Thursday, 21 August 2014

Long morning wander

Setting off from Tescos in town I took to the footpaths around East Wood, Stocking Wood plantations and Stocking Wood and then on to Bury Green. From here, headed south west to the parish boundary before steering a course north west to Acremore Street and down to the war memorial in the village and home.
In all: 38 species of bird, 11 butterfly sp and 4 dragonfly species. Super 4 hour walk.
In the silver birches out side the house, a willow warbler was calling, posing for a few photos in what was good light. Sadly this light didn't last and by 12.00 noon it was decidedly murky.

After being dropped off at Tescos and a morning coffee I wandered over to East Wood. Here there was an elder tree groaning with berries. The occasional flicker of a branch informed me birds were feeding and, so it proved. Chiffchaff, blackcap and garden warbler were all having a feast. I sat quietly and awaited, chatting with several folk, including an interested chap called Ben, as they passed with their dogs. This didn't seem to phase the birds at all.
female blackcap

garden warbler
After spending 45 minutes trying to improve on photos I moved on. At least 4 buzzards were over Stocking Wood as well as several seen earlier. Good thermals were encouraging flight.

Near Bury Green I met up with David, who had yesterday informed me of brown argus in a field, so I thought a quick check would be in order. None found but a ruddy darter, migrant hawker, brown hawker and common darter were all at his pond. A grey heron alighted in the field next door as I chatted to another David, who also runs a moth trap. Had he not had some gardening to do, I am sure we could have exchanged moth news for a few hours! Good to meet all of these folk, along with David's wife, Susan.

common darter

migrant hawker

ruddy darter

young grey heron
Also around here, I came across my first hornet of the year along with various butterflies and a yellowshell moth. In the grass were Agriphila tristella and Agriphila straminella.
hornet

speckled wood

a very worn gatekeeper
More butterflies followed as I took the path past Harvey's Wood and towards the paddocks. Here, small and large white, brimstone, a fly by peacock, small heath and a red admiral were all recorded.
distant brimstone

small heath

large white
Plenty of bullfinches heard in the hedgerow and more speckled woods and red admirals around. As I headed down Acremore Street, migrating swallows overhead after observing a large flock of goldfinches, containing many juvenile birds as shown here.
juvenile goldfinch
Robins, long tailed, blue and great tits all called and a small heath and common blue butterfly headed passed, the former stopping briefly for a photo, see above. I stopped to check around the banks of the River Ash, but much disturbance from the work being carried out by the EA, but this blue tit posed well whilst a bank vole did not
blue tit
singing robin in silhouette
By the time I got home I had covered a fair few miles. However, all was not done because, as I sat down to sort out photos, I looked out of the window into the garden to check buddleia and, unbelievably, there sat a spotted flycatcher. A garden first. Immediately I had photo'd this, 3 juvenile swallows came to rest on the garden telephone wires. A busy few minutes being stealthy around the garden.
spotted flycatcher

and another shot of spot fly

swallows

confiding swallow.
What an amazing morning, with some great wildlife.
Bird species: willow warbler, common buzzard, garden warbler, chiffchaff, blackcap, blue tit, great tit, herring gull, carrion crow, chaffinch. wood pigeon, wren, robin, jay, swallow, linnet, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, blackbird, bullfinch, goldcrest, dunnock, reed bunting, grey heron, kestrel, jackdaw, magpie, long tailed tit, rook, goldfinch, treecreeper (heard), house martin, little owl (heard), moorhen, collared dove, house sparrow, starling, spotted flycatcher.

Butterflies: speckled wood, red admiral, peacock, small heath, large white, small white, common blue, brimstone, small tortosieshell, meadow brown, gatekeeper.

Dragonflies: common darter, ruddy darter, brown hawker, migrant hawker.

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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