Trip reports

Midweek Walk around Wheathampstead

Midweek Walk around Wheathampstead
RSPB images

Monday, 4 March 2013

Our next midweek walk began at East Lane Car Park in Wheathampstead. For once the weather was kind to us, cold to begin with but sunny with blue skies. We made our way to the reed beds and were successful in seeing a reed bunting and a little further on, a lesser redpoll. We continued to the bridge where it was known a kingfisher was nesting on the bank of the river Lea but this time we were not so lucky. However, to our amazement we thought we saw a buzzard just in front of us, which then landed on a telegraph pole close by. It looked so tame that we realised it could not be a buzzard. The conclusion was an escapee Harris Hawk, but it was still a sight to see! We also had a wonderful view of a green woodpecker from the bridge.

We then made our way alongside the rediscovered small orchard and Saddleback pigs that were brought in just recently to help clear the site. We continued in the direction of Waterend listening to many bird sounds, especially the song thrush but unfortunately we were unable to spot it. We did see the great spotted woodpecker and good views of another green woodpecker and a fieldfare. We did well with birds of prey, managing to see two red kites, two buzzards and one kestrel. We concluded our circular walk along the Ayot Greenway, the old railway line and, a little further on, some of us managed to see the Little Egret.

We had a total of 24 people and 12 stayed for lunch at The Bull, which was most enjoyable.

List of birds

Blackbird, buzzard, reed bunting, chaffinch, carrion crow, dunnock, little egret, fieldfare, goldfinch, greenfinch, black-headed gull, lesser black-backed gull, grey heron, jackdaw, kestrel, magpie, mallard, moorhen, red kite, lesser redpoll, robin, rook, house sparrow, starling, blue tit, grey wagtail, great tit, pied wagtail, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, woodpigeon and wren, not forgetting our escapee Harris Hawk - 33 species.