Friday, 6 May 2016

Local produce

Well, here we are again. One year later and I'm having to revise for my exams. I guess this is what my entire school education has been leading me to, before I leave and eventually have to take full responsibility for my life.

I'm trying to spend as much of my time revising, but "all work and no play" becomes very depressing, very quickly. So I've been out most Sundays, ringing in the morning and checking the Tring Reservoirs by day.

However, on Bank Holiday Monday a Roseate Tern was found on Wilstone Reservoir, and I was happy to be able to break up my revision for a little bit and see the Tern. When I arrived there was a reasonable crowed of twitchers, particularly county recorders, since this bird and the one seen last year on Amwell were the first to be seen in Hertfordshire for 120 years!

The Roseate Tern was sat on the concrete edge of the res, looking absolutely knackered. Both its wings were drooped and lain down on the ground.

The bird barely moved for the first half an hour I was there, and others explained to me how it had been attacked by a Black-headed Gull and had not resisted at all. Obviously this bird was not in a good state, and therefore care was called. Luckily, it was at this point that a Pied Wagtail decided to investigate the bird, this triggered the Tern fly out into the Reservoir and begin to feed. A remarkable recovery we all assumed. I watched it fish for the next half an hour before I had to get back home. A truly remarkable day.

Unfortunately, not all stories have a happy ending; the bird was seen the next day again lain down on the side of the Reservoir, it was then taken into care where it sadly died.

This morning, after weeks of waiting in agony, I eventually found myself with the time to visit a local Lesser Spotted Woodpecker sight. Although the sight has been quite widely broadcasted I won't name it for sole reason, that technically it shouldn't be public information.

I left at 5:30 am and after a brief cycle ride I was there by 6:00 am. As I was locking my bike up I instantly picked up a drumming sound, it was immediately obvious to me it was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. I had been there for no longer than a minute and I had already heard it! I scrambled through my bag desperately to try and find my binoculars, but I only managed to get a brief glimpse of it, as it flew off. I spent the follow two hours or so, tracking it down and following it on its circuit. At points the bird showed extremely well drumming for almost the entire time except for small intervals when it fed on something or was calling. It was an amazing experience to have a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker almost completely to myself. Content with the views I had got, I pressed on home and was in school on time for my first lesson. All in all an absolutely spectacular morning!

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