27th April 2013
I am not an avid bird lister. Whereas some people keep daily lists of what they see as well as both annual and life lists for the UK, county (sometimes more than one) and garden, I only keep life lists for the UK, Hertfordshire and my garden. In fact I only produced a county list eight years ago, although did include on it all the birds that I had seen in the county for the years prior to that. So, because I have only been making a point of trying to add to it for the last eight years, the list is not that long compared to those of my more enthusiastic colleagues. Even then I can go a year without adding a new species.
A Wood Warbler, what would be a new bird for the list, had been seen at Amwell about a week ago but I missed it by 15 minutes. I was therefore quite excited when Tony Pickford phoned today to say that a second Wood Warbler was singing by the James Hide. I shot down with my camera and found the bird immediately. Although it was easy to see, it was far more difficult to photograph, flitting around high in the canopy. However, by following it for about an hour I did manage to get some shots.
What a great day. A new species for my county list and some photographs.
Later that day I had another call this time from Ron Cousins to say that a Pied Flycatcher had been found, again at Amwell, by the railway. Once again I was on my way, but by the time I got there the bird had disappeared. There followed an anxious half an hour before the bird was re-located and eventually came within camera shot. The bird was a male, but the amount of brown on the wings said that it was a 1st winter bird ie born last summer.
So, how amazing, two new species for my county list in one day. That brings my meagre Hertfordshire list to 219, but I need to get into the 240s to be amongst the elite.