In all 27 sp of birds, with 4 herring gulls over newly mown hayfields. These will have finished/failed at breeding and have returned to their winter quarters. A garden warbler heard and seen near Hadham Lodge whilst evidence of successful breeding was observed in, firstly, 3 kestrels near Stone House Farm and then a family party of chiffchaffs at the River Ash opposite the Nag's Head. Also, both coot and moorhen chicks are now almost fledged around Hadham Hall where a nuthatch was calling.
Butterfly wise, the total was speckled wood (1), small tortoiseshell (3), meadow brown (10), small heath (1) and large white (1). The meadow browns and small heath were my first for the year.
Common blue damselflies around the ponds at Hadham Hall were in low numbers and no dragonflies were seen. Bladder campion was growing along the footpath leading from the primary school to the River Ash.
Near Hadham Hall a sparrow hawk kill with the feathers of a wood pigeon. Easy to tell what caught the bird. Check the points of the quill on the primary wing feathers. If they are still sharp then a sparrow hawk as this plucks its kill whereas a fox rips the feathers out. Consequently the tips of the quill will invariably be broken.
|sparrow hawk kill|