Friday, 6 December 2013

Afternoon at Amwell Nature Reserve, Hertfordshire

I spent the late afternoon at Amwell today, being only 30 minutes from home.
After parking the car along Amwell lane it's a short walk across the railway lines and up the footpath to the viewing area looking across Great Hardmead Lake.
A quick scan produces a male Pintail followed shortly afterwards by a Common Snipe along the edges of one of the islands.
Plenty of gulls were present but after scanning through them all I couldn't pick out any Yellow-Legged or Caspian among them. Both species having been reported as present on the 4th among the gull roost. A Water Rail flies in and drops down among a small patch of reeds in front of us. Soon afterwards it appears in the short vegetation and gives good views before making its way back in among the reeds.
As we made our way down the path past the Bittern Pool a Cetti's Warbler was very vocal in the scrub to our right. Before heading off towards Tumbling bay we took the right-hand fork and reached an area with a few bird feeders hanging from a tree in a nearby field.
A large bird catches my attention as it flies up off the ground and perches at the top of a nearby tree.

Tumbling Bay was pretty quiet with only the commoner species present, so we headed back along the footpath and another scan of Great Hardmead Lake.
More gulls had flown in to roost, but again after a lengthy scan, still no Yellow-legged or Caspian Gulls could be found.

Just before the light had completely gone another scan of the lake produced 2 male Goldeneye and at least 5 females and with this group was a single redhead Smew.

A short but very enjoyable few hours spent here, and only 30 minutes from home.


  1. Looks like a juvenile Harris Hawk Jim?

    1. Possible hybrid? Seems to show characteristics of both species.