Monday, 17 February 2014

Fishers Green, Cheshunt - 4th February 14

Weather: Partly blue skies, partly cloudy. Quite cold with a stiff breeze.

Birds Total: 35
Plus: Grey Squirrel; Muntjac.

My first trip out since the holiday. And seemingly the first dry day for weeks.

Today I decided to head out to Fishers Green and try my luck. At first it was quite a nice, sunny morning but it clouded over which whipped up a cold, cruel northerly wind.

I started out by heading straight for the Teal Hide to have a look at how the Hall Marsh Scrape was faring. As I sat down I could see around 16 Wigeon feeding on the grass directly in front of the Hide. I hurriedly set up my kit and fired off a couple of shots before they hopped into the lake and swam off.

A quick scan around the area and I could see at least 60+ Lapwing about; a few Teal; Shoveler; a Grey Heron and a vocal Cetti's Warbler. There were also the usual Gadwall; Mallard and Coot about too.

Earlier, on the way down I spotted a Little Egret whilst out on Friday Lake I could see Pochard and Great Crested Grebe. Then, as I was about to leave, there was a downpour of very fine rain. It only lasted a few minutes and I started the long walk up to the Bittern Hide.

On the way I could see a couple of Wrens chasing each other and then, out of Hooks Marsh Lake, I spotted a couple of GCGs shaking their heads together, a part of their courting display.

Nothing else of note was seen and I duly arrived at the Bittern Hide where I found a couple of people already there, with cameras and tripods at the ready. I asked if they had had any luck with Bittern but they had only been in there 10 minutes. So I settled in to wait.

That was after I had found out that my camera had continued to play up. It lost power and, despite a cold reset; replacement batteries and card there was no response. I packed it away and just concentrated on the birds with my binoculars.

I spent a couple of hours in the Hide, seeing a pair of Water Rails together, looking like they were pairing up. What with them and the Wrens and GCGs, it looked like Spring was arriving early. The usual stuff was flying back and forth to the feeders; Coot and Moorhen were joined in the pond by Swan and Mallard. Magpies flew in every now and then, causing consternation and confusion, and I could see another 30+ Lapwing out on the islands on Seventy Acres Lake. There were also the usual Mute Swan; BHGs and more Coot.

It started to drizzle again. It was also getting very cold sitting there, with a cruel wind blowing through the Hide. So, what with that and no camera and not much else about - no Bittern was about, I decided to have lunch and head off.

On the trail back I spotted another Little Egret, which let me get fairly close to it and then I passed to within 15 feet of a female Muntjac, ignoring me while she cropped the grass just off the trail. They both would have made good photo opportunities. On the plus side there were no problems with the trains and I was home before 2 o'clock.

A quick look on the Net and I found the solution to my camera problem. Take out the main battery; take out the internal clock battery and then put them back in and hey presto, the camera switched back on! That saved a costly and long repair job.