Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Green Sandpipers at Lemsford Springs

I spent a very enjoyable morning at the Herts and Middlesex Trust site of  Lemsford Springs.
The entry to this little reserve is some what unusual, in that you collect a key from a house and unlock the gates to the reserve to allow access.
The gates are right next to the house, and you unlock and lock the gates behind you, similar to the set up at Chingford Reservoir. The key also allows access to the two hides on site. 
 You have the option of following the footpath round to the first hide, or you can cross a wooden bridge and follow a circular route back to your starting point.
We decided to head for the first hide. Opening the hide hatches onto shallow spring fed lagoons of old watercress beds.
These watercress beds hold huge numbers of shrimps, which in turn attract plenty of birds to feed on them.
The target bird when we set out was Green Sandpiper, and a quick scan along the lagoons quickly found two birds busily feeding a short distance away.

Green Sandpiper

A Water Rail was also feeding in front of the hide, normally a quick glimpse is all you get before they disappear back into the reeds, but this one was feeding quite happily out among the watercress.

Water Rail

Large numbers of Moorhens were present with a handful of Teal (5 male and 1 female) 2 Common Snipe and single Grey Heron, Little Egret and Grey Wagtail.

Common Snipe

Carrion Crow

Grey Heron

We moved onto the second hide and found Ken Smith the Hertfordshire County bird recorder inside. He was busily monitoring the Green Sandpipers. Three of which have been fitted with radio transmitters to enable them to be tracked back to there breeding grounds.
In total there were five Green Sandpipers  present, all of which had been fitted with coloured rings.

Green Sandpiper

An added bonus was the sight of a Sparrowhawk swooping down low along the lagoons and landing in a water side Willow. 

A great little site, one I am sure to re-visit.

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