Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Successful Village Wander

Having dropped the car off near Cradle End for a minor repair, I wandered along to Costa coffee  at
Tescos for a morning beverage. From here, I headed back towards Bury Green and Green Street hamlets before crossing the A120, through Hadham Hall, visiting the lagoon before a leisurely walk to collect the car some 4 hours later.
A yellowhammer was most confiding in fields near Green Street, but apart from a couple of chiffchaffs, a whitethroat and tits, not much to see or hear.
yellowhammer
From here, I wandered along Green Street, where I met a local rambling group. On the wires adjacent to the lane, a spotted flycatcher. As I was attempting a photo, my attention was drawn to a 2nd bird on the nearby fence. These have not been present through the summer, so clearly migrants on the move and enjoying the insects over the horse field. These 2 birds disappeared into a silver birch, from where they made several sorties. This tree was alive with bird: aswell as the 2 spot flies, 4 great tits, 2 blue tits, 8 long tailed tits, at least 1 willow warbler and 2 chiffchaffs. The movement was constant, until a local dog walker came around the corner and all moved off to a tree further away. On more wires, parties of up to 8 swallows were resting.
spotted flycatcher no. 1

Spotted flycatcher no. 2

Pair of migrating swallows
From Green Street, I cut through a footpath alongside the farmhouse, over a field and on to the main A120, which, after 200 yards brought me to the entrance road for Hadham Hall. Here, little to be seen in or around the moat and ponds apart from this muntjac that sauntered out in front of me, until startled by the camera shutter.
muntjac

one of many rabbits

a successful trap in the web: a common blue damselfly
However, things were to change as I approached the lagoon. On the water, a little grebe, 2 tufted duck and 3 moorhens, but right over the farside, a common sandpiper, only my 3rd parish record in 7 years. I spent a long time stalking this bird to improve on the photos, with these results.



Using the willows to crawl fairly close.
As I was doing this, I heard another piping sound, a kingfisher in flight! Not a regularly seen bird within the parish and my 1st record since the cold snap of 2011! Eventually, this bird alighted right the other side of the lagoon but again, I tried getting nearer but this was more wary and must have taken a good hour to catch up with it as it flew from one side to the other.


Shame about the focus. 
House martins and swallows were constantly drinking whilst overhead both a kestrel and common buzzard.
drinking house martins

overhead house martins

 I then headed towards the garage, whereupon 2 reed bunting flew from the hedgerow. A successful 4 hours.
Insect wise: speckled wood, large and small white butterflies and this smart common blue. Plenty of common blue damselflies, a latticed heath moth but not too much to report.

Species list;
little grebe, tufted duck, common buzzard, kestrel, pheasant, moorhen, coot, common sandpiper,black headed gull, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, wood pigeon, collared dove, kingfisher, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, swallow, house martin, wren, dunnock, robin, blackbird, whitethroat, willow warbler, chiffchaff, spotted flycatcher, great tit, blue tit, long tailed tit, magpie, jay, jackdaw, carrion crow, rook, starling, chaffinch, goldfinch, linnet, yellowhammer, reed bunting. These 40 species constitute somewhere around 38% of my parish list, so not too bad at all.

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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