After two months of watching migration from our gardens the Great Herts Autumn Vismig Watch came to an end on 31st October with an impressive 98 species recorded and just under 37,000 records. There were many highlights including records of a Gannet, 3 Great White Egrets, 31 Pink-footed Geese, Merlin, Caspian Gull, Short-eared Owl, Rock Pipit, Crossbill, Firecrest and a county rarity in the form of a Yellow-browed Warbler. Full counts can be viewed on this Google Sheet.
The final week saw a ‘Best Bird’ challenge as the hunt for that elusive garden rarity intensified. Some good birds were recorded including both species of partridge, Little Egret, Peregrine, Snipe and a selection of wildfowl. In the end it was a narrow call between
The Site names available in the dropdown on the Record Submission page for the Cheshunt Gravel Pits in the lower Lee Valley have been updated.
The updated names are more consistently organised and align with the different water and pit names as shown on the Cheshunt Pits Site Guide. Running north to south they are:
- Cheshunt GPs - Slipe Lane Pits
- Cheshunt GPs - Long Pit
- Cheshunt GPs - Ashley Pit
- Cheshunt GPs - Turnford Pit South
- Cheshunt GPs - North Met Pit
- Cheshunt GPs - Cheshunt Lake
- Cheshunt GPs - Bowyers Water
In spite of (and perhaps because of) the poor weather, The Autumn Herts 24-hr Garden Vismig Race on Sat 3rd October, proved a big success. Visible migration was observed from a number of Herts gardens throughout the day and highlights included a Merlin from a garden in Walkern , Golden Plovers over gardens in St Albans and Walkern, 17 Snipe and
2020 has seen not one, nor two but three pairs of Peregrine breed in Hertfordshire, the highest number to date since the first confirmed pairs in 2017. In total, nine young successfully fledged in 2020: two from a pair at Watford, four from a pair in the north of the county near Hitchin, and for the first time three from a pair at Welwyn Garden City.
And, not only was it the first time a pair have successfully bred at Welwyn Garden City, but, all three of the young were colour ringed; a first for this species in Herts.
Read Barry Trevis and Colin Shawyer's account of this fantastic success below:
On 1 August 2020 Mike Ilett observed that one of eight Red Kites present at Deadman's Hill nr Sandon had a wing tag on both wings. The tags were yellow and the code on both was V3.
This bird (hatched 2018) was ringed on 19 November 2019 near Shaftesbury, north Dorset, 182km from Deadman's Hill.
The ringer notes that re-sighting reports of tagged Red Kites are low so please give those Red Kites you see an extra look; re-sightings of tagged or ringed birds are of great value to ringers to increase their knowledge of the movements of the birds.
If you do see one, or any other colour tagged/ringed species, the project and details of where to send the sighting can usually be found on this excellent website: