Trip reports

Midweek Walk to Ellenbrook Fields

Midweek Walk to Ellenbrook Fields

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Our last midweek walk of the season was at Ellenbrook Fields, Hatfield. This is a relatively new area of land that has been opened up to the public and is owned by Goodman who are responsible for the regeneration of what was Hatfield Aerodrome. Old buildings were safely taken down and the rubble, brick and concrete were crushed into fine gravel-like material and recycled to create new footpaths and repair existing ones.

For once the weather was warm and sunny on this St George's Day. Almost immediately, some of us were rewarded with a female blackcap as we made our way along the footpath beside Notcutts Garden Centre. We continued around this path, hoping to see our first cuckoo that Corinne and Yvonne saw on their recce only a couple of days beforehand. However this was not to be but we did have the most amazing views of so many buzzards soaring high in the blue sky above and then some coming quite close above our heads. We were particularly lucky seeing all birds of prey soaring above, including red kite, a pair of sparrowhawks and a kestrel, the latter also being spotted quite closely on a tree. Skylarks were singing continuously and we all managed to see them as well. There were also many green woodpeckers with their flash of green and distinctive call flying fairly close by us. We had good sightings of whitethroat.

While having a coffee break at a wooded area with a small pond, most of us were enjoying a treecreeper going to and fro into the nest while others were able to witness a mandarin that briefly swam across one side of the pond to the other before it flew into the woods again. Wow what a lovely morning we all had.

We had a total of 25 people and 16 stayed for a very enjoyable lunch at The Three Horseshoes.

List of birds

Blackbird, blackcap, bullfinch, buzzard, chaffinch, chiffchaff, coot, carrion crow, dunnock, goldfinch, Canada goose, greenfinch, jackdaw, kestrel, magpie, mallard, mandarin, sand martin, moorhen, red kite, robin, rook, sparrowhawk, swallow, blue tit, great tit, treecreeper, willow warbler, whitethroat, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, woodpigeon and wren - 33 species. We heard nuthatch, pheasant, song thrush and house sparrow.

List of butterflies

Brimstone, tortoiseshell and peacock