Monday, 16 August 2010

Standon and back 15.08.10

4 of us met at the village hall to walk to Standon and then back via Bromley and Westland Green. A blustery, but dry day meant good numbers of white butterflies, gatekeeper, meadow brown and common blue along with several migrant hawker dragonflies.
The bird life remained quiet, with a female kestrel, common buzzard and 1st year grey heron being the highlight. A juvenile buzzard could be heard calling from the nest, but all in all, not too much to report. Good walk in good company

Brick Kiln Hill and Millennium Wood 14.08.10
























































An early morning wander around the local vicinity in the search for new flowering plants. I was not disappointed, discovering several new ones to add to my list. Agrimony, common stork's bill, bristly ox tongue and tansy were all found, as shown here.
Butterflies, despite the breezy conditions appeared in good numbers, with over 35 common blues on the footpath off Millfield Lane. 3 migrant hawkers were witnessed, Millennium Wood and Hoecroft Lane whilst other insects seen were; large white, small white, speckled wood, meadow brown, gatekeeper and a superb red admiral that was rather camera shy. The best was kept until last where only my 3rd holly blue of 2010 was photographed drinking on the footpath leading down to the Nag's Head.
Photos, from the top show:
  1. Tansy
  2. Rosebay Willowherb
  3. hornet
  4. holly blue
  5. greater knapweed
  6. common stork's bill
  7. common blue
  8. bristly oxtongue
  9. view down Brisk Kiln Hill to Nag's Head
  10. agrimony

Monday, 2 August 2010

Tescos to The Ford 02.08.10











A morning walk, setting off at 9.30 from Tescos and covering footpaths through Cradle End, Green Street, Millfield Lane and Brick Kiln Hill. Very few birds, with no notables except for the unusual sound of a calling chiffchaff. A pied wagtail flew over high, heading east and 5 lesser black backed gulls were clocked lazing their way north at 10.15.
However, huge numbers of butterflies, with common blue being most prevalent. In all over 100 were counted, along with the usual suspects such as meadow brown, gatekeeper and large and small white.
A few of the butterflies are shown here.; small skipper, small white and small heath.

Little Hadham Moths: July 1020

























































































































I have now begun to document the local moths. This is a new area for me so I am presently concentrating on photographing and then identifying them from my field guide. The best place locally, is the lights outside the Nag's Head as well as the outdoor lights in Chapel Lane.

At the moment 10 - 14 species per night is enough for me to sort out. I hope I have all the correct species named here, a list made up from the last week's observations.












From the top:
1. yellow shell
2. willow beauty
3. The Snout
4. small waved umber
5. silver y
6. scarce footman
7. ruby tiger
8. riband wave
9. beautiful hooktip
10. mother of pearl
11. least carpet
12. dagger species, probably grey dagger
13. ghost moth
14. ruby tiger and small wave umber

30.07.10. Hadham Hall lagoons











A wander around the lagoons searching for a possible migratory wader proved fruitless, but plenty of interest was still available, in the shape of insects, with the 1st common darter of the year being witnessed as well as numerous common blue butterflies, small whites, large whites, commas, meadow browns. Also: azure and common blue damselflies along with 2 balck tailed skimmers.
Highlights of the birds were a family of 4 lesser whitethroats, 30+ migratory sand martins, 2 juvenile kestrels and numerous swifts and house martins.
Upon returning home, I recorded 32 black headed gulls over the garden as well as a solitary song thrush.
Photos show the underwing pattern of a common blue butterfly, a grey heron, green woodpecker and a red admiral butterfly.

To Standon 18.7.10
















A midday walk to Standon gave superb, if fleeting views of a disturbed tawny owl near Broken Green, along with the first year record of a southern hawker dragonfly. Another good find was discovering a green veined white butterfly near Muggins Wood along with 2 immaculate red admirals, as shown here.
Photos, from the top:
1. female common blue.
2. male common blue
3. meadow brown
4. small heath
5 comma

Nature Walk:11.07.10


6 of us met at the village hall for a walk around Bury Green to Much Hadham and then back along the River Ash.
A good walk in glorious weather gave the first records of a broad bodied chaser dragonfly near The Ford. A visit to a superb private garden gave views of brown hawker (1st for the year) , emperor dragonfly, 4 spot chasers and black tailed skimmers. On the bird front, all was sexceptionally quiet, with a calling tawny owl and little owl being the highlight.
Butterflies were recorded in good numbers with marbled whites being seen (2) along with Essex skippers, ringlet, speckled wood, comma, large and small white, gatekeeper and meadow brown, However, the highlight was the first year records of purple hairstreak, found in 2 locations. We were lucky enough to find one feeding on the floor, as shown here.
The other photos depict the broad bodied chaser, Essex skipper and a swallow on the wires at The Ford.








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