Twitchers flock to Harpenden

TWITCHERS have been flocking to Harpenden to catch a glimpse of three bird species which have been spotted there recently. Groups of birdwatchers have been gathering beside the River Lea off Thrales End Lane hoping to see the jack snipes, firecrests and

TWITCHERS have been flocking to Harpenden to catch a glimpse of three bird species which have been spotted there recently.

Groups of birdwatchers have been gathering beside the River Lea off Thrales End Lane hoping to see the jack snipes, firecrests and bramblings that have been spotted there in the past month.

Conservation manager at the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Tim Hill, said three jack snipes, a relatively rare small water finch known for its distinctive bobbing movement, had been seen. Although the birds normally feed in marsh areas of rivers and are well camouflaged, Tim explained that the jack snipes have been feeding in the open at Harpenden leaving birdwatchers able to capture them in photos.

It has become one of only a couple of places in Herts where birdwatchers have been able to see the bird, attracting them in high numbers.

There have also been a handful of sightings of firecrests, a rare small bird that lives in trees and bushes, and bramblings, which originate north of the UK but migrate to this country in varying numbers during the winter months.

Bird and wildlife photographer Simon West sent the Herts Advertiser some photos of the jack snipes he had spotted in Harpenden.