both obviously white-headed & small-headed even at distance due to its moult. It showed regular adult plumage below the shoulders, very white juvenile feathers across the chest & speckled through the mantle, & moulted out juvenile head feathers with adult feathers yet to grow through. (Thanks to Samuel Perfect for noting that particularly white juvenile feathers do not necessarily mean the bird shows any leucism.)
|White-headed Juvenile to Adult moulting MISTLE THRUSH at Gadebridge Park|
Thursday, 7 August 2014
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
As far as I know this is the first definite sighting locally of the 'dreaded' NOBLE FALSE WIDOW Spider (Steatoda nobilis). It was on the inside of a wheelie-bin lid at my office in Corner hall. Usually sightings transpire to actually be either the Lace Web Spider (Amaurobius species) or Missing Sector Orb Weaver Spider (Zygiella x-notata) which do both show a resemblance. Despite the Noble False Widow being venomous, it's bite causing pain, swelling, redness, nausea & allergic reactions to some, it is extremely unlikely to bite in the first place, only doing so when it feels threatened such as when handled roughly, squashed, or caught between clothing & skin.
Female NOBLE FALSE WIDOW Spider (Steatoda nobilis)
in wheelie-bin lid at Corner Hall offices
(Click to enlarge)
Sunday, 3 August 2014
Friday, 1 August 2014
Very surprised to see such a recently fledged Juvenile COMMON TERN. Did this bird fledge locally & the usual lingering pair(?) of Terns have finally bred in Hemel, perhaps at Durrant's Hill Fishery, Two Waters?