Saturday, 17 September 2011

Local Patch

Starting at 8:00am and bringing Theo with me I walked through the KL Wood.  Most of the usual woodland birds are now feeding in large mixed flocks including a large group of Nuthatches, Blue/Great/Coal and Long-tailed Tit at the bottom of the woods.  Singing Wrens were also noted as was 1 Jay and a Great Spotted Woodpecker30+ House Martins were also at the bottom of the woods and were soon spooked by 2 flyover Buzzards.
My second outing of the day was behind the playing fields at the KL School at 10:30am were several more species were present including a Kestrel, 2 Swallows, 2 Yellowhammers, 1 Linnet, 1 juv. Green Woodpecker, c.10 Pied Wagtails, 30 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  I then headed down into the village were a strong wave of rain came over, luckily there was some cover at the canal which was brightened up by a first for my Kings Langley list, a Kingfisher.  Unfortunately, the views over the fishing lakes was very restricted so could only count 4 Tufted Ducks, c.10 Coot and 2 Mute Swans.  On returning through the KL Woods I came across 1 Treecreeper, 1 Nuthatch and surprisingly a Chiffchaff still giving small bursts of song.
(Samuel Perfect)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A different route around my local patch (11/9/11)

A relatively early morning start at 7:05am to Kings Langley Woods was relatively quiet except for a large increase to at least 41 Pied Wagtails on the cricket field.  2 Sparrowhawks also flew over me together at the bottom of the woods (clearly showing a difference in size indicating a male and female).  I was also very pleased to find the first recorded of nesting House Martins in the Kings Langley tetrad (TLOOR)!  There were at least two nests one being attended to by an adult in which I could hear the calls of a second bird inside the nest.  In adition 30+ House Martins were also swirling in a flock over the nesting site down Blackwell Road.  From the bottom of the village I headed back uphill via Toms Lane to the farmland near Numbers Farm.  2 Yellowhammers and 5 Mistle Thrushes were the first birds of note but bird activity didn't increase much until later in the morning when a flock of 14 Linnets and 1 Buzzard flew over.  When arriving at Parsonage Farm I turned right, back towards Kings Langley, encountered a group of 4 Jays, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Meadow Pipit, and a pair of Buzzards on the way towards to the RES organisation.  The Buzzards showed well for at least half an hour allowing me to make a detailed study and comparisons.  I also decided to sketch and take notes on the key facial features for gender and aging purposes.  A Sparrowhawk was also in the same hedgerow being mobbed by probably the same group of 4 Jays whilst a Green Woodpecker took flight to avoid the building confusion.  A Grey Wagtail was a highlight to the trip down along the River Gade seen from Home Park Mill Link Road.  Even better were 2 Hobbies (1 ad. 1 juv.) that I saw just south of the village roundabout over the A 4251 near Clapgate Farm.  A great step forward towards proving their local breeding status.
A walk with Theo (our dog) behind the KL School was also productive as I came across no less than 10 Yellow Wagtails (including 9 in the sheep fields neighboring Chipperfield Road and 1 flyover at the A41 bridge).  Also of note were 1 Red Kite and 1 Buzzard.
(Samuel Perfect)

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Playing field behind the KL School (5th September)

I was glad to get out past 6pm this evening to go behind the KL School to check for any probable gull flocks after coming back from my first day of school this term.  Unfortunately on arriving the gulls decided to fly just  as I arrived after which they landed in the far southern corner of the playing field just out of sight.  However a few birds of note did pass through including 1 Hobby that flew low over the northern length of the field in a NNW direction, in the exact same direction that the previous Hobby took on the 23rd August.  After c.30 minutes the gull flock took flight again with half the flock deciding to remain at the back of the field whilst the rest flew east towards the canal and fishing lakes in the village.  The remaining flock only consisting of Black-headed Gulls and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  Next I decided to scan the fields adjacent to the playing fields on the opposite side of the road were, soon after beginning to scan I noticed a large mixed flock of 70+ Carrion Crows and Jackdaws come to roost in the woodland in Long Dean Nature Reserve at 7:30pm.  1 Little Egret was also a first for my Kings Langley list and was flying in the direction of the fishing lakes in the valley from a NNW direction.  Despite the fast fading light and grey sky bringing rain a Muntjac Deer was still visible from Barnes Lane as I viewed it walk across the grass field east of Woodlands Road.  I finally made a late night visit at 8:00pm to the KL Woods to check whether the bait of peanuts that I had previously laid out for Badgers in the ditch had worked as I found a group of burrows in the SE of the woodland that might be belonging to them.
(Samuel Perfect)