Welcome to the Buteo Wildlife blog, a record of some of the wildlife that we have been seeing and occasional identification articles that will hopefully be useful for those trying to learn about wildlife.

If you enjoy reading this blog, join us on one of our tours - days and weekends looking for wildlife. Visit our website for details: www.buteowildlife.co.uk
Note that tours with clients may not always feature prominently on this blog because we are unlikely to have time for photography when out with clients - and walls of text don't tend to make the most interesting posts. If there is time for a few snatched photos they may not always be of the highest quality - but we'll use them anyway!

To try and keep posts in chronological order they may sometimes be given earlier dates/times than when they are actually posted. Apologies, for this - it's not meant to mislead anyone (and we will try to avoid this happening too often).

20 January 2013

Amwell Quarry Nature Reserve, Hertfordshire (12th January 2013).

Having completed my WeBS count in the Broxbourne area of the Lee Valley in the morning I headed north to Amwell Quarry NR which is managed by the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust. Before I even left the car I had a Red Kite circling over Amwell Lane which seemed to bode well for an interesting afternoon's birding.

I first walked up to Tumbling Bay lake at the north end of the area where I quickly picked out the 1st winter drake Scaup which has been present for several weeks. Two Common Buzzards drifted over and then a red-head Smew appeared out of one of the bays and swam out into the middle of the lake, affording excellent views. 

A brief visit to the James hide was somewhat disappointing as the Wildlife Trust have removed the feeding station outside the hide which sometimes attracted Marsh Tits. An explanatory notice gave the reason for the cessation of feeding as a build up in the number of Brown Rats using the site which is a very sensible move in my view.

Back at the main viewing point I picked out a Bittern moving through one of the areas of cut reeds on the far side of the lake and this was followed shortly after by a Water Rail. A Sparrowhawk flew in front of the assembled birders and the only other unusual bird was a single Egyptian Goose swimming towards the southern end of the lake.

A quick call at Fishers Green as the light was fading produced views of a Bittern going to roost and a Water Rail from the Bittern hide.

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