It has been a fantastic winter to enjoy the beautiful Hawfinch in the UK with significantly higher numbers arriving here last autumn than in recent years. By the end of October Birdtrack’s reporting rates for Britain as a whole were more than 12 times the historical average, and here in Herts birds have been reported from across most of the county with sizeable flocks at several locations. Compare that to recent winters in Herts where reports were mostly limited to small groups from a handful of regular haunts.
Not for many years has it been such a good time to get out and look for this striking and normally elusive finch.
Writer and Herts birder Rupert Evershed shares his experiences of finding Hawfinch in Hertfordshire this winter in his monthly ‘Noting Nature’ column.
Hawfinch photo by Alan Reynolds.
Congratulations to former Herts Bird Club chairman and bird recorder Ken Smith who has been awarded the BTO Tucker Medal for his outstanding service to the Trust.
Go to BTO Medal Winners for more information.
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From 16th October to 21st December 2017 and 9th January to 18th January 2018 Cadent Gas Ltd will be undertaking essential gas main safety work at Amwell Nature Reserve. As a result please note the following:
- there will be no access to Amwell Nature Reserve during weekdays.
- at weekends there will be limited access to the reserve from Amwell Lane entrance. The White and James hides and the viewpoints will be accessible but the Gladwin Hide and the path leading to it from the main viewpoint will be closed.
- Hollycross Lake will be open this winter, accessible at weekends.
- the reserve will be fully open from 22nd December to 8th January as the contractors take their Christmas break.
Please visit Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust for further information.
It has been very good at Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits so far this year, with 137 species recorded up to 23 September, more than the full year totals for the years 2013-2016 with over three months of year still remaining. Highlights so far this year include Great White Egret, Caspian Gull, Little Gull, Hooded Crow, Bar-tailed Godwit, Iceland Gull, Garganey, Black Redstart, Temminck’s Stint, Avocet, Black Tern, Grey Plover, Tree Pipit and Redstart.
The 137th species was rather special as Steve Blake, who birds the site most days and who found the bird explains…