Sunday, 22 February 2015

updated year list. 22.02.15

After trips to Amwell and Dungeness, just past the 100 mark for 2015

95: raven
96. scaup
97. black redstart
98. barnacle goose
99. cattle egret
100 great white egret
101 chiffchaff
102 gannet.
pied kingfisher. Negombo, Sri Lanka Jan 2015

Dungeness: Monday16th Feb

My first trip of the year down to Dungeness was well worth the visit. Arriving before 8.30 saw me in the sea watch hide. 41 red throated divers past in the hour and half I was there, along with 48 brents, + gannets, 2 pintails, several shelduck and oystercatchers and a more unusual species: 3 pink footed geese.Also, a black redstart showed on the power station wall.
Popped the key back to the bird obs and headed over to the ARC pit. Here, a red head smew and goldeneye, but too much water for waders. On the Reserve were 6 more smew and a great white egret near the entrance, a couple of marsh harriers and a kingfisher, but nothing else too noteworthy.
Off down Denge Marsh Lane where 2 cattle egrets were next to the cow shed. 1000's of starlings wheeling around along with lapwing, golden plover and Greylags. A quick check on Scotney gave views of barnacle geese, hundreds of wigeon and shoveler and a solitary scaup. Another check on the ARC pit before heading home added goldcrest and chiffchaff whilst the regular tree sparrows were at Boulder Wall Farm.
A great day out and timed well as the rain fell just as I was leaving about 3.00. Light not too good for photos, a few examples here.
female kestrel RSPB Dungeness

great white egret

gwe


In flight on a grey morning

great crested grebes



coot portrait

distant Denge Marsh cattle egrets

 gull, greater black baketufted duck

red head smew
Species list: year listers in bold.
red throated diver, little grebe, great crested grebe, gannet, cormorant, cattle egret, great white egret, little egret, grey heron, mute swan (10 sp) pink foot goose, greylag goose, brent goose, barnacle goose, canada goose, shelduck, mallard, gadwall, pintail, shoveler, (20 sp) wigeon, teal, pochard, scaup, tufted duck, goldeneye, smew, marsh harrier, common buzzard, kestrel (30 sp) red legged partridge, pheasant, moorhen, coot, oystercatcher, avocet, golden plover, lapwing, curlew, black headed gull (40 sp) common gull, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, greater black backed gull, kittiwake, wood pigeon, stock dove, collared dove, kingfisher, green woodpecker,(50 sp) pied wagtail, wren, dunnock, robin, skylark, black redstart, stonechat, song thrush, fieldfare, blackbird, (60 sp) chiffchaff, cettis warbler, goldcrest, great tit, blue tit, long tailed tit, magpie, jackdaw, rook, carrion crow, (70 sp) raven, starling, house sparrow, tree sparrow,chaffinch, goldfinch, greenfinch, linnet, reed bunting
79 species in total. Not too bad for a shortened, grey day in mid February.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Quick local wander. Year list up date.

Yesterday afternoon, a brief wander to Hadham Hall lagoon to collect some owl pellets for a school show. Very little about apart from a male kingfisher, too fast for the camera and this resplendent great tit. However, the evening was marked by a stunning sunset.
88. song thrush
89. Jay
90. sparrowhawk
91. kingfisher
92. Fieldfare
93 smew
94 mistle thrush
great tit

mallards




Sunday, 1 February 2015

2015 Year list

Time to get a year list up and running. With 2 weeks away and only a single trip to Norfolk and another, today to Amwell Reserve, not too lengthy at present.
Stansted Abbots little owl

Amwell duck goldeneye

  1. red throated diver
  2. little grebe
  3. great crested grebe
  4. cormorant
  5. little egret
  6. grey heron
  7. mute swan
  8. pink footed goose
  9. greylag goose
  10. canada goose
  11. brent goose
  12. shelduck
  13. egyptian goose
  14. mallard
  15. gadwall
  16. shoveler
  17. wigeon
  18. teal
  19. pochard
  20. tufted duck
  21. goldeneye
  22. smew
  23. goosander
  24. red breasted merganser
  25. red kite
  26. marsh harrier
  27. hen harrier
  28. common buzzard
  29. kestrel
  30. red legged partridge
  31. grey partridge
  32. pheasant
  33. moorhen
  34. coot
  35. oystercatcher
  36. avocet
  37. ringed plover
  38. golden plover
  39. lapwing
  40. sanderling
  41. turnstone
  42. dunlin
  43. redshank
  44. black tailed godwit
  45. curlew
  46. snipe
  47. ruff
  48. black headed gull
  49. common gull
  50. herring gull
  51. lesser black backed gull
  52. greater black backed gull
  53. wood pigeon
  54. collared dove
  55. tawny owl
  56. little owl
  57. great spotted woodpecker
  58. skylark
  59. meadow pipit
  60. pied wagtail
  61. wren
  62. dunnock
  63. robin
  64. stonechat
  65. redwing
  66. mistle thrush
  67. blackbird
  68. great tit
  69. blue tit
  70. coal tit
  71. long tailed tit
  72. bearded reedling
  73. magpie
  74. jay
  75. jackdaw
  76. rook
  77. carrion crow
  78. starling
  79. house sparrow
  80. chaffinch
  81. linnet
  82. twite
  83. goldfinch
  84. bullfinch
  85. greenfinch
  86. reed bunting
  87. yellowhammer

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