Monday, 20 February 2017

New moth for parish records.





Sent from my iPhoneSet the trap in neglected woodland at Westland Green in an area that meant the trap and sheet were visible from the Lane leading to Little Hadham. Consequently, just ran it whilst I was present until 8.15. Well worth the effort with:
Agonopterix heracliana
2 Dotted border
4 March moth ( new for Year)
3 Tortricodes alternella
Small Brindled beauty ( new for parish records)
This takes total moths recorded in the parish to 663 species. Target is 700 by the end of the year.
The garden trap gave:
2 Dotted border
Agonopterix heracliana
Pale Brindled beauty
March moth.
A good night, best of the year but hoping to be out longer tonight as forecast looks promising.
Photos:
Acleris cristana
March moth
Small Brindled beauty.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Spring Usher

This morning the garden moth trap, a 125W Skinner type gave up 2 moths from last night. Another Pale brindled beauty and a first Spring Usher of the year. 4th night in a row that I have taken moths, the total now being 8 macro species and 3 micro species, totalling 88 moths. A comparison to 2016 can be made, where on this day I had recorded 12 macro species and 4 micro species of 85 moths. Even after the cold weather we have experienced this winter and missed out on last winter, numbers are very similar.
Spring usher

Moth update







Sent from my iPhoneAt last, a few moths coming to the traps, with 4 Pale Brindled Beauty and 2 chestnut taken in Alder Wood. An Acleris species taken in the garden skinner was gen detted and proved to be Acleris ferrugana. The A heracliana was proved to be such, also through genitalia dissection.
The temperatures are now far more conducive to mothing, so fingers crossed for more good records this weekend.
Photos:
Agonopterix heracliana in pot.
Chestnut in the hand
3 Pale Brindled beauty on pine in Alder Wood.
Tortricodes alternella: phone photo through magnifier taken in the moth shed.
Pale Brindled beauty in phone photo from moth shed.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Red Letter Day: New bird species for the parish!!

Having completed a tuition to which I walked, noting yellowhammers on the golf course, I set off home. Just outside the house where I had been I heard the unmistakable call of a Lesser Spotted woodpecker, a new bird for my parish records! It called twice as I entered the wood where I spent an inordinate amount of time checking every nuthatch, great, blue and coal tit that moved in the canopy. Nothing. Overhead, a group of 6 mandarin, 4 drakes, 2 duck. Also, a sparrowhawk skulking in a silver birch and a flushed woodcock. Not everyday you find mandarin when searching for Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers!!
Back on the lanes, plenty of bullfinches, more yellowhammers and I noted that the skylarks have begun to sing over the rough on the course. 2 buzzards and a kestrel completed the list as I arrived back home. A few poor quality shots here. I shall return to the private wood which I have permission to enter later this week for a further check.
nuthatch

2 drake flyby mandarins

The whole party through dense woodland!


Spot the sparrowhawk

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Stocking Wood.




Sent from my iPhoneHaving been granted permission to run the moth trap in the private woods known as Stocking Wood, I set out at dusk to place the trap. With the temperature hovering around 4C I wasn't too optimistic. Having set the trap up I had a brief wander, netting my first Dotted border of the year. I returned at 8.45 to collect it and netted an Early moth as I wandered along the footpath. On the trap was a Winter moth, whilst inside was a pristine Satellite.
This habitat has great potential so I plan to run traps here frequently throughout the year. Satellite and winter moth shown here.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Early moth



Sent from my iPhoneWith the recent freezing conditions, moths have been few and far between. On 30.i.17 the portable trap was set in local woods, running for 5 hours. Upon returning I potted a single moth, this Early moth. 5th moth species of the year and my second Early moth of the year.

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