Sunday, 6 April 2014

Lesser is more

Sat 5th April 2014.
A days birding with Paul, Brendan and Dave. Herts, Cambs and the Brecks our destinations.
First stop was Bishop's Stortford; A female Bullfinch in the car park was a nice start and then after a bit of messing about we soon found our target bird a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. We enjoyed great views as it drummed and called frequently, no doubt trying to attract a mate. Let's hope the little fella is successful in his quest. We spent some time watching the Lesser Pecker but we were keen to get in as much birding as possible so we headed back to the car park. At the car park we were more than pleasantly surprised to find the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker drumming on a tall tree stump. A good start to our day.

Fen Dreyton was our next destination and Baikal Teal our target here. On route negative news of the Teal did not fill us with confidence. We arrived and parked up, a singing Willow Warbler was my first of the year. Then off to Moore Lake, running the gauntlet of an express "busway" and silent but deadly cyclists. Before we arrived at Moore Lake we did manage to see a Cetti's Warbler. Lots of birders were leaving or had left and we didn't hang around too long. On our walk of shame some lady joggers stopped for a brief chat, which was nice!

The village of Pymore was our next stop. Here we were hoping to see another plastic duck, this time an American Wigeon. Same result as Fen Dreyton no sign of rubber ducky.

Then off to the nearby Four Balls Farm and this time success with our target duck. A Ring-necked Duck showed distantly among some Tufties.

Lynford Arboretum was our next port of call but no luck with Two-barred Crossbills, however, we did manage good views of a pair of Firecrest near the car park entrance.

The Brecks next where 2 Stone Curlew showed well. It was getting late in the day now and we were thinking of where to go for a final stop. Off went the pager and news of the Baikal Teal at Sutton Gault made our minds up for us. We arrived at Sutton Gault and swiftly made our way to where a small group of birders had assembled. However, the Baikal Teal could not be seen. Then all of a sudden there it was in amongst a group of Wigeon. Well done team! Most of the other birders could not get on the Teal so friendly chaps that we are we managed to get everyone onto it. Also here a nice drake Garganey. As usual we did keep a day list which you can see below. After the list Lesser Spotted Woodpecker pics at Bishop's Stortford.

Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Blackcap, Carrion Crow, Green Woodpecker, Mallard, Wood Pigeon, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Collared Dove, Blackbird, Pied Wagtail, Coot, Moorhen, House Sparrow, Wren, Starling, Grey Heron, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jay, Rook, Buzzard, Jackdaw, Skylark, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Black-headed Gul, Mute Swan, Cetti's Warbler, Goldeneye, Willow Wabler, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Grebe, Greylag Goose, Sand Martin, Redshank, Lapwing, Teal, Wigeon, Common Gull, Reed Bunting, Shoveler, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Pheasant, Stock Dove, Whooper Swan, Pochard, Shelduck, Pintail, Little Egret, Gadwall, Linnet, Marsh Harrier, Fieldfare, Ring-necked Duck, Herring Gull, Crossbill, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, Treecreeper, Firecrest, Siskin, Greenfinch, Swallow, Stone Curlew, Yellowhammer, Stonechat, Red-legged Partridge, Egyptian Goose, Baikal Teal, Garganey, Red Kite. 84 species.


  1. So fortunate to see a lesser spot (let alone get great photos like you did) these days they are so scarce, it is such a shame.

  2. Nice to get such great views of such a scarce bird-really lucky