Monday, 31 October 2011

Feathered Thorn

Only one moth over the whole of the weekend: an immaculate feathered thorn. Am planning an evening trapping at Millennium Wood this week, weather permitting.
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Friday, 28 October 2011

Another autumnal moth 28.10.11


Sprawler


November moth sp?
 Another new moth found in the trap this morning: The Sprawler moth is a typically common autumn moth in Hertfordshire. Very little else found, with crane flies filling the trap, along with several wood lice and a slug. A November moth was also discovered, one of 3 possible species, only identifiable by dissection of the genitalia. Shall pass on to an expert for this procedure. Note: previously recorded winter moth is in fact one fo these 3 species.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Red Green Carpet 26.10.11

Yet another new moth in the trap: a red green carpet. Again, an expected moth, photo to follow. Also, 2 of the November moth species. I shall need an expert to check these to identify them to specific species. Finally, another blair's shoulder knot. Whilst checking the trap a grey heron "cronked" overhead and both tawny owl and common buzzard called. A good start to the day at 6.50
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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Winter moth 25.10.11

Yet another new moth for the garden list this morning. A winter moth, as unexciting in colour as the name suggests, a drab brown specimen. Also, another green brindled crescent was also presenr on a warm but damp night. 
winter moth

winter moth
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Monday, 24 October 2011

Another Merveille du Jour

Another m du j found at the trap this evening. Indeed a stunning moth. Hoping to get some really good photos of this species.

Weekend Moths 24.10.11

Here are the moths taken this weekend, a good catch after a week of nothing. This morning offered 2 green brindled crescents, a single merveille de jour and a large yellow underwing. Below are the moths found as from Friday.

An extemely late buff ermine: a county record


green brindled crescent


green brindled crescent


Blair's shoulder knot


green brindled crescent



Merveille de Jour




Sunday, 23 October 2011

Hat Trick

A merveille de jour at the trap this evening, making it 3 new species in a day. Also: 2 that I have yet to identify, probably best reecording day for a long while
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And another!

A Blairs shoulder knot in the trap this morning. Another common Herts moth, but 2 new species in one day is indeed a rarity in autumn. Photos to follow
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New moth

A new moth was trapped this morning, taking the species total to 150 since June of this year. Today a green brindled crescent was found on the sheet next to my trap. A common moth for Herts.
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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

First new moths for October 05.10.11

A feathered thorn was found in the trap this morning, in amongst a good variety of moths. The feathered thorn is a common Hertfordshire moth, flying throughout the autumn and will certainly appear in the trap again. Another new one for the garden was a spruce carpet, again a common autumnal moth.Other species included: sallow, barred sallow, lesser yellow underwing, large yellow underwing, brimstone moth, lunar underwing and large ranunclus.
feathered thorn

dusky lemon sallow

large ranunculus

lesser yellow underwing


spruce carpet

rosy rustic

sallow

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Moth Round up 04.10.11

barred sallow

blood vein

blood vein (same specimen in better light)

large ranunculus

unusual dark form of rosy rustic
After our Norfolk trip, back to the garden moth trap. The usual autumnal moths have been caught and released (lunar underwing, large yellow underwing, setaceaous hebrew character and brown spot pinion) but in amongst these have been some immaculate specimens. A blood vein on the 28th, large ranunculus (3rd) and 2 barred sallows (4th). Also, a snout taken this morning in a busy trap; over 30 moths in total of 8 species. Finally, on the 3rd, a drab grey/black form of a rosy rustic was taken. I need to find out how common this form is as little mention of it in text books.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

4 days in North Norfolk

Egyptian geese with overtaking linnet

Wells beach: 01.10.11!

wheatear, Cley

fallow deer stag

greylag goose

 Just returned from a 4 day visit to North Norfolk, staying at the Dun Cow, Salthouse. A none birding break, with walks everyday with Wendy, so just camera and binoculars. Consequently only 80 species for the trip. Friday a walk from Salthouse to Sheringham along the cliffs, Saturday, in blistering heat, from Morston to Stiffkey and then bus to Wells and today a wonderful wander around Holkham Hall estate, including the extensive deer park. Highlight birds: yellow browed warbler at Kelling Quags, lapland bunting, Salthouse beach car park, lesser spotted woodpecker, Holkham Hall and short eared owl, coastguards car park at Cley this morning. Other good ones: bearded reedling, brent and pink foot geese, grey plover, wheatear and stonechat.
fishing at Cley

Weybourne Windmill

to Sheringham

male stonechat

female stonechat

steam train on Poppy line

Fire from spilt ashes from aforementioned steam train: Sheringham golf club

arty sea shot. Spot our shadows from the clifftop

seal, Sheringham beach

House Sparrow, garden of The Lobster pub

Pink foots arriving from the Arctic Circle

Distant bearded reedlings

grey lag geese

black tailed godwits plus one wigeon

black headed gull


Holkham Hall lake

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