Thursday, 12 April 2012

Yesterday I left home at 7am for work got home at 6pm and then worked until midnight.....crazy day so I needed a little fresh air this morning. Working today in Watford I thought I'd make an early start and see if I could find a Ring Ouzel on Blows Downs Luton. Up early and out of the door by 5.30am and half an hour later and I've negotiated an empty M25 and M1 and I'm parking in Kiln Way for the short walk to the Downs and the Tesco slopes. 
A short walk to the slopes and a female Ouzel takes flight from a bush as I walk past leaving me thinking "I hope that's not my lot"
I walked further across the downs and found three male birds and watched as they fead with some calling before the female dropped in to complete the quartet. The birds took flight when a jogger went past and as I was trying to relocate them another guy arrived (he'd obviously had a nice lie in this morning) and then came the question......"any sign?"  I tell him they've been seen but have taken cover and as he starts walking away the birds dropped to the ground again, luckily he wasn't far away and I was able to call him back to see them. With nothing else to see on the slopes I decided to head off towards Watford down the A505 and passed Pitstone Windmill on the way.

Red-crested Pochard
As I was going past Startop End reservoir it'd be rude not to stop for 5 minutes to see if the RC Pochards were showing. I pulled in the car park walked up a few steps and there you go....Red Crested's all too easy. (Nice Grey Wagtail and Wheatear here too.)
Two minutes up the road and I was at Wilstone reservoir. I walked up the steps and found over 30 terns one of which I ID'd as Arctic Tern. A Little Gull was seen by another birder but I couldn't get on it.
Lot's of Herons and  a few Swallows along with a Buzzard flying over and a singing Blackcap and it's a decent couple of  hours which takes me to 198 for the year. Back to work with a short drive to Watford and then onto St Albans and home for 7pm. 

The picture of the Ring necks was taken by "the old man" at Roding Valley.....His best yet!    
Dad's best yet
The weekend's fast approaching! 
The Hoopoe is hanging around in Norfolk.....will it wait for the weekend for me? Ring Necked Duck at Dunge?...another target bird and the Black Winged Stilts turning up are possible weekend ticks. We'll see!

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