Monday, 9 January 2017

Fungus


Sent from my iPhoneWhilst working in Millennium Wood yesterday, I came across this colourful fungus growing on a dead branch of a young oak. A member of the jelly fungi, Yellow Brain fungi, (sometimes called Witches Butter, but this in in fact a black fungus) Tremella mesenterica is a common late autumn, early winter fungus.
It feeds on other fungi that are feeding on the dead wood. These fungi are invariably of the genus Peniophora.
The name Tremella is derived from trembling due to the jelly consistency and two words; meso meaning middle and enteron meaning intestine. Therefore, thought to look more like the middle intestines than the brain.
In wet weather it absorbs the rain and swells, whilst in dry weather can remain just a flat orange crusty type fungus. Some jelly fungi can absorb an amazing 63 times their weight in water, sometimes bringing the infected branch from the tree!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Moths





Sent from my iPhoneLast night was 8C so the actinic trap was set in Millennium Wood at 4.30. A quick wander through the 3.75 acres realised 33 winter moth and a chestnut.
Upon returning at 9pm I found 9 winter moth, 5 mottled umber and a satellite either in the trap, outside or on the tree trunk next to the light.
Back home another winter moth to the garden skinner trap.
Photos of 3 mottled umber highlighting differences within this species and a Satellite.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Possible rarely recorded fly in Little Hadham

Back at the beginning of December, I potted one of several flies I found hibernating in the cracks of the bark of a large oak tree. This was close to the portable moth trap I was emptying one evening. They looked unusual, showing yellow on the wings and with a striking yellow marking on the face.
I wrote to the Diptera County Recorder, Malcolm Aldridge, describing my find and have received a letter this morning, requesting photos to confirm identification. He also kindly forwarded the Herts records of this insect. Found at several sites but only on 7 occasions, with the last record being submitted in the Summer of 1994. If it is Mesembrina meridiana, then a good record for Herts.
Couple of photos here. I await confirmation and also for Mr Aldridge to remind me where I found them as I have lost the post it note on which I wrote date and site!! Poor recording on my behalf.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Hoverfly Recording


Sent from my iPhoneI plan to record hoverfly species in 2017 and this began this morning with a solitary Meliscaeva auricollis found in the moth trap. I have joined an online hoverfly recording site and been told this is the 1st record of this species for the year.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Moth Review of the Year: Part 6: December 2016

The final chapter in my review of the moths trapped in 2016. In total 512 species of 9760 moths had been recorded by the end of November. My initial target at the beginning of the year was to find 500 species and record in excess of 10,000 moths.
December started reasonably well, improved during the mid period and concluded with many nights of minus temperatures. However, the 10,000 moth was taken 08.xii.16, a winter moth to actinic light on the local golf course footpath.
Blastobasis lacticolella

Chestnut

Any of these were the 10,000 moth for the year. 

During this period I set the Heath trap at a variety of sites whilst visiting others with head torch and net. The best time was invariably at dusk, when winter moth were on the wing in considerable numbers and then, about an hour after dark, I found it worthwhile checking rosehips and guelder rose berries where Satellite, Chestnuts and an occasional Brick could be found feeding.
On the 2nd a Caloptilia rufipennella came to the actinic trap in Millennium Wood, where I also recorded 64 Winter moth and a Satellite. A visit to several sites on the 6th gave up winter moths and satellites as well as a Chestnut at Pigs Green, whilst on the 8th, 2 Dark chestnuts were taken along Hoecroft Lane.
Winter moth numbers were quite outstanding, with 26 on the 7th, 105 from Millennium Wood on the 9th, 90 from Ash Valley Golf Course on the 13th, 82 from Millennium Wood on the 16th, 36 from Valley Fields (18th) 73 at Millennium Wood (21st) and 79 from the same venue on the 31st.
Only unusual records for the month, along with C. rufipennella was a Blastobasis lacticolella taken to headtorch in Millennium Wood on the 9th and a pleasing record, new for the parish of Ypsolopha ustella that came to the actinic trap set at Pig's Green on the 21st.
On New Year's Eve I set the actinic 15W at Alder Wood and then spent several hours visiting many of the sites I had trapped at over the year. The highlight was coming across a newly born muntjac in Suffyldes Wood where I also took 3 winter moth. Between 4.30 and 7.00pm I visited Millennium Wood, Hadham Hall, Suffyldes Wood, Westland Green, Pig's Green, Chapel Lane and the golf course before returning to empty the trap. Here I found a mottled umber (100th species for Alder Wood) and 14 winter moth either on or in the trap. In total, 130 moths were recorded: 122 Winter moth, 5 Satellite and 3 Mottled umber.
Sprawler

Mottled Umber

Nomophila noctuella

The year ended with a total of 514 species and a record for me of 11,130 moths recorded.


TABLE OF TRAPPING RECORDS:
Site
Tetrad
Times trapped
Species count
New for parish records
Average species per visit
Garden
TL42F
352
382
32
1.08
Westland Green
TL42G
19
98
3
5.15
Chapel Lane
TL42F
18
81
2
4.50
Millennium Wood
TL42K
37
185
10
5.00
Suffyldes Wood
TL42F
24
115
4
4.79
Valley Fields
TL42G
15
88
1
5.86
Pig’s Green
TL42F
18
100
8
5.55
Brick Kiln Hill
TL42F
16
81
0
5.06
Alder Wood
TL42F
15
100
6
6.66
Ash Valley Golf Course
TL42F
11
64
10
5.81
Hoecroft Lane
TL42F
16
72
4
4.50
Little Hadham Place
TL42G
10
65
1
6.5
Hadham Hall
TL42L
8
84
5
9.33
East Wood
TL42Q
2
14
0
7.00

The above results were not part of a scientific study, just random placement whilst I did endeavour to trap each site more than 10 times. Hadham Hall stands out as the "best" site by having an average species count per session of 9.33. Here, permission was not granted to trap at this private site until June, so all visits were during the peak period for numbers. East Wood was visited only twice, once to find Small yellow underwing and then a leaf mining visit in November. 
However, of particular interest is the closeness of most of the averages with, for example, Hoecroft Lane and Suffyldes Wood. These 2 sites are 400 yards apart and made up of neglected hornbeam, ash and hazel.On many dead trees are bramble and ivy and so it can be expected that tallies would be similar. Alder Wood, as well as alder, contains a small conifer plantation and well established beech and is right next to part of Ash Valley GC where D. petrivella and D. sequana were netted during day time sessions. Also, the best site for Marbled white.
The site chosen at Hadham Hall is next to a pond whilst Millennium Wood is a 16 year old plantation of oak, ash, cherry, hazel, dogwood, hornbeam and guelder rose. I am presently volunteer manager of this 3.75 acre site which is used for leisure by the locals and also by the local primary school for their Forest School Initiative. Superb to see the children of all ages using the wood every Wednesday afternoon.

2017 Targets.
In 2017 I am having a change of philosophy and not just targeting large numbers. I have identified 7 or 8 specific sites within the parish that hold a paricular plant or tree that may offer a chance to take rarer moths within Little Hadham. One site selected has a good stand of black poplar whilst another has gorse and a small stand of broom. Letters have been written to the land owners seeking permission to run the Actinic trap and hopefully these requests will be looked upon favourably. I shall continue to trap at Hadham Hall and Millennium Wood but will be looking to achieve 700 species within the parish by the end of the year. The parish total presently stands at 674 species. 
The first big target species will be sloe carpet. Yet to be recorded in Herts but with several sites holding plenty of blackthorn it will be worth trying for. This will require the trap to be set right inside the stand of trees and should also give up good numbers of water carpet. Just need to wait for the blossom.

Finally, wishing all readers and very Happy New Year and I wish you the very best of mothing in 2017.
Satellite

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Moth Review of The Year: Part 5: October and November 2016

The penultimate part of the review. The target for the year, with a Skinner 125W MV running every night in the garden and a battery powered Heath Actinic 15W trap left in one of 14 places several times a week, was to achieve 10,000 moths of 500 species.
October started with 460 moth species recorded for the year and a total of 9094 moths. The race was on.
Unfortunately, a cold snap at this time of year can decimate moth numbers, so pleased to record moths every night apart from 14th and 15th Oct (weekend break in North Norfolk) and 24th - 26th October (bird photo shoot in Aviero, Portugal.
Whilst numbers remained reasonable, new species were hard to come by, having to wait until the 4th for a Merveille du Jour in the garden. The same night I took a Blair's Shoulder Knot, also garden, before the 1st Brick of the year in Millennium Wood on the 5th. The following night my only Mallow of the year to the garden trap but more pleasingly, my first ever Dark Sword grass to the Skinner. This species has been recorded in the parish by Graeme Smith (GJS) but my first record. Things were becoming slower and the next new for year was on the 13th, a Green Brindled Crescent, with a November moth (gen det GJS) on the 16th, and a Pale November moth (gen det GJS) from Brick Kiln Hill opposite local village pub on the 21st.
Barred sallow (left) and Sallow

Blair's Shoulder Knot

Blastobasis lacticolella (7 from on bramble to light on 21.x.16)

No other new records for October apart from Phyllonorycter coryli from Millennium Wood on the 21st, Feathered thorn (28th) and Sprawler (29th.) Both taken in the garden. This meant October ended with 9360 moths of 472 species. Targets were looking tricky: time for some leaf mine action!
My first non moth night since Spring took place on the 2nd Nov, not a great start but Phyllonorycter maestingella from Pig's Green on the 3rd gave me renewed faith.
Brick

2 Brick, Chestnut and Green Brindled Crsecent

Cameraria ohridella

On Sunday 6th we had our annual leaf mining hunt day in Millennium Wood. Basically, families turn up with carrier bags and post it notes and, after an introduction from me about leaf mines and showing the leaves to look for, families disperse through Millennium Wood, returning with bulging bags of leaves for GJS and I to go through. Children love the searching and we enjoy sitting around waiting for them to return!!
In total we added 15 species to the parish list for the year, including a new for parish record of Ectodemia intimella. A good return.
Dark Chestnut

Chestnut

Dark swordgrass.

The next few days I visited most of the sites I had trapped over the year to leaf mine, adding: Stigmella tityrella (beech,) Stigmella hemargyrella (beech,) Stigmella splendissimella (bramble,) Phyllonorycter harrisella (oak,)  Caloptilia rufipennella (sycamore) all on the 9th and then added Tischeria ekebladella (oak,) Stigmella plagicolella (prunus) Phyllonorycter spinicolella (prunus,) Stigmella oxycanthella (prunus,) Phyllonorycter corylifoliella (hawthorn) and Phyllonorycter oxcanthae (hawthorn) on the 10th.
During the Remembrance Service by the village War Memorial on the 13th, I looked down during the 2 minutes silence and noted a leaf mine of London plane, a tree we were standing underneath. Phyllonorycter platani was new for parish records and micro number 247.
At this point numbers of micros become a little confusing as I was grateful to receive gen dets from GJS of micros he had saved from summer but on the 13th I passed 500 moth species with the addition of Stigmella salicis (goat willow,) Phyllonorycter salictella (willow) Phyllonorycter rajella (alder,) and Phyllonorycter kleemannella (alder.) These were all taken from trees on Ash Valley Golf Course, before a garden trap of December moth became my 253rd macro for the year.  More leaf mining searches on the 16th came up with Paronix fagivora on beech and Phyllonorycter geniculella from sycamore.
A December moth from Valley Fields to the actinic trap on the 15th was my 9500 moth for the year.
GJS sent through a few more July gen det records to add of Cnephasia genitalana and Coleophora pumicana on the 21st and by the 23rd I was up to 9600 for the year.  On the 24th, a solitary Scarce Umber from Millennium Wood made the records. Another gen det record on the 30th November (taken 18.vii.16) was a new for parish record of Coleophora serratella, 258th micro for the year.
Consequently, November ended with 258 micros and 254 macros and a total of 9760 moths. One target achieved and seeing as I counted 110 winter moth in dusk flight in Millennium Wood on the 27th, I felt confident 10,000 was easily achievable.
December moth

Feathered Thorn

Merveille du Jour on lichen

Selected macro flight times:
Beaded chestnut: 24.ix.16 - 29.x.16
Merveille du Jour: 04.x.16 - 30.x.16
Blair's Shoulder Knot: 04.x.16 - 20.x.16
Green Brindled Crescent: 13.x.16 - 03.xi.16
November moth:16.x.16 -15.xi.16
Feathered thorn : 28.x.16 - 27.xi.16

Numbers during this period supplied by:
Beaded Chestnut (44,) Merveille du Jour (8) Green Brindled Crescent (19 of which 5 were form capucina ) November moth (17) and Feathered thorn (36)

Hazel with Phyonorycter corylii and Stigmella microtheriella

Phyllonorycter nicelii on hazel

Satellite
December report to follow at the end of the week. With night time temperatures down to -3.5C last night, it doesn't look like I shall be adding anymore.


Monday, 26 December 2016

Moth Review of the Year: Part 4 : August and September 2016

A nearly full period of uninterrupted mothing meant I was out with the heath 15W actinic on many occasions as well as running the Skinner 125W MV trap in the garden each night except 5th and 6th August.
A visit to Millennium Wood on the 2nd gave records of Acleris emargana, Grapholita funebrana and Small phoenix. The latter being the only record for the year. On the same night I took a new for parish records of Acentria ephemerella and Tree Lichen Beauty ( the first of 4.) An Orange swift was the 200th macro of the year.
Plutella porrectella

Acleris emargana

Tree lichen beauty

The following night a trip to Valley Fields gave plenty of moths but nothing new whilst a Yponomeuta malinellus was a new for year record. A further micro, Mompha choragella was trapped on the 5th. However, whilst I was away giving a presentation for the RSPB in Lowestoft and then running an owl pellet show for the weekend at Ipswich Water Festival, Graeme Smith (GJS) ran several traps in Millennium Wood. Amongst good number he and Steve Easby managed to net a Tissue, a singularly rare moth for Herts.
The first Square spot rustic was taken on the 7th, Maple pug (8th), Lime speck pug, Plain pug and Borkhausenia fuscescens all on the 9th, followed by Dusky Thorn (10th,) Cloaked minor and a new for parish Cochylimorpha straminea on the 11th
By this time, the early autumn moths were to be expected, so 5 Svennson's copper underwing from Millennium Wood on the 11th were no surprise, neither were Plutella porrectella and Parornix angicella the following night in the garden
Coxcomb Prominent

Cypress pug

Dusky thorn

A trap in the graveyard at the bottom of the garden the following night resulted in Parapoynx stratiotata and Eudemis profundana as well as Toadflax pug and Juniper pug to the garden trap.
The next successful for new records night was the 15th, when Coxcomb prominent and Gelechia senticetella entered parish records with Currant pug and Nutmeg new for year. A first for the year Rosy Rustic on the 16th from Alder Wood, Copper Underwing (18th) from Hoecroft Lane and the same night another new parish moth, a Cochylis hybridella in the garden Skinner.
Brick Kiln Hill opposite the pub realised a solitary Vapourer on the 19th in amongst a selection of over 30 moths. A Galleria mellonella  was the 200th micro of the year before Udea fulvalis (22nd) Oak hooktip and Depressaria radiella (Hadham Hall 23rd.)
Also on the 23rd a good selection in the garden trap, with Enarmonia formosana, Marbled Beauty, and Udea ferrugalis. However, the night will be best remembered for the arrival of my 1st Vestal, a true immigrant and one that was recorded throughout Herts this year. In total, I had 9, all to the garden trap, with the last one on 13.ix.16.
Few late August moths such as Centre barred sallow meant I finished August with 208 micros and 228 macros. Late additions to records were Digitvalva pulicarie (garden 27th) Cypress pug and Mompha propinquella in the garden on 31st.
Centre barred sallow

Enarmoria formosana

Frosted orange
September kicked off with good numbers to the traps but nothing new for year or parish until 2 white points turned up unexpectedly on the 3rd, an Epinotia ramella (5th), Nymphula nitidulata (6th) and Brown spot pinion (8th)
Black rustic

Deep brown dart

Epinotia ramella

A yellow line Quaker on the 9th let us all know it was Autumn and this was more evident with the arrival of the stunning Black Rustic on the 12th. The 13th gave up new for year records of Agonopterix alstromeriana and Mompha subbistrigella from the garden whilst Phyllonorycter corylii, Ancylis mitterbacheriana and Catoptria pinella and Pink Barred sallow from Millennium Wood.
A community moth night in Millennium Wood on the 15th was well attended with over 20 locals and local press meant a good article in the Herts and Essex Observer. Of particular interest was Ypsolopha horridella, an uncommon moth for Herts, but one we have already taken in this wood. Also, Emmetia marginea, Caloptilia semifascia and Argyresthia albistria.
Autumn truly arrived on the 24th with Beaded chestnut and Grey Pine carpet in the garden, Red Line quaker and Deep Brown Dart (26th) and a Herald in Chapel Lane on bramble (28th.)
Ypsolopha horridella

Yellow line quaker

Red line quaker.

Vestal in smart plumage

Another superb Vestal

September totals now stood at 242 macros and 218 micros, a total of 460, so 40 more species to reach 500 for the year. Still on, I thought at the time.
In total, 9094 moths had been recorded since Jan1st, so 10,000 was also a reasonably feasible total. However, it looked like some leaf mining work was going to be required to get the species list going, so October and November were already looking busy. My fingers were crossed for some warm, calm nights to finish the year.

Selected first and last macro records:
Orange Swift: 02.viii.16 - 30.xiii.16
Maple pug: 08.viii.16 - 23.viii.16
Dusky Thorn: 10.viii.16 - 17.ix.16
Svennson's Copper Underwing: 11.viii.16 - 21.ix.16
Copper Underwing: 18.viii.16 - 21.x.16
Lunar Underwing: 15.ix.16 - 10.x.16

Numbers were supplied by: Orange swift (25) Dusky Thorn (36) Lesser Yellow Underwing (57,) Lunar Underwing (90) and Beaded chestnut (44)


Selected micro dates:
Acleris emargana: 02.viii.16 - 15.ix.16
Acleris variegana: 03.viii.16 - 09.x.16
Udea ferrugalis 22.viii.16 - 07.ix.16
Cochylis hybridella: 18.viii.16 - 01.ix.16

Numbers supplied by: Acleris variegana (61) Agriphila tristella (124), Acleris emargana (14) Udea ferrugalis (9)
Graeme and Steve's Tissue. A superb find in Millennium Wood. (photo GJS)


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Moth Review of the Year: Part 3: July 2016

Returning from our Devon trip meant the first trapping day in July was the 3rd. Garden 125W MV Skinner on and off to Suffyldes Wood with the Heath actinic 15W. As previously, it would be a very long list if all new for year moths were mentioned, so I shall concentrate on new for parish records and touch on new for years that are unusual within Little Hadham VC20 parish.
On the 3rd a Lathronympha strigana, Epinotia rubiginosana and Epinotia abbreviana were all new to the parish, as was an Anania perlucidalis in the garden. In total 19 micros were trapped of which 11 were new for the year. Wonder what I missed whilst away?
The 4th was a busy night in the garden whilst a pleasing Aglossa pinguinalis was a new one on the 5th.
A very worn Brown veined wainscot

Catalysta lemnata

Leopard moth

The garden record was again beaten on the 6th with 96 moths of 56 species, including Cnephasia asseclana and Coleophora flavipennella, both new for records. Also, the first July highflier of the year, one of 58 taken, concluding with the final specimen on 16th August. A headtorch visit to Westland Green gave up plenty, including Syncopacma larseniella on the 7th and Hedya salicella to actinic at Valley Fields.
The parish records continued to grow, with Eudonia pallida and Epinotia signatana (garden 7th), Anacampsis populella and Mompha orchaeceella (Ash Valley Golf Course, 10th) Coleophora paripennella and Oidaematophorus lithadactyla (Westland Green 14th) and Small Dotted Buff, Mullein Wave. along with Brachmia blandella and Epiblema foenella (19th Alder Wood). This was indeed a good night  with many new for year species meaning the totals stood at 160 micros and 176 macros by the 20th July, with an Agapeta hamana being the 3000th moth of the year on the 19th.
Maybe one of the year's highlights was the Dusky Plume (Oidaematophorus lithodactyla), not a common moth in Hertfordshire and thanks to GJS for confirming my identification.
Dusky plume (Oidaematophorus lithodactyla.) Possibly moth of the year. GJS photo, Many thanks

The next moth on to my records was a surprise, a leaopard moth to the garden skinner on the 23rd, with a pleasing, if very battered Brown veined wainscot and Helcystogramma rufescens (25th garden), a Catalysta lemnata (Hadham Hall 27th), a Stigmella trimaculella (Garden 28th) and the final new for records was a Tinea trinotella in the garden on the 29th. However, one that had me rushing for the field guides turned up in the garden Skinner on the 26th, a moth I was not at all familiar with. An Olive which, surprisingly, is more common in Herts than I had expected.
A Tawny speckled pug was the 4000th moth of the year and by the end of July the totals were 183 micros and 199 macros. The target of 500 moths looked on but 10,000 moths recorded still seemed to be a long way off considering we were well over half way through the year. A good August and September were needed to guarantee success for both targets.
Epiblema foenella

Hadham Hall trapping site

Olive


Selected first and last dates in July:
Swallow tailed moth: 03.vii.16 - 27.vii.16
Buff tip: 04.vii.16 - 07.vii.16
Small emerald: 05.vii.16 - 25.vii.16
Short cloaked moth: 06.vii.16 - 17.vii.16
Clay: 09.vii.16 - 04.viii.16
Dusky Sallow: 21.vii.16 - 31.vii.16

Numbers this month were supplied by: Large Yellow underwing (180 until 16.x.16), July Highflier (58 until 16.viii.16) Clay (24) Small fan foot wave (43 until 16.viii.16) Dingy footman (155 until 18.viii.16) This total included a quite amazing 43 to the actinic trap in Suffyldes Wood on 25th.

Micro number: Eucosma cana (85) Epinotia nisella (30) Carcina quercana (52), Endotricha flammealis (45) Yponomeuta evonymella (80) Agriphila geniculea (171) Pleuroptya ruralis (116) Crambus perlella (82) and Agriphila tristella (124)

Next installment later in the week, August and September.

This is me

This is me
At the end of another Norfolk Coastal footpath walk. 47 miles, 3 days 99 species of bird

Caley Wood view

Caley Wood view
sunshine through the canopy 29.05.08

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007
Best birds on this walk: black and middle spotted woodpecker and short toed treecreeper

About Me

My photo
A primary school teacher for 30 years, I retired from teaching in July 2009 to set up my own science enhancement and communication company. The Primary Works offers science clubs, workshops and staged science shows nationwide. I have always been interested in bird watching since my early years. Apparently my first tick was after inquiring about a chaffinch and then receiving the Observer book of birds. By the age of 9 I had moved on to Tory Peterson's collins guide and was now involved on YOC birding holidays to Northumbria, Essex coast, Slimbridge and Yorkshire. My twitching rule is that I will willingly travel 1km for each gram the bird weighs. However, I have had many rarities just by being in the right place. I have travelled widely throughout Europe and also visited Australia and Sri Lanka. Further European destinations are planned and a bigger trip to The Crimea was planned for 2014 but now not possible. so 2014: Sri Lanka in January, Poland in April, Madeira in June and The Camargue in July. So far 2015 has been Sri Lanka in Jan, Poland in Feb, Sri Lanka in April and The Camargue coming up in 1st week of September.

Grey heron

Grey heron
Over the allotment 28.09.08

Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker
Ridge footpath 27.08.08

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)
Note the stripes, denoting a bird fledged this year.

common blue

common blue
Ash Valley G.C. 15.08.08

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)
River Ash

azure damselfly

azure damselfly
River Ash 28.07.08

marbled white

marbled white
Discovered at Westland Green 22.07.08

ruddy darter

ruddy darter
Bush Wood 21.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08
growing in hedgerow in Chapel Lane

cinnabar moth caterpillar

cinnabar moth caterpillar
Photographed on ragwort 19.07.08

Bittersweet

Bittersweet
Study of petals 11.06.08

male yellowhammer

male yellowhammer
08.06.08

common blue butterfly

common blue butterfly
06.06.08

River Ash

River Ash
looking south from the bridge at Hadham Ford

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)
in rape field 29.05.08

Caley Wood sunshine

Caley Wood sunshine
29.05.08

Millenium Wood fox

Millenium Wood fox
24.05.08

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)
06.05.08 banks of the River Ash

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)
flowers, leaves and fruit edible . Good in salad and pesto

April showers

April showers
Double rainbow 30.04.08

Caley Wood bluebells

Caley Wood bluebells
22.04.08

Yellow Archangel

Yellow Archangel
Chapel Lane (20.04.08)

sunlight 16.04.08

sunlight 16.04.08
looking south west from Bush Wood

snowy buds

snowy buds
06.04.08 in Bush Wood

Looking north west

Looking north west
05.04.08 evening shower approaching

Back Garden

Back Garden
Easter Sunday (23.03.08)

Brick Kiln Hill

Brick Kiln Hill
Looking east (23.03.08)

No play today

No play today
The 2nd hole at Ash Valley golf course

Teasel head

Teasel head
Bush Wood (21.03.08)

Reflections

Reflections
daffodils at Bush Wood pond (21.03.08)

Swollen River Ash

Swollen River Ash
The river at the bottom of Winding Hill 16.03.08

Daybreak over the chapel

Daybreak over the chapel
Thursday 13th March

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)
growing in Bush Wood

January snowdrops

January snowdrops
Banks of River Ash, north of Much Hadham

Good Moon

Good Moon
From garden 24.01.08

Village Green

Village Green
Looking east towards Acremore Street

Looking south before Hadham Ford

Looking south before Hadham Ford
rare January blue sky

Useful sites

The following are some useful websites that may interest readers of this blog.
Firstly, Bishop's Stortford Natural History Society http://bsnhs.webplus.net/

Fellow birder, Gary Whelan's blog. Gives reports from our trips out together plus reports from his trips abroad. http://hairybirders.blogspot.co.uk
http://www.hertsbirdclub.org.uk/ The official herts bird club website. Frequently updated, listing bird sightings around the county. Offers links to many other websites. Both of these sites also offer links to yahoo discussion groups.
http://www.birdforum.net/ An international site. You can enter as a guest but become a member( free) to post comments, bird sightings and just about anything to do with wild birds. Good news updates, classified section for binoculars, cameras etc.
http://www.guidedbirdwatching.com/ A new site set up where you can contact people worldwide who will help you find good birds in their country. UK section being set up presently.
http://www.britainsbirder.co.uk/
Fellow birders blog. Strtford resident, Graeme Smith regulary birds the area south of Stortford as well as around Spellbrook and the River Stort from Spellbrook to Twyford Locks. Some superb bird photography: Graeme uses a digital camera attached to his powerful telescope to get detailled images of the birds he sees. Well worth a browse.
Two local sites that may be of interest can be found at
http://www.thehadhams.com/ www.thepelhams.net/content/section/12/139/

South Easterly walk

South Easterly walk
black, normal, red extended walk

South Westerly route.

South Westerly route.
Black usual, red extended

North Easterly walk

North Easterly walk
black short, walk. Red, extended

North West Patch

North West Patch
black route regular. Red route the extended wander