Sunday, 27 January 2013

Amwell, Therfield, Stockers, Moor Green, Staines Moor.

A quite fragmented days birding with Paul. We started off at Amwell, here we were hoping to catch up with the Caspian Gull that regularly roosts there, however, although we arrived quite early it was knowhere to be seen. We did manage to see Mandarin (3) sleeping under a willow on the far bank. With time a bit limited as i had to take the boss to work we decided to make a brief visit to Therfield Heath. After some searching we managed to get good views of the over wintering Great-grey Shrike. We were also able to get another birder onto the bird. Unfortunately for us time time had run out so no time to search for owls. I took my wife to work and arranged to meet Paul at Stockers Lake. I met Paul at Stockers and we decided to head straight over to Moor Green where only last saturday we had managed to dip the Pallas's Warbler. On arrival Paul illegally park his vehicle and we made our way towards the "conveyer belt". We joined the group of assembled birders and no sooner had we lifted our bins we were on the bird. We enjoyed good but all too brief views of the Pallas's Warbler as it fed on the lower branches close to the waters edge. It then disappeared (as they do!). We stayed in the same spot for quite some time but it did not re-appear. We had a bit of a search further along the river but no luck. Time was getting on now and we were thinking should we wait for the Pallas's to show itself again or sneak in one more site for the day. Staines Moor was what we came up with, partly because of the adventure of walking the long muddy path to the moor. After negotiating the aformentioned path without slipping into the erm err "mud" we arrived unscathed onto the moor. After a few minutes looking for the Short-eared Owls we were pleasently surprised to connect with a ringtail Hen Harrier. We stayed till darkness fell but did not see any Short-eared Owls although up to 5 had been seen prior to our arrival.
All the pics below are Paul's; Great-grey Shrike at Therfield Heath, Fieldfare at Stockers Farm, Pallas's Warbler, Grey Wagtail and Goosander at Moor Green Lakes.

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