A male Redstart had been reported at Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits so I popped along to see if I could locate it. Sadly I could not find it, but plan B came into operation which was to photograph the last colony of Tree Sparrows in Hertfordshire. But first a few pictures of some of the other locals including Blue and Great Tit.
Walking up to the high viewpoint a Red Kite did a low pass, checking me out.
Warblers were still in relatively short supply with lots of singing Chiffchaff and I managed a shot of this male Blackcap in the scrub.
I then walked through Garden Wood up to Willows farm on the off chance of a Wheatear in the paddocks, but the only birds of note were three Linnets.
So, it was time to head back to take some Tree Sparrow pictures, but the stream yielded a Little Egret which perched up nicely.
The Tree Sparrows are threatened with a housing development and this once common bird has been in rapid decline for a number of years. This small colony is the last in Hertfordshire and possibly in the whole of SE England. The old feeding station has effectively been relocated with grants from the Developers in a bid to safeguard them. As they are currently breeding please do not approach too close to the site.
So despite dipping on the Redstart a good morning! And what of the surprise visitor! I was preparing dinner when my wife alerted me to some commotion in the garden. When I looked there was a large female Sparrowhawk with one of the local Wood Pigeons on the lawn. I managed to keep calm, grab the camera and took some pictures through the Utility room window as I dare not try to open a window. Thankfully, it stayed put for a good 20 minutes, plucking it and devouring the breast meat before flying off!