Sunday 29 May 2016

Moth round up

With the warm and bright weather we had over the last few days, I spent a little time netting micros at Ash Valley Golf Club. Always a good site and so it proved again.
A selection of micros were potted on Friday (27th May) and passed on to Graeme Smith for dissection. These turned out to be:
11 Dichrorampha plumbana
Coleophora staitipennella (a good Herts moth with just a few records)
Endothenia oblongana.
Also, 1st Mother shipton of the year. Thanks to Graeme for the dissections.

Yesterday I returned and was surrounded by hundreds of Dichrorampha plumbana along with other micros, which I endeavoured to net and pot. With more time, I managed to identify all that was taken apart from a Caloptilia sp, heading towards Graeme.
Dichrorampha sequana (I found this last year at the same site when it was classified as Herts extinct. Plenty of these around the foodplants, yarrow and tansy.
5 Dichrorampha plumbana
Aspilapteryx tringipennella
2 Dichrorampha simpliciana
Micropterix aruncella
Also noted, 1 st cinnabar of the year.
Last night the heath trap was again set in the local graveyard, but cloud cover dispersed meaning just:
clouded border
2 common swift
Angle shades
In the garden trap, slightly more sheltered but less than 10 yards away from the heath trap:
Endrosis sarcitrella
2 common pug
Scprched carpet
Scoparia basistrigalis
Buff ermine
common swift

All these recent additions take the year totals to 33 micros and 75 macros, a total of 614 moths and for the parish list, 588 species made up of 311 macros and 277 micros. The 600th species is approaching so champagne now moved to the fridge for the celebration.
Aspilapteryx tringipennella

Agapeta hamana

Dichrorampha sequana

Anania hortulata

Eulia ministrana

Micropterix aruncella

male small heath butterfly. 1st of the year

malachite beetle

Thursday 26 May 2016

Slow increase in moth numbers

Slowly the number of moths being trapped at various sites around the parish is increasing. On 22nd May a total of 18 moths of 14 species, including a new micro for parish records, a Scobipalpa costella. On the 24th it was 17 moths of 7 species, including new for year records of Tawny marbled carpet and Ingrailled clay and last night a total of 15 moths of 10 species including Pale mottled willow and Anania horulata, both year records. This takes the totals to 68 macros and 22 micros and in all, 637 moths for the year.
pale mottled willow


Monopsis weaverella

Anania hortulata

Monday 23 May 2016

More moths

Ran the trap in the graveyard at the bottom of the garden, about 6 yards away from the garden trap. Amazingly, not one species was replicated in the 2 traps
New for the year from the graveyard were lime hawkmoth, marbled minor, flame shoulder and Cydia pomonela whilst in the garden trap this morning, willow beauty and Evergestis forficalis were new, taking the list to 62 macros and 19 micros.
lime hawkmoth

Waved umber

Friday 20 May 2016

Good Moth Night

The temperatures held last night due to heavy cloud and only a slight breeze,so I was hopeful of a good catch.
Set the Heath Actinic 15W in Alder Wood.This is a mixed pine,beech,oak and holly woodland near Pigs Green.Lights on at 8.15 and I returned at 11.15.The sheet was covered with assorted cranefly and 2 cockchafers along with a green carpet and a new moth for parish records,a sandy carpet. Inside the trap were a smattering of regular moths,including a pug that I presumed was Freyer's. Since been corretced and it is a dwarf pug. This was the second new for parish records of the night.
Emptying was preceded by a half hour session with net and headtorch and net in Millennium Wood. 3 green carpet and a brimstone netted.
The garden trap was checked at 6.15 and contained a clouded border (NFY) a silver-ground carpet and a common swift.
All in all, 17 moths of 12 species: pleasing for mid May and signs that things are about to become very busy at the traps!!

Millennium Wood (headtorch)
3 green carpet

Alder Wood (15W actinic)
3 green carpet
2 Aphomia sociella
Maiden's blush (NFY)
Agonopterix arenella
Sandy carpet (NFM)
Dwarf pug (NFM)
Spruce pug (NFY)

Garden (Skinner trap 125W)
Clouded border (NFY)
Silver-ground carpet
common swift

Sandy carpet: 583rd moth species for the parish

clouded border

common swift

Monday 16 May 2016

Local Walk

My regular wander back from town to the village on a Monday morning. Today, went past East Wood and around to Stocking Wood and Bury Green, before checking in on Millennium Wood and then down Brick Kiln Hill to home.
A super walk with a diverse collection of things seen. Near East Wood blackcaps and whitethroats sang and a cuckoo was heard from deep in the wood. However, the first highlight, a small yellow underwing moth in the grass. Didn't hang around for a photo, one here from last year.
Another cuckoo over Stocking Wood before I came across early purple orchid adjacent to the footpath. 7 spikes here at present, with several showing they had been around for a week or so. Chiffchaffs, great and blue tits made the list before a yellowhammer called as I entered Bury Green.
From here, through Bury Green and into Millennium Wood. Excellent: a pair of great tits that have taken up residence in nest box 7 are now feeding young. Super to watch. Also, an adult bullfinch busy carrying food so they are breeding within the wood for the second year running.
As I headed down Brick Kiln Hill, I checked buttercup heads and came up with plenty of the tiny micro moth Glyphipterix simpliciella. shown here.
As I sat on Brick Kiln Hill a red kite glided past. I climbed a little higher and was pleased to get the foillowing shots:

All in all, a most successful wander with over 30 bird species, 7 butterfly species, including this stunning male orange tip in Stocking Wood, feeding on red campion, along with the 2 new for year moth species, plus the usual plant species to be found in mid May.
Orange tip

speckled wood

red campion

Monday 9 May 2016

Bio Blitz Day; Millennium Wood

The plan was to spend as much time throughout the day in the wood recording all aspects of the natural history of the habitat.
Consequently, I began with a dawn chorus walk, beginning in the village at 4.30a.m. and wandered up the footpaths to the wood, via the polo fields and Millfield Lane. Usual suspects were singing, with plenty of chiffchaff, blackcap and whitethroat. In Hoecroft Lane as we returned to the village at 6.30, the 1st of 3 garden warblers was heard. This is a bird that I have yet to record in Millennium Wood but worth checking for over the next month as they are nearby.
After a quick breakfast, I headed back to the wood with nets, pots, sheets etc and began recording insects, further bird species, including a lesser whitethroat, found by Graeme near the polo field entrance and seen later on by the gate.
Plenty of families joined the recording and we had a huge number of pots containing caterpillars, spiders, bugs, beetles etc that all required identification. As the afternoon went on, in increasingly marvellous temperatures, the list increased and by 2.30, we concluded with a brief walk around the whole wood, listening to bird song and recording the flowering plants.
I returned at 8pm to set the moth trap on what I hoped would be a most productive evening. However, when I came back to check the trap at 10.30pm and have a wander to try and encourage moths to a headtorch and net, it was clear very little was flying, with just 2 moths in the trap. Disappointing as I had 10 moths in the garden trap,
In between times, I spent the hours identifying as many of the potted creatures as possible. Several spiders were not feasible, along with a few flies that were rather worse for wear.
Caterpillars were placed in tubs with their larval foodplant and these will emerge as adults over the summer, when an accurate identification can be made.
All in all, a superb time and wonderful to see so many families participating, with children helping with log searches, netting, sweep netting and  beating trees where white sheets were placed underneath to permit good view of all the insects that were knocked out from the branches.

Back in the moth shed, awaiting identification

scorched carpet

green carpet.
List of those creatures identified.
Bio Blitz Day at Millennium Wood
Date: 08.05.16
Weather: high temperature of 26C, still, cloudless. Hottest day of the year
Recording periods:
5a.m. following a dawn chorus walk from the village as from 4.30a.m. 1 hour spent in wood listening to bird song and identifying birds, both by sight and sound. Note: list contains a few birds that were recorded as flying over, such as lesser black backed gull and common buzzard.
11a.m. – 2.45p.m. Families searching for invertebrates using several methods;
·        Checking under logs
·        Beating trees
·        Sweep netting nettles and grasses
·        Butterfly netting flying insects.
8.00p.m. -11.00p.m: Heath 15Watt actinic moth trap set in centre of wood. Accompanying sheet, illuminated attracted ichneumon wasps and giant craneflies.

Note on English names: where there is no used English name, the species is given, such as Notostira elongata (Mirid bug sp) There are over 220 species of miridae bugs and many have not been given an English name, so the general species is noted. Others are named to specific species name, both the Latin taxon and precise English name.

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)
1.      Pyrrhosoma nymphula (large red damselfly)
Dermaptera (earwigs)
1.      Forficula auricularia (common earwig)
Hemiptera (Bugs)
1.      Dolycoris baccarum (Hairy or sloe shieldbug)
2.      Eurydema oleracea (Crucifer shieldbug)
3.      Liocoris tripustulatus
4.      Notostira elongata (mirid bug sp)
5.      Eupelix cuspidata (leafhopper sp)
6.      Aleyrodes proletella (Cabbage whitefly)
Neuroptera (Lacewings)
1.      Chrysopa perla (green lacewing)

Coleoptera (Beetles)
1.      Carabus arvensis
2.      Stomis pumicatus
3.      Poecilus cupreus (Copper greenclock)
4.      Pterostichus madidus (black clock)
5.      Pterostrichus niger
6.      Syntomus foveatus
7.      Meligethes aeneus (Common pollen bettle)
8.      Dalopius marginatus (click beetle sp)
9.      Propylea quattuordeciimpunctata (14 spot ladybird)
10.    Coccinella septempunctata (7 spot ladybird)
11.   Harmonia axyridis (Harlequin ladybird)
12.   Cionus scrophulariae (Figwort weevil)
13.   Nedyus quadrimaculatus (weevil sp)
14.   Phyllobius pyri (Green nettle weevil)
Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies)
1.      Esperia sulphurella (micro moth)
2.      Stigmella aurella (micro moth)
3.      Gonepteryx rhamni (Brimstone butterfly)
4.      Pieris brassicae (Large white)
5.      Pieris napi (Green veined white)
6.      Anthocharis cardamines (Orange tip)
7.      Parage aegeria (Speckled wood)
8.      Celastrina argiolus) (Holly Blue)
9.      Colostygia pectinataria (Green carpet moth)
10.   Ligdia adustata (Scorched carpet)
11.   Eupithecia abbreviata (Brindled pug)

Of Note: several species of moth, fly and maybe butterfly larvae were beaten from oak, hawthorn, hornbeam and spindle. These are now feeding in rearing pots where most will pupate within the next couple of months and emerge as adults later this year. A rough estimate shows there to be at least 7 species present. Leaf mines on bramble were also noted and suspected to be that of Stigmella aurella, a common micro moth associated with bramble.

Diptera (Flies)
1.      Nephrotoma appendiculata (spotted cranefly)
2.      Tipula lunata (Giant cranefly)
3.      Cylindromata distinctissima (damsel cranefly sp)
4.      Bibio marci (St. Mark’s fly)
5.      Dilophus febrilis (Fever fly)
6.      Xylophagus ater (Common awl fly)
7.      Empis stercorea (dance fly sp)
8.      Cheiosia vernalis (hoverfly sp)
Hymenoptera (Ants, bees, wasps and relatives)
1.      Tenthredo mandibularis (sawfly sp)
2.      Ophion luteus (Ichneumon wasp sp)
3.      Vespa crabro (hornet)
4.      Vespula vulgaris (common wasp)
5.      Lasioglossum morio (brassy mining bee)
6.      Bombus lapidaries (large red tailed bumble bee)
7.      Bombus lucorum (white tailed bumble bee)
8.      Lasius niger (black ant)
Flora (Flowers)
1.      Urtica dioica (common nettle)
2.      Stellaria holostea (Greater stitchwort)
3.      Silene dioica (Red campion)
4.      Ranunculus acris (meadow buttercup)
5.      Chelidonium majus (Greater celandine)
6.      Allaria petiolata (Garlic mustard)
7.      Hedera helix (ivy)
8.      Anthriscus sylvestris (cow parsley)
9.      Primula vulgaris (primrose)
10.   Lamium purpureum (red dead nettle)
11.   Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy)
12.   Veronica chamaedrys (germander speedwell)
13.   Bellis perennis (daisy)
14.   Taraxacum officnale (common dandelion)
15.   Arum maculatum (Lords-and-ladies)

Isopoda (woodlice)
1.      Porcellio scaber (woodlouse)

Arthropoda (centipedes and millipedes)
1.      Tachypodoiulus niger (white legged snake millipede)
2.      Lithobius forficalis (common centipede)
Arachnida (Spiders)
1.      Salticus scenicus (zebra spider)
2.      Xysticus cristatus (crab spider sp)
3.      Segestria senoculata (snake back spider sp)
4.      Araniella cucurbitina (green orb weaver spider sp)
5.      Metellina segmentata (common orb spider sp)
Ornithurae (Birds)
1.      Anas platyrhynchos (mallard)
2.      Buteo buteo (common buzzard)
3.      Phasianus colchicus (pheasant)
4.      Larus fuscus (lesser black backed gull)
5.      Columba palumbus (Wood pigeon)
6.      Strix aluco (tawny owl)
7.      Picus viridis (Green woodpecker)
8.      Dendrocopus major (great spotted woodpecker)
9.      Troglodytes troglodytes (wren)
10.   Prunella modularis (dunnock)
11.   Erithacus rubecula (robin)
12.   Turdus philomelos (song thrush)
13.   Turdus merula (blackbird)
14.   Sylvia atricapilla (blackcap)
15.   Sylvia curruca (lesser whitethroat)
16.   Sylvia communis (whitethroat)
17.   Phylloscopus collybita (chiffchaff)
18.   Parus major (great tit)
19.   Parus caeruleus (blue tit)
20.   Aegithalos caudatus (long tailed tit)
21.   Pica pica (magpie)
22.   Garrulus glandarius (jay)
23.   Corvus monedula (jackdaw)
24.   Corvus frugilegus (rook)
25.   Corvus corone corone (carrion crow)
26.   Sturnus vulgaris (starling)
27.   Fringilla coelebs (chaffinch)
28.   Pyrrhula pyrrhula (bullfinch)

Mammalia (animals)
1.      Oryctolagus cuniculus (rabbit)
2.      Vulpes vulpes (fox)

3.      Pipistrellus pipistrellus (pipistrelle bat)

Saturday 7 May 2016

Slight improvement in moth numbers

The coldest weather seems now to have passed, but still disappointingly chilly after dark recently. Consequently, just average improvement in moth numbers:
On Thursday night I was disappointed to just find 1 moth in the trap set in local woodland, an Agonopterix arenella whilst the garden trap was empty. Whilst waiting to empty the woodland trap I popped up to Millennium Wood around 10pm and managed to net a brimstone and a couple of tiny micros, one of which now identified as Parornix anglicella, a new moth for my parish records. Last night I left the 15W trap at the top of the footpath opposite the pub and returned at midnight to empty. Again, not as much as I had expected with Hebrew character, Red green carpet, shuttle shaped dart and a common swift roosting inside. The last 3 all being new for the year records.
Emptying the garden trap this morning realised a brindled pug and a waved umber.
Presently, after another warm day, the temperature is dropping, albeit slowly and good cloud cover, so fingers crossed for a productive night. Totals now move on to 450 moths taken in 2016, made up of 33 macros and 11 micros.
waved umber

red green carpet

common swift

brimstone moth

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Early morning Hadham Hall Wander

Glorious morning, so up and out early for a check around the lagoon east of Hadham Hall. Usual fare: chiffchaffs, goldcrests, linnets, blue, great and long tailed tit with a solitary mallard and a pair of coots.
The barn owl treehole appears to be full of twigs, so either they are nest building or a pigeon or magpie has moved in. Shall keep an eye on developments over the next few weeks.
A whitethroat called from the  hedgerow, a first for the parish this year and this was closely followed by my first views of house martins this year. As usual, over Hadham Hall.
A check for the spotted flycatcher that nested here in 2014 and was briefly heard and seen in 2015, but so far, no returning bird. Yellowhammers were on good numbers, as were chaffinches and goldfinches around the hall.
Goldcrest at the lagoon

More usual view of the same bird

1st house martin of the year

Male linnet through a lucky gap in the leaves.

caption competition photo

Monday 2 May 2016

Good moth night

Having tolerated freezing conditions and virtually no moths for over a week, last night was full of promise. 10C at 10pm was forecast, so after some consideration I left the actinic 15W Heath trap in some local neglected woodland. Upon arriving I was a little dismayed to find it rather breezy. Anyway, garden Skinner 125W on and left the Heath. Couple of beers at the local beer festival before I headed off to another wood where I netted just one moth that was attracted to the head torch: an Oak nycteoline, 27th macro of the year. Off to empty the Heath and my concerns about the breeze were realised. Just 2 moths, a waved umber (NFY and 28th for the year) and a shoulder stripe.
This morning a double striped pug and a Brindled beauty in the garden trap. Latter a new for parish records, moth species 579 for the parish.
So: low in quantity but good quality.
double striped pug

Brindled beauty: 1st for the parish records

Oak nycteoline

waved umber

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday 1 May 2016

End of April Year List

Black redstart, Aveiro, Portugal

  1. red throated diver (Titchwell)
  2. slavonian grebe (Dungeness)
  3. little grebe (Wells Next the Sea)
  4. great crested grebe (Dungeness)
  5. gannet (West Runton)
  6. cormorant (Titchwell)
  7. little egret (Titchwell)
  8. grey heron (Titchwell)
  9. mute swan (Titchwell)
  10. bean goose tundra (Salthouse)
  11. pink footed goose (Holkham)
  12. greylag goose (Titchwell)
  13. canada goose (Burnham Overy Staithe)
  14. barnacle goose (Dungeness)
  15. brent goose (Titchwell)
  16. shelduck (Titchwell)
  17. Egyptian goose (Holkham)
  18. mandarin (Little Hadham)
  19. mallard (Titchwell)
  20. gadwall (Titchwell)
  21. pintail (Oare Marshes)
  22. shoveler
  23. wigeon
  24. teal (All above: Titchwell)
  25. pochard (Dungeness)
  26. red crested pochard (Lackford Lakes)
  27. common scoter (Titchwell)
  28. goldeneye ( Titchwell)
  29. smew (Dungeness)
  30. red breasted merganser (Titchwell)
  31. red kite (Well Next the Sea harbour)
  32. marsh harrier (Titchwell)
  33. common buzzard (Little Hadham)
  34. kestrel (Little Hadham)
  35. hobby (Rainham Marsh)
  36. sparrowhawk (Bishop's Stortford)
  37. peregrine falcon (Titchwell)
  38. red legged partridge (Choseley)
  39. grey partridge (Holkham)
  40. pheasant (Little Hadham)
  41. moorhen (Titchwell)
  42. coot (Dungeness)
  43. oystercatcher (Titchwell)
  44. avocet (Titchwell)
  45. ringed plover (Dungeness)
  46. grey plover
  47. golden plover 
  48. lapwing
  49. sanderling (All above: Titchwell)
  50. purple sandpiper (Sheringham)
  51. turnstone (Titchwell)
  52. dunlin (Titchwell)
  53. green sandpiper (Lemsford HMWT Reserve)
  54. redshank
  55. black tailed godwit
  56. bar tailed godwit
  57. curlew (All above: Titchwell)
  58. whimbrel (Kelling Water Meadows)
  59. snipe (Dungeness)
  60. woodcock (Little Hadham)
  61. ruff (Titchwell)
  62. Great Skua (Dungeness)
  63. black headed gull
  64. common gull
  65. herring gull
  66. lesser black backed gull
  67. great black backed gull (All above: Titchwell)
  68. glaucous gull (Salthouse)
  69. sandwich tern (Dungeness)
  70. common tern (Rainham Marsh)
  71. guillemot (West Runton)
  72. razorbill (Dungeness)
  73. wood pigeon (Little Hadham)
  74. Stock dove (Burnham Overy Staithe)
  75. collared dove (Little Hadham)
  76. cuckoo (Little Hadham)
  77. tawny owl (Little Hadham)
  78. barn owl (Titchwell)
  79. Little owl (Little Hadham)
  80. swift (Rainham Marsh)
  81. kingfisher (Titchwell)
  82. green woodpecker (Little Hadham)
  83. Great spotted woodpecker (Little Hadham)
  84. Lesser Spotted woodecker (Spellbrook)
  85. skylark (Choseley)
  86. swallow (Little Hadham)
  87. house martin (Hadham Hall)
  88. water pipit
  89. meadow pipit
  90. pied wagtail (All above: Titchwell)
  91. grey wagtail 
  92. wren
  93. dunnock 
  94. robin (All above: Little Hadham)
  95. black redstart (Dungeness)
  96. wheatear (Dungeness)
  97. stonechat
  98. redwing
  99. fieldfare (All above: Little Hadham)
  100. song thrush
  101. mistle thrush (Both Titchwell)
  102. blackbird (Little Hadham)
  103. garden warbler (Little Hadham)
  104. blackcap (Little Hadham)
  105. whitethroat (Thorley Wash)
  106. Dartford warbler (Kelling Water meadows)
  107. sedge warbler (Spellbrook)
  108. willow warbler (Little Hadham)
  109. chiffchaff (Titchwell)
  110. cetti's warbler (Titchwell)
  111. reed warbler (Rainham Marsh)
  112. goldcrest (Little Hadham)
  113. firecrest (Dungeness)
  114. spotted flycatcher (Rainham Marsh)
  115. great tit
  116. blue tit
  117. coal tit (All Little Hadham)
  118. marsh tit (Titchwell)
  119. long tailed tit 
  120. nuthatch 
  121. treecreeper 
  122. magpie
  123. jay
  124. jackdaw
  125. carrion crow
  126. rook (All above: Little Hadham)
  127. raven (Dungeness)
  128. starling
  129. house sparrow (All above: Little Hadham)
  130. tree sparrow (Dungeness)
  131. chaffinch  Little Hadham)
  132. brambling (Titchwell)
  133. linnet (Titchwell)
  134. goldfinch (Little Hadham)
  135. greenfinch (Little Hadham)
  136. siskin (North Creake)
  137. bullfinch (Little Hadham)
  138. reed bunting (Titchwell)
  139. lapland bunting (Blakeney Freshmarsh)
  140. yellowhammer (Choseley)
  141. corn bunting (Choseley)
updated 17.05.16

This is me

This is me
At the end of another Norfolk Coastal footpath walk. 47 miles, 3 days 99 species of bird. September 2009

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. In 2016 I spent time at Portland Bird Obs and two trips to Aviero, Portugal. 2017 found me back in Sri Lanka in Feb/March, then July and back for New Year's Eve celebrations in December. Also returned to The Camargue in May for a 4 day trip. Few plans for 2018, but nothing yet booked apart from a trip to the IOW.

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


Study of petals 11.06.08

male yellowhammer

male yellowhammer

common blue butterfly

common blue butterfly

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

Millenium Wood fox

Millenium Wood fox

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

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)


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

Fellow birder, Gary Whelan's blog. Gives reports from our trips out together plus reports from his trips abroad. 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. 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. 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.
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

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