Sunday, 9 August 2015

What's next?

After 3 new parish records this week: small red eyed damselfly, white letter hairstreak and the unexpected silver washed fritillary, I began thinking what may well be out there for me to find.
Basically, I appreciate there are plenty of insects and plants as yet undiscovered, especially hoverflies and grasshopper species, so a special effort with those next year, but what about the rest?
Bird wise, with 106 species already recorded within the parish, the list can be both very limited, or extremely broad, depending upon how optimistic I am, but the following are all possible;
Certainly, I would anticipate these to be noted one day:
waxwing, brambling, common tern, peregrine falcon, firecrest, black redstart

Probably be seen within the parish:
lesser spotted woodpecker, yellow legged gull, curlew, pochard, gadwall, shoveler, great grey shrike, reed warbler, nightingale, water pipit, tree pipit, little ringed plover

Feint chance of connecting:
osprey, various waders such as oystercatcher, black tailed godwit, redshank plus hawfinch, water rail, marsh harrier, rough legged buzzard.

In the butterfly department, I suspect it is at the high realms of possibility that white admiral and purple emperor would be found, but with planned development of Millennium Wood and purple emperor being seen 1 mile south of the parish and half a mile to the north east this year, it may not be so much of a pipedream. Otherwise, I think the 29 species recorded is a fairly complete list and very good for a small East Herts parish, .

Moths; the list now exceeds 520 species and I envisage this stretching to around 600 in the next 2 years as I continue to identify each and every micro moth that is trapped or netted. With over 80 micro species added for 2015, I can only imagine another 50 species are highly likely. Macro wise, maybe adding 5 - 10 species per year, but plenty still possible. Secret will be to get out and run traps in a variety of habitats as well as visit these sites for daytime and night time netting, the latter with a head torch. This year has thrown up a fair few totally unexpected moths, such as the previously extinct Dichrorampha sequana, so many things are possible.

Odonata species are more tricky, as selective searching will be required, but certainly red eyed damselfly will be within the parish boundary. Also, likely: emerald damselfly,

Mammals; most voles, excluding water and a selection of shrews are undoubtedly within the parish as I have found skeletal remains in barn owl pellets at several sites locally. However, this does not prove they are all present within the confines of the study area and therefore can't be added to the list. Again, to see these, really just chance encounters and a few early morning forays to check winter snowfall for footprints.

So, all in all, plenty to keep me going well into 2018! Photos here from an early migrant check around Hadham Hall. Here is the largest amount of standing water within the parish so the willows on the banks attract good migrants. 2013: pied flycatcher and redstart both observed within half an hour of each other after a particular heavy easterly.
patrolling emperor

resident grey heron

azure damselfly female


common blue damselfly

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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