Saturday, 30 June 2012

Moth round up

Two new for the year moths over the last two nights. A dot moth (photo 1) was found Friday whilst a common white wave was attracted to the light this morning (2). Other notables were the micromoths white plume (3) and Agapeta hamana. On Friday the trap cotained elephant hawkmoth, privet hawk and poplar. Unfortunately the elephant hawk didn't fancy a group photo and legged it!
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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Another new moth

A Small yellow wave (photo 1) was a new garden moth whilst both elephant hawkmoth (2) and clouded border added to thge 2012 list. Tonight, after a muggy day could be a very good night if the temperature remains high with accompanying cloud cover.
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Amazing night 27.06.12

After a warm, still and dry night I approached the moth trap expecting a good return. However, 2 outstanding finds made it memorable. Firstly a wood carpet (photo 1) was found. Between 1884 and 2006 only 28 records of this moth for Herts. Also, adjacent to the trap was a small, indistinct micromoth. After some research this was identified and confirmed as a Chilo phragmitella. Only 7th Herts record since 19th century! Shown in photo 2. In all over 30 species trapped, including my 14t garden light arches (photo 3.) Early in the evening both a hornet (photo 4) and a large spider (5) conspired against me as they both set themselves up to feast on incoming moths. In all, a good session
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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Best moth night of 2012

Over 50 moths of 29 species, plus several new micromoths in the trap last night. No new macros for the garden list but 3 new for the year. Common marbled carpet, snout and riband wave all new. The latter I shall probably trap most nights for the next few months, the other 2 less so. Took over an hour to sort them out early this morning. Photos here of snout, (photos 1 and 2, a close up) common marbled carpet, clouded brindle (a darker form than usual,) a beautiful hooktip and a new micro: Phtheochroa rugosana
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Monday, 25 June 2012

Ash Valley and Hadham Hall walks

A 6.30 start at Much Hadham and views of both green and great spotted woodpeckers before garden warbler, chiffchaff and blackcap were all heard. Skylarks, linnets and a solitary grey partridge were observed on the golf course along with good numbers of meadow brown butterflies.
A further walk around Hadham Hall offered the regular residents, plus a camera shy tree creeper and the highlight, a spotted flycatcher. This was only 3rd parish record of spot fly, so crtainly a good bird to see. Further checks to see if it is part of a breeding pair. Photos of a photogenic web in early morning dew, kestrel, spotted flycatcher and one of many meadow browns.
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2 new moths for the Year

An iron prominent and yellowshell were observed today, the former at the trap whilst the latter was noted on a walk around Hadham Hall. Other notable trapped moths were few and far between, with a white ermine, heart and dart and dark arches being present. Another cloudless, cold night made sure moths were in small number. Photo 1 of the iron prominent, 2 shows the yelllowshell.
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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Moth round up

A selection of moths in the trap over the weekend but rain and windy conditions meant it was not ideal for flight. A beautiful hooktip was new for the year whilst a willow beauty and bright line brown eye were the irregular vistors. More usual fare was supplied by heart and dart, setaceous hebrew character, dark arches and common footmen.
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Friday, 22 June 2012

New moth

After a damp night a variety of 14 moth species were in the trap. A scorched carpet was the only new moth for the year, whilst an angle shades was a moth not seen for a while. Scorched carpet 1st photo.
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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Several new moths

A good trapping night, with over 20 species cauught including 2 new garden moths: Fern (photo 1) and lobster moth. The latter got off before a photo could be taken. Also new for the year were common footman, cabbage moth(3rd), heart and club (4th) and green pug (2nd)
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Quiet moth night

Clear skies meant the temperature dropped and so few moths were on the wing. A few in the trap this morning, a clouded brindle (photo 1), pale tussock (2nd) as well as a Flame, rustic shoulder knot and an uncertain.
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Monday, 18 June 2012

New moths

A wide selection of moths this morning, despite the drizzle. A privet hawkmoth (1st photo), burnished brass (2nd) double square spot (3rd) clouded silver (4th) and small china mark (5th) and pale prominent (6th) were all new for the year. However, highlight was a new one for the garden, a bird's wing (7th photo.)
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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sunday morning

A gentle rise in moth numbers, with 25 in the trap this morning. However, nothing new in the macros. A peppered moth (1st photo) was good to see along with the regular fare of rustic shoulder knots, setaceous hebrew characters and heart and darts. 2 easy to id micro moths were also present, a small magpie and udea olivalis. (2nd and 3rd photos)
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Saturday, 16 June 2012

200th moth species for the garden. 16.06.12

At last: treble brown spot became the 200th species for the garden. Now for 250! Also, a stunning eyed hawkmoth and new for this year, a common wainscot, large nutmeg and clay. Photos from the top:
Treble brown spot
Eyed hawkmoth
Large nutmeg
Clay
Common wainscot
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Thursday, 14 June 2012

Cold night so few moths.

Temperature at an amazing 2C at 4.30 this morning due to now cloud co ver at all. Consequently a few moths: a lime hawkmoth and a scorched wing were new fcor the year whilst a smart pale shouldered brocade was only 2nd record for the year. Photos show all three. 2 of the medium sized lime hakwk, then p.s. Brocade and finally the aptly named scorched wing.
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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