MONDAY 15 MARCH
Another glorious morning with temperatures again quickly climbing to 13 degrees C in the bright sunshine. Cloud later moved in from the west but it still continued dry. The wind gradually freshened from the west.
Another day of 'peckering' and a quick dash to Tyttenhanger. My Hertfordshire Year List now stands on 115 species.
ASHRIDGE FOREST (NORTH SIDE OF MONUMENT DRIVE)
There was no sign this morning of the male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker that Dave Bilcock saw very well from 0740-0750 hours yesterday morning.
I walked the entire Monument Drive and covered Sallow Copse and Ringshall Common north to the Beacon Road. Woodpeckers were very much in evidence with no less than 3 Green and 7 Great Spotted encountered (including a courting pair of the latter). The highlight was a pair of COMMON CROSSBILL and a single SISKIN.
The two ponds adjacent to the Bridgwater Monument held 5 Mallard and a pair of MANDARIN DUCK, whilst other species noted included Muntjac, 38+ Grey Squirrels, a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk, several Stock Doves, at least 9 Nuthatches, 4 singing male Common Treecreepers (and a courting pair), Jays, 2 singing male Song Thrushes, a singing male Mistle Thrush, a male Common Blackbird, a male Coal Tit and 25 Blue Tits, 18 Great Tits and 2 Long-tailed Tits.
Checked out the Northern Goshawk site of recent years but with increasing winds, none were displaying.
CHURCH WOOD RSPB, HEDGERLEY (SOUTH BUCKS)
A cacophony of weird sounds coming from the woodland was eventually traced from a musical gathering of Redwings, at least 30 in number. There was also a singing male Goldcrest by the churchyard. Woodpeckers included 2 Green and 4 Great Spotted but there was no sign of the male Lesser Spotted.
TYTTENHANGER GP (HERTS)
Steve Blake 'phoned to say that he had discovered a single RINGED PLOVER on the Main Pit, so I travelled over and quickly connected - the bird feeding with a single Common Snipe on the increasing expanse of sand. It represented my 115th species of the year.
The female RUDDY SHELDUCK was also still present, along with the pair of COMMON SHELDUCK, whilst 2 TREE SPARROWS were in the hedgerow by the redundant feeding station.