Thursday, 28 October 2010

27th October. Morning wander







A morning walk along the ridge footpath and then round to Acremore Street and down Hoecroft Lane. A morning of quantity rather than quality with 171 gulls, mostly lesser black backed, with some herring and black headed along with a feeding party of 150+ starlings at the polo fields. The large majority of the starlings were first year birds.



Also of note: 3 bullfinches, good numbers of skylark overhead, several yellowhammers and linnets and over 500 jackdaws in the sheep field south of The Ford.



Pheasants have recently been let out of their pens ready for the first shoot of the season on 6th Nov. The attached photo shows a female roosting in a tree along Hoecroft Lane. The rest are an attempt to capture the wonderful colours that can be found around Little Hadham at present.

Sun Rise 26th October


Lovely sky on Tuesday 26th at 6.55am. These were taken looking east over the chapel at the bottom of the garden.

Grey heron


This grey heron was found perching near the river Ash, Sunday 24th October. Also, in an adjacent ploughed field 25+ pied wagtails. Also, the usual suspects as I wandered over the golf course and along the Ash valley: yellowhammers, gold, green and chaffinches and a solitary kestrel.
The full moon was photographed from the back garden.
Butterflies will be finished for the year following two nights of frost, the first being severe enough to finish the dahlias and fuscias in the garden.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Fieldfares arrive

After several reports of fieldfares in neighbouring parishes, I eventuallyrecorded these Scandinavian migrants this morning. A party of 12 rose from local hedgerows around Ash Valley Golf Course, before heading off west at 7.45am.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Redwings arrive 13th Oct

After yesterday's good birds I was out early, visiting Hadham Hall lagoons, hoping for some waders. No such luck, but a party of 11 redwings flew west overhead, the first for autumn. Green and great spotted woodpeckers, 1 goldcrest and good numbers of goldfinches were observed. No birds at all on the large lagoon, first time it has been empty, but plenty of evidence of ploughing and harrowing in adjacent fields.
A buzzard was flushed from an oak, flying off south and several lesser black backed gulls headed north.
A field near Clintons, Bury Green is holding good numbers of gulls at present and a trip there this afternoon is planned. From drive by viewing, I suspect 45 LBBG's and about 3 GBBG's but worth a check for anything more unusual.

Surprise sighting

Following on from the ring ouzel, another good bird. Driving along Acremore Street ~(Bury Green to Little Hadham war memorial, I witnessed a merlin. It appeared from an oak and flew low to the ground in front of the car for 100 yards before banking over a hedge.
The flight pattern of flap and glide plus the fact that it stayed very low gave me the impression of merlin over male sparrowhawk. The earliest merlin for Hadham.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Ring Ouzel 12th Oct











An early morning wander across Ash Valley G.C. paid dividends this morning when I recorded only my 2nd ring ouzel. Found between 6th and 15th fairway, the bird refused to pose for the camera, remaing half hidden in the centre of one of three chosen roosting trees. Plenty of alarm calling due to my presence and 1 flyover that clinched the id.

Also on offer: grey wagtail, little owl, meadow pipit along with flocks of longtailed tits and goldfinches. In all 25 species in 2 hours.
Flowers were still apparent, with (1)scentless mayweed, (2)poppy, (4)celery leafed buttercup, (3)field scabious, smooth hawk's weed and dandelion and daisy on show. Excellent for almost mid October. Finally: 1 comma butterfly




Thursday, 7 October 2010

Wednesday 6th Oct.




























































































Wonderful walk in sunny conditions meant a few insect sightings. Firstly a speckled wood butterfly found along Hoecroft Lane and then 1 of 2 red admirals near Millennium Wood. Here, sunning itself on the picnic bench was a ruddy darter dragonfly.
Birds were in good number with at least 11 migrating swallows over the polo field and 25+ lesser black backed gulls feeding on the same fields. Long tailed, great and blue tits accompanied myself along Hoecroft Lane whilst a solitary skylark called overhead. At the pond in MW I flushed a large female sparrow hawk that was probably keeping an eye on the local moorhens.
Photos attached show the variety of colour to be found within the local woodland. Also, 1 of the speckled wood, ruddy darter and long tailed tit.

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