Thursday, 31 December 2015

Last Wander of the year

Set off for a brisk walk around Hadham Hall, hoping for a few bird photos. Gusty wind meant there was very little (nothing!) to see and even less to photograph on the bird front. In total: common buzzard, wood pigeon, carrion crow, barn owl and goldfinches were the sum total of a mile walk east of the hall.
At the irrigation lagoon, however, where the barn owls were resting deep in their tree hole, was a spectacular fox, coming down to to the water to drink. Initially, not aware of my presence behind some willows, so I managed a few photos, but the camera clicks attracted his attention. He wandered off, unhurried. In doing so, sent the barn owls into the upper storey of their hole; a roost they have both been using for 5 years now. Good to see both are still present and hope they have another successful breeding year coming up. 2014: 2 fledged youngsters, 2015, 1 very late youngster last seen wing stretching at the nest site and not noted since, so suspect this left fully feathered.
Tonight, a final hour with head torch and net in local woods to see if I can net anything other than winter moths!
Just wandering along by the lake

heard something!

Enjoying the bright light, time for a drink
Thirsty

Just checking me out.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Final mothing of the year

Due to the unseasonably warm weather, I sparked up the trap again but not too much coming to the light in the garden. Walks at dusk have proved much more fruitful, with 32 winter moths taken in Millennium Wood on the 27th and my first garden record of the same moth on the same night. 4 were found, all roosting on the perspex or the adjacent fence. A wander around Chapel Lane later on that night showed that few moths fly after about 7.30pm at this time of year as I didn't encounter a single moth.
Today, another 10 winter mots were netted in Millennium Wood and, being earlier, 13 were also taken in Chapel Lane. This brings the total moths trapped in 2015 to a reasonable 6277. The plan is to run 2 traps in 2016, the Skinner remaining in the garden whilst a heath type trap will prove portable and will be taken out most evenings for a few hours at dusk.
Winter moth, taken in the garden 27.12.15

Monday, 21 December 2015

Unexpected Moth for December

Even though it is mid winter and I put the trap away on 03.12.15, due to exceptionally mild conditions, I got it out again on the 15th and last night eventually scored with a capture. Nothing too exotic such as has been trapped elsewhere, but a spring usher in December is, indeed a good find, so worth the effort. Due to not starting mothing until March this year, this moth constitutes a new for year record, 218th macro for the year and 429th species for the year. Looking to be a little colder from now on, so trap may well go away again until warm Jan or Feb nights,
Spring Usher: garden trap 20.xii.15

Norfolk weekend including NEWS results

Saturday 19th Dec.


Had a whole weekend in West and North Norfolk,heading up towards Kings Lynn mid morning. First stop: KL docks where I spent sometime searching for the iceland gull. I was after photos, but soon obvious it was not going to be close. Eventually found it adjacent to Shed 25 on the right as you drive into the docks, opposite the fishing fleet. From here, off to Snettisham RSPB Reserve.
Here, a female goldeneye was on the water as I wandered along the muddy footpath. From the beach, there were huge numbers of waders. As I approached 20,000 golden plovers took to the air and out on the mud flats, 1000's oystercatchers, godwits, knot, dunlin, lapwings, redshank etc etc. Unfortunately, very windy so scoping the mud was not easy and virtually impossible to focus in on any specific bird. After half an hour I headed back to the car, happy with the views I had got, but no photos. A large flock of long tailed tits accompanied me back to the car park and a cetti's warbler called. Geese, mainly greylag and canadas were in local fields, so my weekend list was off to a good start.
female goldeneye (Snettisham)

long tailed tit (Snettisham)
From here, next stop was the beach car park and clifftop at Hunstanton. Out to sea were the regular suspectes, few waders, including 1st curlew of the day, with oystercatchers, black headed gulls and common gulls in the car park and on the golf course. Far out to sea, a bird moving without wingbeats and cutting the water. A fulmar, not a regular sight so close inland in winter and a good December record for me. It spent time moving closer to the cliffs but was always below the clifftop, so only photo is this one, about half a mile off the coast.
Very distant fulmar (Hunstanton)

Oystercatcher (Hunstanton)

Before long, I was off to the next destination, Holme beach. Once parked, having noted 1000's of pink foot geese in fields, I wandered to the beach through masses of sea buckthorn, fieldfares, redwings and a mistle thrush were feeding on the orange berries, but nothing more exotic. From the beach, a few red throated divers, but no sea duck. A slavonian grebe and several great crested grebes were not too far out, but constantly diving, so no distant blurred photos. Back over the golf course and on to Thornham. Twite flock were next to the car park, but although warm, the light was poor and so no good photos. A little egret lazed over Thornham Marsh and plenty of brent geese. A redshank in the pool near the car park was noted but I decided time was against me to wander all the way out for the shore larks. The light was disappearing quickly and there were still a few places I wished to visit.
I had to pop into the One Stop Nature Shop at Burnham Deepdale before a quick trip to Brancaster Staithe. The regular turnstones flitted around the crab pot, dinghies and the 3 other bird watchers who were observing the red necked grebe that had been present for a week. good binocular views, but a combination of poor light and distance meant nothing too good on the camera.

Twite (Thornham)

Turnstone (Brancaster Staithe)

Red necked grebe (Brancaster Staithe)

same rng
After this I shot up to Choseley drying barns where a distant rough legged buzzard was noted before I paid a very late visit to Titchwell. By now it was approaching 3pm and the light meant no photos. Marsh harriers were coming into roost and in amongst the numerous teal and shoveler, a couple of pintail along with avocets, godwits and flyby dunlins.
A coffee and I was off to my room for the night at Langham. A place I have stayed at before, only this time I was given the barn and very smart it was, too. Kitchen, lounge, bedroom and bathroom, all for £29.00 for the night. I reckon I shall be using this place again.. 
Once washed etc, I set off to pick up Gary for a few jars in Walsingham and plan the following NEWS day. From here, I then enjoyed fish and chips on Wells quayside before finishing by a quick check on Kelling Heath for moths: far too windy, so completed the day with a quick pint in The Chequers at Binham before setting the alarm and having a relatively early night.

Sunday 20th Dec 

Awoke early, so set off for a quick first light check on Lady Anne's Drive for any owls, but just got 1 little owl on a telegraph post near Binham. From Holkham popped over to the beach car park and Wells to note anything on the sands near the lifeboat station, but not a lot as a sand digger was already working at 7.45a.m. Smart new car park here, though.
Then, it was off to Egmere to collect Gary before we set off for Overstrand and a beach walk to Cromer Pier for my BTO Non estuarine wader count. We started at 9.00 and noted every bird on land, beach and sea. Not too much seen and nothing particularly noteworthy. Couple of passing brents and 3 red throated divers were as good as it got.
By the time we arrived at Cromer pier we had noted 23 species of bird and a grey seal. High counts of herring and black headed gull, but not a single wader.
A coffee, sausage sandwich and taxi back to collect the car at Overstrand and then we set off back eastwards again. Not before a quick sea watch with the scope and, remarkably, just in time to witness 200+ (and probably 300+) great crested grebes flying west. Also, 2 guillemots and another red throated diver and distant fulmar. As I had yesterday at Burnham Deepdale, had to pop into Cley Visitors' Centre to drop of some copies of my Guide to North Norfolk Birding Sites, before we headed for Brancaster Staithe so Gary could get the red necked grebe, a lifer. It didn't appear to be present whilst we searched for half an hour, but a flyby and then 2 red breasted merganser drakes were good along with turnnstone, dunlin, redshank, teal, curlew, wigeon etc. From here, back to Choseley where a rough legged buzzard was seen from Chalk Pit Lane and then into Titchwell. We got as far as the island hide as the light faded once again. Nothing apart from a brambling and redpolls in trees near the VC, associating with green, chaff and goldfinches.
We decided that, as the tide had receded, chance for the rng and so it proved. The bird was the far side of the channel, constantly diving and, mysteriously, disappearing for 5 minutes before re appearing in the place it had been earlier. Scope views for Gary before we popped into Lady Anne's Drive, but no white fronted geese or owls, so off to drop off Gary and head home.
An excellent 2 days.
Overstrand to Cromer: non estuarine (non) wader survey!

Shoveler (Titchwell)

Teal in different stages of emerging from eclipse plumage (Titchwell)

Invasive species (Overstrand cliffs)

Species List: ones in bold are NEWS records:

red throated diver, little grebe, slavonian grebe, red necked grebe, great crested grebe, fulmar, cormorant, little egret, grey heron, mute swan (10 sp) pink footed goose, canada goose, greylag goose, brent goose, shelduck, mallard, gadwall, pintail, shoveler, wigeon,(20 sp) teal, tufted duck, goldeneye, red breasted merganser, red kite, marsh harrier, rough legged buzzard, common buzzard, sparrowhawk, kestrel (30 sp) red legged partridge, grey partridge, pheasant, water rail, moorhen, coot, oystercatcher, avocet, grey plover, golden plover (40 sp) lapwing, turnstone, dunlin, redshank, greenshank, black tailed godwit, bar tailed godwit, curlew, black headed gull, common gull, (50 sp) herring gull, lesser black backed gull, great black backed gull, iceland gull, guillemot, stock dove, wood pigeon, collared dove, tawny owl, barn owl, (60 sp) little owl, meadow pipit, pied wagtail , wren, dunnock, robin, song thrush, redwing, mistle thrush, fieldfare, (70 sp) blackbird, cetti's warbler, great tit, coal tit, blue tit, long tailed tit, magpie, jay, jackdaw, rook, (80 sp) carrion crow, starling, house sparrow, chaffinch, brambling, linnet, twite, redpoll, goldfinch, greenfinch, (90 sp) bullfinch, reed bunting, yellowhammer, corn bunting: 94 in total.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Thorley Wash Wander

As I was getting the car cleaned at Spellbrook, I took the opportunity to have an early morning, frosty wander around Thorley Wash Reserve. All rather quiet but a chiffchaff was a good find. I was hoping for lesser spotted woodpecker at Wallbury, but none were evident. However, several great spotted and a pair of green woodpeckers. A jay flew over the river and a mixed flock of goldcrests and blue, great and long tailed tits flitted in trees on the opposite bank.
A chap paddled a windsurf board up river, must have been very cold for his feet! The mist was rising from the river as it warmed as the sun rose higher.
A water rail called but remained unseen, but on the whole, not too much about. I spent 15 minutes scanning over the reserve from the red brick bridge, but little was moving, so back to my sparkling car and off to town.
female great spotted woodpecker

Coldest day of the winter: go paddling

Stort Navigation looking North

same female GSW

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Some dissection slides from 2015

A collection of slides from micros taken this year. All dissections carried out by Graeme J Smith. Exceptionally useful to prove, or frequently, disprove my amateur identifications.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Annual Moth Review. Part 3: August - November

A few trips away with the tent meant not full coverage for August, but nevertheless, some excellent records for the county. A good haul in the garden on 02.viii.15 included 4 new for my parish records, in the shape of Euzophera pinguis, Caryocolum blandana (10th county record), Acleris cristana and Bryotropha affinis.
The following night Elasticha cannapennella and a difficult to identify micro. Looked to be heading towards Depressaria douglasella, an extinct Herts moth, recorded once in 1917. Upon dissection it turned out to be the less rare D. chaerophylli, with 5 county records, most quite recently. Still a pleasing moth to take.
On the 6th another Coleophora sp, this time C. saxicolella before a rustic the following night became the 4000th moth record for the year and this was followed the next evening (8th) by a flame carpet being the 350th species for the year. Records were now beginning to build up. However, a netting with headtorch session along quiet village lanes came up with a small micro, showing 2 distinctive dots. Initial identification led me to Acompsia schmidtiellus. This was OK until I noted it was another Herts extinct, recorded once in 1953 from Welwyn. Another for Graeme to dissect and create a slide for Colin the county recorder to approve. This turned out to be a correct identification and my second Herts extinct of the year. Most gratifying. Interestingly, the foodplant is wild majoram, which grows in abundance just 200 yards from where I netted it, so worth noting the date and checking the banks of River Ash where the plant grows next August.
Euzophera pinguis
Acleris cristana

Bryotropha affinis
On the 16th Donacaula forficella was taken in Millennium Wood, Bryotropha senectella on the 21st and a surprise macro, Lesser spotted pinion on the 22nd. These were the last 3 new moths for the month and took the totals to 183 macros and, after a recount on new micro records, 174. So: 357 species so the target of 400 for the year was set and this appeared to be achieveable.
September and a few days birding in The Camargue for my annual trip meant no new moths were taken until 12th, whilst a copper underwing on the 8th became the 5000th record for the year. New target: could I pass 6000 records and 400 species in a year?
On the 12th a 2nd visit to Millennium Wood with locals in attendance and a good haul of moths including Paraswammerdamia albicapitella, Acleris emargana and Epinotia nisella.
On the 18th, another expected macro was recorded, White point and this became the 300th macro for my parish records. On the 23rd another tricky moth of the Dioryctria species. My studies with hand held lens had me thinking D. sylvestrella. My only concern on my id was that this would be a new moth for Herts. A female, so no value in dissection, so off to Graeme. He thought the same, so off to Colin, who confirmed my original id. Another good record for the year.
Finally, September finished with another macro species, Pale pinion on the 28th taking the growing totals to 180 micros and 196 macros: 376 species since 01.iii.15. Not too bad at all.
Lots of new for year records, as expected in October, but the only new for parish records was a Plutella porrectella on the 12th. A feathered thorn in the garden on the 10th was my 200th macro for the year. This helped move my records to 212 macros and 182 micros; 394 species.
And so to November and on 1st of the month a meeting in Millennium Wood with Graeme, Colin and 11 local residents and 12 children. A leaf mining day. Children were dispatched with bags, having been shown what to look for and within half an hour we had 20+ bags of leaves to wade through. A fascinating morning and in total, once Colin came back with his identifications, 24 new micros for the parish records. Excellent time and one I hope to repeat next year in a different wood within the parish. Millennium Wood, by the name, is only 15 years old so few mature trees around the boundary, the rest just establishing themselves, but all native ones.
on the 18th another netting session with Graeme and Steve in Millennium Wood gave up Acleris logiana, Acleris ferrugana and a dotted chestnut as new for parish records. Stigmella salicis became the 400th moth species of the year and on the 26th, a winter moth became the 6000th record for the year. Targets achieved!
In all, with putting the Skinner away on 02.xii.15 the annual records stood at 6066 moth records made up of 217 macro species and 211 micro species. This constitutes a most pleasing total of 428 species for the year.
The additions to the parish records mean that they presently stand at 304 macros and 269 micros, 573 species, so certainly should pass 600 during next year.
The plans for 2016 include the purchase of a heath actinic battery powered trap which I plan to use outside in a variety of habitats every evening as well as to continue to use the Skinner in the garden. There are several good looking sites within the parish that I have earmarked for trapping. I have received full permission to run traps in most woods, with a few sites still pending. Should be an exciting year.
Finally, a huge thank you to Graeme J Smith for his help with tricky identifications and dissections. Without this valuable support, I would be none the wiser on the trickier identifications of micros. Great stuff.
pale pinion

Plutella porrectella
lesser spotted pinion

Millennium Wood moth night: nets, head torches, specimen tubes and beer.
Flame carpet: 350th moth species for the year

Acleris emargana

Pale mottled willow with Cheletomorpha lepidopterum mites: planning a study next year.
See Vol 127, Part 6, pages 265 -266 of Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation.

Annual moth review. Part 2: July

Synaphe punctalis (2nd county record)

Blue bordered carpet (new for parish records 01.vii.15)
As is always the case, July represents the busiest time for lepidopterists, with large numbers visiting the garden light trap. On particularly warm, dark and still nights this can end up being an all nighter, with regular visits to the trap to pot and record all that roosting on or near the trap and then finally emptying the trap around 4am and spending a good portion of the morning identifying and recording. So it proved this year, with a garden record set on 10.vii.15 where 210 moths of 82 species were recorded.
Just to get into July, 9 new for parish records were made on the 1st. A blue bordered carpet was a good macro record along with Elasticha rufocinera, Nephopterix angustella (18th county record), Argyresthia cupressela,(2nd county record) Coleophora peribenanderi,(10th county record) Swammerdamia caesiella, (18th county record) Cochylis hybridella , Epinotia bilunana and Ancylis comptana (5th county record). Certainly a successful night.
This continued into the 2nd July with Argyresthia albistria being new as well as Endotricha flammealis being the 1000th moth of the year. The 4th of the month brought Monochroa palustrella (16th county record), Synaphe punctalis (2nd county record)and Eucosma obumbratana (15th county record), all good records, with S. punctalis being only the 2nd, following one taken in 1997.
The moths kept coming with a white pinion spotted being new for the macro list on the 7th, Borkhausenia fuscescens on the 9th and Paraswammerdamia nebulella and Luquetia lobella on the 10th, the latter being the 9th county record.
Argyresthia albistria

Argyresthia cupressella (2nd county record)
A dotted fan-foot got on to parish records on the 11th, along with Nemapogon cloacella and Blastodacna hellerella. The 12th July offered views of 4 new micros: Pammene fasciana, Spilonotia ocellana, Coleophora glaucicolella (classified as common/widespread but only 9th record from dissection) and Rhopobota naevana. 
A common fanfoot was the 2000th moth record of the year on the 13th, along with Rhodophia formosa, Grapholita funebrana and Bryotropha terralella.
A rare occurence on the 14th where I took, not 1, but 2 new for records macros, a peach blossom and a small scallop. Not sure why I have never had peach blossom before, plenty of bramble around the fields close to the garden.
rather worn peach blossom

Dotted fan-foot
Blastodacna hellerella
By the 18th July, things were gathering pace again after a few quieter nights. Oegonconia caradjai, Ephestia elutella and Eucosma hohenwartiana were all trapped that night with a dissection of Coleophora flavipennella and Cnephasia asseclana required the following day. On the 21st, new micros consisted of Aethes rubigana and Argyresthia pruniella.
On the 23rd July, myself, Graeme Smith and Steve Easby planned a multi trap night in Millennium Wood, found within the parish of Little Hadham. This was our first open moth night of the year and in total, we had 11 folk pop into the wood to see what we were finding. In total 401 moths were trapped of 86 species, with 12 being new for my parish records. The only macro was canary shouldered thorn but the micros were as follows: Archips rosana, Limnaecia phragmitella, Epiblema foenella, Metzneria metzneriella, Zeiraphera isertana, Choritneura hebenstreitella, Epagoge grotiana. Cnephasia genitalana, Eudemis profundana, Scoparia basistrigalis and Acrobasis consociella
The final new for parish record was taken on 28th, Agapeta zoegana. Good to finish the month on an easy to identify micro.
All these moth records meant that by the end of July the annual count had reached 167 micros and 170 macro species with records now standing at 3548 moths.
Agapeta zoegana

Annual moth review.Part 1: March - June

With trips away in both January and February, I didn't bother sparking up the Skinner 125MV in the garden until March 2015. For the first few days, nothing, until 8th March, when a common quaker became the first macro of the year.
By the end of the month, 5 micros and 9 macros had been recorded. Not the fastest start and things barely improved in April, when the end of month total gave 5 micros and 13 macros for the year. Again, it must be noted I was travelling in the second to last week of April and no moths were recorded between the 25th and the 2nd May!
Lack of moths forced me into going and seeking them by heading to a local village green to see what ones I could flush, using a net. This was to prove most successful and I started to add new species to my parish records.
A trip to Westland Green on the 12th May gave up 2 new species: Epiblema cirsiana and small yellow underwing, whilst a return trip on the 20th meant I discovered Elasticha argentella and Nematopogon swammerdamella. The following day I returned at midday to discover Glyphipterix simpliciella on just about every buttercup whilst a visit sweeping the long grass on the local golf course, Ash Valley meant I found Dichrorampha plumbgana on the 27th. This is classified as an uncommon resident
Both Westland Green and AVGC were to become regular daytime haunts for me over the following months.
By the  end of May the totals had risen to 25 micros and 47 macros. Things were improving!
June continued to be slow, with a shears being only the 2nd garden record on the 5th. A visit to AVGC on the 6th turned up large numbers of Dichrorampha petrivella, but in amongst them, ones with a slightly different saddle shape: Dichrorampha sequana. This moth needed confirmation as, if it was, then it was a moth declared Herts extinct in 2006, with the last record being 1966. Indeed, confirmation by dissection and a re-found county moth. This one made the local papers and also meant I was granted permission to check the whole golf course, not just the areas either side of the 2 public footpaths, so all good. Further searches over the next few days meant I found more, near their foodplants: yarrow and tansy. A most pleasing find.
On the 28th I trapped my 100th macro for the year, a dwarf cream wave whilst the following day, I added 3 new micros to the parish records with: Coleophora albitarsella, Acrobasis advenella and Notocelia roborana.
By the end of June the totals had reached 77 micro species and 110 macro species. At this point in 2014, I was further ahead on macro numbers but, due to my determination to sort out every micro discovered, was well up on micro numbers.
The night of 29.vi.15 gave up 96 moths of 52 species, a record for the year. It meant by the end of June 884 moths had been recorded.
July will have to be part 2, as huge numbers were trapped, with new moths being taken on most days. See part 2.
Dichrorampha sequana: Herts extinct until this was discovered on Ash Valley Golf Course

Glphipterix simpliciella: Westland Green in huge numbers.
small yellow underwing: Westland Green 12.v.15 and after

Another small yellow underwing at Westland Green


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