Thursday, 28 July 2011

latest garden moths 28.07.11

2 brimstone moths
nut tree tussock

cloaked minor


 

copper underwing

dusky sallow

large yellow underwing

lesser broad bordered yellow underwing

magpie

ruby tiger
scarce footman

yellowshell and red barred tortrix

shuttle shaped dart

single dotted wave
Attached are a series of photos from recent new moths found in the trap. Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was particularly productive with several new species coming to the trap.

Friday, 22 July 2011

The Camargue

A 4 day visit to the Camargue began Monday 18th at 6.25a.m. at Luton airport with take off to Nimes, returning Thursday morning (21st July) Having arrived and taken a bus to Nimes station, train to Arles and then bus to Albaron village, I dumped my meagre possessions and took the bus to Pont De Gau Parc Ornithologique. An excellent starting point for seeing the common birds of the area. Greater flamingoes, egrets (cattle and little) grey herons, night herons and black winged stilts were all observed, but overall the reserve was much quieter than when I last visited in September 2010. After several hours on the trail, I took the 5km walk south to Sainte Marie de la Mer, the self proclaimed capital of The Camargue. A small town of 2000 residents, boosted by nearly 50,000 each year. Coffee and a meal here before the bus back to the b and b. A wander around the village fields gave good views of both wood and common sandpipers, along with whiskered and common terns. A meal, bottle of Costiere de Nimes red finished a successful first day. The next morning I planned to have a long walk, some 40km but, having risen at 6.00a.m. and taken coffee and croissants at a local bar/tabac I was thwarted by heavy rain and an amazing thunderstorm. This eventually abated at 8.00a.m. and I set off. En route I saw glossy ibis, gull billed tern, spoonbill, night heron, short toed eagle, black and red kite, zitting cisticola and endless egrets. After a 20km wander I arrived at the reserve to be informed that following the storm most birds had moved on! Plenty of dragonflies (and mosquitoes) along with a few butterflies and green sandpiper, hoopoe, melodious warbler, black necked and great crested grebe, bee eaters, sand and crag martins along with house martins and numerous swallows and common swifts. Well worth the wander before retracing my steps back to Albaron.
Wednesday and my last full day so I spent the day wandering around Paty de la Trinity, recording more of the same along with a few new dragonflies. At 4pm I decided to miss out on the endless bus/train journey to Nimes. I had to be at the airport at 7.30a.m. so I couldn't stay locally. I hit on the idea of walking back, overnight, to the airport. Setting off at dusk I immediately recorded a black tern and 2 collared pratincoles along with more kites, a calling scops owl and various warblers calling from the hedgerow as I passed. Stopping to chat with some local peach pickers working through the night I asked if the pathI was on would get me to the airport, some 11 km further along. Although they said no I thought I had plenty of time and wandered along until I ended up at the airport at 4 o'clock. I slept for a few hours, firstly settling under a tree, but the combination of a large grasshopper (photo) an even larger spider (photo) a snake, a lizard and endless mosquitoes helped me decide that the lawn outside the airport was best. I awoke at 6.00a.m. and had 2 hours to bird the local area. Orphean warbler was first heard and then seen along with pied flycatcher, whitethroat and chiffchaff. I then headed off for the return to Luton.
An excellent birding break.
Melodious Warbler (note steep forehead and short primary projection)

1 day old black winged stilt found on road

night heron

bee eater

black necked grebe

black winged stilt

parents of juvenile b.w.s. on road

glossy ibis with cattle egrets

clouded yellow

common sandpiper

greater flamingo


Paracinema tricolour

grasshopper species where I planned to sleep

green sandpiper

grey heron

gull billed tern in poor light

1st year bee eater

juvenile night heron

purple heron

sacred ibis

scarlet dragonfly



Spider that was knocking around where I was planning on sleeping. Argiope lobata , a relative of the wasp spider found in the UK

storm coming

terrapin sp.

white stork

zitting cisticola

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Spotted Flycatcher at Westland Green: 14.07.11

early thorn

least carpet

phylctaemia coronata

ruby tiger


shaded broad-bar
 A good haul of moths last night, with the first ruby tiger of the year, plus a new micro (phylctaemia coronata)  A good number of moths in the trap, with the seldom recorded shown above.
Also of note: a spotted flycatcher is at Westland Green. Has been observed for 5 days now and I shall make an effort to find out if it is the first breeding pair I have recorded for the parish, or a migratory adult, or a first year bird fresh from nest dispersal.

new moth 13.07.11

More new species continue to visit the trap, with the first silver y moth being recorded along with a micro, the common bramble shoot moth. Other worthy of note: 1 yellow tail, 1 swallowtail, 1 poplar hawk, 1 elephant hawk, 1 common white wave, 2 riband wave, plus the regular visitors.

Latticed Heath

bramble shoot moth

common white wave

endoptricha flammealis


mother of pearl

silver y

yellowtail

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