Saturday 17 October 2020

2020 Bird Year list

I don't often keep a year list of birds but thought this year has been so different I thought it would be worth recording for posterity. This is a list, as far as I can recall up until 17th December.

Song thrush

  1. Red throated diver
  2.  Little grebe
  3.  Great crested grebe
  4.  Fulmar (Weybourne beach, Norfolk)
  5.  Gannet
  6.  Cormorant
  7.  Cattle egret (Burnham Overy Staithe)
  8.  Little egret
  9. Great egret (Titchwell)
  10.  Grey heron
  11.  Spoonbill (Stiffkey, Norfolk)
  12.  Mute swan
  13.  Pink footed goose
  14.  Greylag goose
  15.  Canada goose
  16.  Barnacle goose
  17.  Brent goose
  18.  Shelduck
  19.  Egyptian goose
  20.  Mallard
  21.  Gadwall
  22.  Shoveler
  23.  Teal
  24.  Pochard
  25.  Tufted duck
  26.  Common scoter
  27.  Goldeneye
  28.  Red kite
  29.  Marsh harrier
  30.  Hen harrier (Wighton, Norfolk)
  31.  Common buzzard
  32.  Sparrowhawk
  33.  Kestrel
  34.  Hobby
  35.  Peregrine
  36.  Red legged partridge
  37.  Grey partridge
  38. Pheasant
  39.  Water rail
  40.  Coot
  41.  Moorhen
  42.  Oystercatcher
  43.  Avocet
  44.  Little ringed plover
  45.  Ringed plover
  46.  Grey plover
  47.  Golden plover
  48.  Lapwing
  49.  Knot
  50.  Sanderling
  51.  Turnstone
  52.  Dunlin
  53.  Green sandpiper
  54.  Redshank
  55.  Greenshank
  56.  Black tailed godwit
  57.  Bar tailed godwit
  58.  Curlew
  59.  Snipe
  60.  Red necked phalarope (Salthouse, Norfolk)
  61.  Ruff
  62.  Great skua (Titchwell)
  63.  Black headed gull
  64.  Herring gull
  65.  Lesser black backed gull
  66.  Greater black backed gull
  67.  Common gull
  68.  Mediterranean gull (Titchwell)
  69.  Sandwich tern
  70.  Common tern
  71.  Wood pigeon
  72.  Collared dove
  73.  Cuckoo (heard)
  74.  Tawny owl
  75.  Little owl
  76.  Short eared owl (Wallington nr Baldock)
  77.  Barn owl
  78.  Swift
  79.  House martin
  80.  Sand martin
  81.  Swallow
  82.  Hoopoe (Wighton, Norfolk)
  83.  Kingfisher
  84.  Rose ringed parakeet
  85.  Green woodpecker
  86.  Great spotted woodpecker
  87.  Skylark
  88.  Rock pipit
  89.  Meadow pipit
  90.  Pied wagtail
  91.  Yellow wagtail
  92.  Grey wagtail
  93.  Wren
  94.  Dunnock
  95.  Robin
  96.  Redstart
  97.  Wheatear 
  98.  Song thrush
  99.  Mistle thrush
  100.  Fieldfare
  101.  Redwing
  102.  Blackbird
  103.  Ring ouzel (Garden Drove, Warham Greens, Norfolk)
  104.  Barred warbler (Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk)
  105.  Garden warbler
  106.  Blackcap
  107.  Lesser whitethroat
  108.  Whitethroat
  109.  Sedge warbler
  110.  Cetti's warbler
  111.  Reed warbler
  112.  Willow warbler
  113.  Chiffchaff
  114.  Radde's warbler (Wells Woods, Norfolk. Only the 3rd I have ever seen in UK)
  115.  Yellow browed warbler (Wells Woods, Norfolk)
  116.  Pallas's warbler (Holkham Pines, Norfolk)
  117.  Goldcrest
  118.  Spotted flycatcher
  119.  Pied flycatcher (Wells Woods, Norfolk)
  120.  Red breasted flycatcher (Wells Woods, Norfolk)
  121.  Great tit
  122.  Coal tit
  123.  Marsh tit
  124.  Blue tit
  125. Long tailed tit
  126.  Bearded reedling
  127.  Nuthatch
  128.  Tree creeper
  129.  Brown shrike (Warham Greens, Norfolk)
  130.  Magpie
  131.  Jay
  132.  Carrion crow
  133.  Raven (Garden!)
  134.  Jackdaw
  135.  Rook
  136.  Starling
  137.  House sparrow
  138.  Chaffinch
  139.  Brambling (Burnham Overy Staithe)
  140.  Linnet
  141.  Lesser redpoll
  142.  Goldfinch
  143.  Greenfinch
  144.  Siskin
  145.  Bullfinch
  146.  Reed bunting
  147.  Yellowhammer
  148.  Snow bunting
  149.  Siskin
  150.  Woodcock
  151.  Goosander
  152.  Corn bunting
  153.  Merlin
  154.  Stonechat
  155.  Iceland gull (Weybourne beach, Norfolk)
  156.  Red breasted merganser
  157.  Eider
  158.  Wigeon
  159.  Great northern diver



Iceland gull

Short eared owl

Return to Norfolk

 Last Wednesday (14th October) there were easterlies blowing over the North Sea along with heavy rain. Perfect conditions for forcing migrants to seek shelter and as Friday was a free day, I set off just after 5am for another day based around Wells Next the Sea. 

My usual coffee and snack at Wells Co-Op and then along to Garden Drove, some 3 miles east of Wells. Along the very muddy track before parking near the pig fields and down the track which emerges on Warham Greens. A covey of young Grey partridges greeted my arrival as I changed into my walking boots, collected the camera and binoculars and was off. Everything and anything was possible here so each tree was checked along the 600 yard track. Goldcrests in their 100's! A sycamore and adjacent oak was absolutely swarming with them but the light was not good enough so I planned to get some snaps as I returned to the car.

On to the Coastal Footpath and headed west towards Wells. Thrush species in good number: Fieldfare (a few,) Redwing (loads,) Scandinavian blackbirds showing their all black bill (100's) along with a few rattling Mistle thrushes and a solitary Song thrush. Goldfinches and linnets also in good sized flocks whilst out on the Greens: Brent geese, Little egrets, Redshanks and curlews along with Black headed gulls a plenty. A good start. Flocks of Skylarks overhead and further inland the constant sound of Pink footed geese. Wrens alarm called, Robins sang and a very brief view of a Ring ouzel, my first of the season, its silvery wings distinguishing it from the numerous blackbirds.

After about a mile, I decided to head back and there was nothing new appearing. I checked a well known hollow, full of brambles but just thrush sp, reed buntings and finches. I arrived back at Garden Drove to note a few more goldcrests hovering over and under leaves. Always a chance of a Siberian warbler species in with them and it wasn't long before I caught sight of a larger bird with bright yellow over the eye, a Yellow browed warbler. This bird breeds upon the Siberian Taiga. First of 3 that I found.

Back to the main flock of goldcrests that appeared to have grown in number. All very active and busy feeding, so much so they often came too close for the camera to focus. Again, I checked through them for anything else, but nothing was apparent. A superb sight, the most I have ever come across in such a small area. Needless to say, I fired off many photos in still grey light. I messed around with manual settings and a few came out reasonably well lit but many did not!

A flock of wigeon headed west as I arrived back at the car, already suitably pleased and rather muddy.

Grey partridge
Pied wagtail

Pink foots


Song thrush, note arrow head shaped spots that helps distinguish from Mistle thrush

Scandinavian/Siberian blackbird showing black bill

Feeding frenzy of Goldfinches


Male goldcrest showing orange crown

Goldcrests were never still!

Female goldcrest showing yellow crown

The wingbar here helps search out yellow browed warbler as they have two bars

Checking for insects and spiders

This sycamore leaf gives an indication of how small this female is

Great expression from this female

Wigeon flock heading west

I now headed off to Wells Woods and stumped up a rather extortionate £3.50 for two hours of parking at the beach car park. I headed towards the Dell but by the time I arrived there it was clearly apparent that there were few, if any migrants present. In fact there were hardly any birds: Great tits, Long tailed tits, wrens, Blue tits and Robins along with an overhead kestrel. These were expensive birds! A yellow browed warbler called from a distant birch, proving too fast for the camera and a female blackcap sat atop a bramble pile. I continued to check the bushes but very little to be found so, having checked the boating lake where Little grebe got on to the day list I was back at the car after 45 minutes. 

Little grebe
Definite sign of few birds if you resort to photographing Grey squirrels!

I now headed to Lady Anne's Drive opposite the Victoria hotel at Holkham. Same price structure for parking here so another £3.50 and off I went. A Great white egret flew over before landing in a ditch at distance whilst Grey lag geese, Egyptian geese, wigeon, lapwings and a few curlews probed the muddy pastures. A Wall butterfly roosted on a car hubcap.

Into Holkham pines and headed west. Again, very little apart from goldcrests again. I stopped to check through this very mobile flock but just another Yellow browed so I moved further west. Just before the Jordan tower hide another fall of goldcrests in an oak. Surely this time I would get something else, a Firecrest perhaps, but no, better than that. Right at the back, feeding rapidly in a birch a bird slightly larger than goldcrest but showing a yellow crown stripe but with 2 broad yellow eye stripes, too and a pair of wingbars, a Pallas's warbler. I watched it hover over leaves much like a goldcrest whereupon the yellow rump was visible, sealing the id. Another Siberian taiga bird brought over by the easterlies. I fired of photos but the light was so poor and the bird so fast that it was pointless.

Photo here from the internet to get an idea what this wonderful sprite looks like. Not a regular bird for the UK, just my 5th ever and all from Holkham and Wells Woods

By now my time was close to expiring and I know how diligent the car park attendants are along here so back to the car and off to my final destination of the day.

Distant great white egret

Incoming Greylags
Unusual roost for a Wall butterfly


Pink foots

Pallas's warbler (not my photo)

I parked opposite a path that leads to the dunes some 2 miles out from Burnham Overy Staithe and set off again, checking hedges. A chiffchaff called its autumn wheet wheet call and in neighbouring fields plenty of geese. Meadow pipits greeted me on the old sea defence wall, not the coastal footpath and over the mud flats plenty of redshanks probed. Huge parties of linnets and goldfinches as I started to check bushes around Gun Hill but, as last time I was there, very little to be found so I headed back to the board walk for the 1.5 mile walk back east towards Holkham Pines. Far across the fields a Short Eared owl sat on the ground, another season's first and plenty of stonechat on top of brambles.

Just before entering into the pines, not 400 yards from where I hade been near the Jordan tower hide, there is well known hollow which is overgrown with brambles and plenty of cover for skulking migrants. Several other birders were already present but there was plenty of room for us all so I was content being there. A Barred warbler had been seen earlier in the day as well as a Siberian stonechat. The Barred warbler is a bird that usually stays well hidden in deep vegetation as is often found on call rather than sight. After a few minutes a rounded grey bird popped up, took a berry and was gone. That was the view for the next 20 minutes before it showed a couple more times. By now, it was useless light but I fired away more in hope than expectation. The results speak for themselves.

No sign of the unusual stonechat but in a field of Belted Galloway cattle, a grey heron and a pair of cattle egrets. One of the egrets was feeding upon a frog. Huge numbers of cormorant were coming into roost, often in parties of 35+ and the pink foots were heading off to their night time roost as well. I headed back to the car in the gathering gloom having had another great day. So many birds within just a few miles of Wells and no need to visit a busy bird reserve. I had covered over 10 miles on foot. Before finishing I managed a few grey photos of dunlin on the mud but sadly, by the time I got a reasonable view of the hunting Short eared owl it was just too dark to bother. Another day for this species. 

Wading redshank

A very strange and short lived light over the dunes

Feeding goldfinch

More goldfinches

Loads of linnets, 1 Goldfinch

Best I could manage of the distant and elusive Barred warbler

No sooner seen, than gone!

Grey heron using the Belted Galloways to disturb its prey

Cattle egret with frog

Cormorants off to roost

Golden plover flock

Cormorant in rapidly darkening sky

Feeding dunlin

Last photo of the day, Pink footed geese.

Species list

  1. Little grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Cattle egret
  4. Little egret
  5. Great white 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.  Wigeon
  17.  Teal
  18.  Marsh harrier
  19.  Red kite
  20.  Common buzzard
  21.  Kestrel
  22.  Peregrine falcon
  23.  Grey partridge
  24.  Red legged partridge
  25.  Pheasant
  26.  Moorhen
  27.  Coot
  28.  Golden plover
  29.  Lapwing
  30.  Dunlin
  31.  Redshank
  32.  Curlew
  33.  Snipe
  34.  Black headed gull
  35.  Herring gull
  36.  Lesser black backed gull
  37.  Wood pigeon
  38.  Collared dove
  39.  Short eared owl
  40.  Green woodpecker
  41.  Great spotted woodpecker
  42.  Skylark
  43.  Meadow pipit
  44.  Pied wagtail
  45.  Wren
  46.  Dunnock
  47.  Robin
  48.  Stonechat
  49.  Song thrush
  50.  Mistle thrush
  51.  Fieldfare
  52.  Redwing
  53.  Blackbird
  54.  Ring ouzel
  55.  Blackcap
  56.  Chiffchaff
  57.  Barred warbler
  58.  Cetti's warbler (heard)
  59.  Yellow browed warbler
  60.  Pallas's warbler
  61.  Goldcrest
  62. Great tit
  63. Coal tit
  64.  Blue tit
  65.  Long tailed tit
  66.  Bearded reedling (Heard)
  67.  Nuthatch
  68.  Magpie
  69.  Jay
  70.  Jackdaw
  71.  Rook
  72.  Carrion crow
  73.  Starling
  74.  House sparrow
  75.  Chaffinch
  76.  Goldfinch
  77.  Linnet
  78.  Greenfinch
  79.  Reed bunting
Yet another Goldcrest, female

Tuesday 6 October 2020

Amazing day in North Norfolk

 There had been some superb North easterlies pushing birds into North Norfolk at the end of last week and Monday was the first opportunity I had to see what had arrived. I appreciated plenty would have moved on but felt sure there would still be birds about in good numbers. I wasn't disappointed. Leaving home before 5am, coffee at Wells Co-Op at 7, a quick drive down Lady Anne's Drive to check for late owls and then straight to Burnham Overy Dunes along the sea defence as thought the path down from the road may be too much of a quagmire and wet feet early in the day wouldn't be great.

The light was really poor, making photos tricky but I persevered in manual as much as possible. Meadow pipits everywhere, 3 wheatear on the fence and wire, several low flying swallows and a few cattle egret with the cattle. A first for me in Norfolk, cattle egrets that is, not cows!

I arrived at the boardwalk and checked the brambles and apple tree which has held many good birds for me over the decades. A pair of blackcaps skulked here, whilst wrens, dunnocks, blue tits were scrabbling around in the brambles. Nothing too noteworthy in the dunes and marram grass so over the boardwalk to Gun Hill. Meadow pipits everywhere, 100's if not 1000's. I checked some to see if there were any other species such as olive backed pipits, but drew a blank. There are only so many pipits you can look at.

Cormorant flyover and a chiffchaff in brambles also. Several fieldfare were flushed but nothing on the ground as I checked as many bushes as possible. Back to the board walk where a rock pipit popped up before I noted movement under a sueda bush. Just about to dismiss them all as House sparrows when a brambling popped out onto a rock. My first of the season. Constant movement of geese overhead, too

Rock pipit

Little egret

Greylag geese

Distant cattle egret


Meadow pipit

Meadow pipit at Gun Hill

Westerly cormorant


Goldfinch under darkening skies

Male blackcap

Wheatear balancing in the breeze

wheatear and meadow pipit
windswept Reed bunting

Mute swan

A very early morning Goldfinch

Superb Brambling

Once back at the car I headed towards Salthouse, with a plan to work my way back to Wells over the course of the day. I took a short detour to Wighton following reports of a hoopoe. Arrived on site but too many folk for my likening and as non were looking through scopes or binoculars I assumed it wasn't showing at that point, so off to Salthouse.
Here, the skies were threatening. I left the camera well hidden in the car, not wanting to get to Gramborough Hill and be caught in a downpour. This virtually guaranteed either a really good bird would be found or a bird would pose perfectly for a shot. The former happened as there was a red necked phalarope on water to the west of the beach road. As it happened, it was probably too distant for a photo anyway as I tried to get the best views. Very little on Gramborough Hill, plenty of curlew and gulls on the fields, so I headed back, thinking Wells Woods should offer some consolation. I stopped off to check Walsey Hills and Snipe's Marsh but nothing here to add to the list apart from a greenfinch before I parked at the beach carpark, bought 3 hours worth of time and headed off, the skies being clearer so camera in tow.
Blackcaps and chiffchaffs regularly seen as I headed to The Dell. The wettest I have known it for years, with plenty of standing water. Small copper, Wall butterflies and several Migrant hawkers caught the eye, as did a pair of busy Yellow browed warblers flitting through birch. I fired off a few shots before realising I hadn't checked the settings. All hugely over exposed after Burnham greyness. A pied flycatcher flew into trees beyond the Dell and more c]blackcaps. I took the path along which a 1st year red backed shrike had been reported, but no luck for me today. Suddenly, all the lapwings and gulls went up from the adjacent field. I looked skyward and there, high over the woods, a hen harrier, its white rump reflecting in a rare moment of clear sunshine. A hobby flew over at the same time. I tried for some shots of the harrier but just too high to be more than a hugely cropped dot!
Back into the woods between the caravan site and the toilet block. Trees were loaded with birds: goldcrests, goldfinches, Lesser redpoll, Chaffinches, chiffchaffs, blackcaps etc. Now cloudy and dark under the canopy. I arrived at the huge Scots Pine with the rope swing attached. Here, plenty of bramble on the sandy slopes, great for skulking warblers so I took time just to stand and look and listen. Wrens, blackcaps and a chiffchaff popped up before a browner bird showing, in the brief moment it was atop a bramble, a thick white eye stripe, yellow/pale orange legs and feet and a warm yellow colouring under the tail. The breast was a warm yellow colour, too with a white area under the beak. Within 5 seconds it was gone. A Radde's warbler. To confirm it then clicked several times from the depths of the brambles. First I have seen for a few years, my last was here, too.
I arrived back on the path and a kestrel appeared and hovered directly overhead. I shot off photos but it was too close, I had to wind down the lens. It dived into grass right in front of me before flying off. Too close for the camera. This led to chats with several other birders and walkers who had stopped to watch it. One final check through the birches and, in the darkest area of the wood, a redstart popped up and posed just long enough for a snap. I pushed the ISO right up to compensate.
By now, my 3 hours were almost up. I headed back to the car, checked the boating lake but just a Little grebe made the day list.
Migrant hawker

super Redstart

Female blackcap enjoying blackberries


Wall butterfly

Wall underwings

Nectaring upon knapweed

Another chiffchaff

Overhead kestrel
Being watched

same bird

Male blackcap highlighting photo problems of birds hiding in brambles on a cloudy day in a wood

Pleasing kestrel shot, another bird 


I got to the car 7 minutes after my time expired but all was fine so off to park at Stiffkey High Creeks campsite and take a wander along to the Whirligig roundabout along the coastal footpath. Had a chat to several birders who had walked from Morston to the east and reported very little apart from waders and wildfowl at Stiffkey Fen and a few bits and bobs, so I stuck to my plan of heading west. I too didn't find too much and nothing to add to the list. I scanned Warham Greens for spoonbill but only Little egrets. No signs of a merlin and probably too early for hen harriers to come into roost. I then caught sight of a few blue tits and a female blackbird flying irritatedly around some ivy. Worth a check and sure enough, a magnificent Tawny owl was tucked away. Super to see. I checked the marshes once again and by now, at around 5.30pm the light was getting really poor and some cars had headlights on. Time to pop up to see if the hoopoe was still present before cutting through to Egmere and home. 
Distant redshank in the last of the sunshine

Black headed gull in the gathering gloom
Golden plover flock

A watchful Tawny owl

Wonderful to see

Think I'm being watched

Looking east

I arrived at Wighton and only 3 other birders present, so plenty of room. The hoopoe was feeding and probing around in tall weeds near a dung heap. I messed around with settings to try for some shots but by now cricketers would have certainly left the field for bad light. I stretched to ISO a little and had some success, if somewhat grainy. My first Norfolk hoopoe after one at Dungeness and the well watched one I found in Bishop's Stortford in 2007. Great to see and a fitting finale to a superb day. 
Hoopoe in semi darkness

Species List.

  1. Little grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Cattle egret
  4. Little Egret
  5. Grey heron
  6. Mute swan
  7. Pink footed goose
  8.  Greylag goose
  9.  Canada goose
  10.  Shelduck
  11. Egyptian goose
  12. Mallard
  13.  Gadwall
  14. Shoveller
  15.  Wigeon 
  16.  Red kite
  17.  Marsh harrier
  18.  Hen harrier (female)
  19.  Common buzzard
  20.  Sparrowhawk
  21.  Kestrel 
  22.  Hobby
  23.  Red legged partridge
  24.  Grey partridge
  25.  Pheasant
  26. Moorhen
  27.  Coot
  28.  Golden plover
  29.  Lapwing
  30.  Redshank
  31.  Red necked phalarope
  32.  Curlew
  33.  Black headed gull
  34.  Herring gull
  35. Lesser black backed gull
  36.  Wood pigeon
  37. Collared dove
  38.  Tawny owl
  39.  Hoopoe
  40. Skylark
  41.  Swallow
  42.  Rock pipit
  43. Meadow pipit
  44.  Pied wagtail
  45.  Wren
  46.  Dunnock
  47.  Robin
  48.  Redstart
  49.  Wheatear
  50.  Fiedlfare
  51.  Blackbird
  52.  Blackcap
  53.  Cetti's warbler
  54.  Chiffchaff
  55.  Radde's warbler
  56.  Yellow browed warbler
  57.  Goldcrest
  58.  Pied flycatcher
  59.  Great tit
  60. Blue tit
  61. Coal tit
  62.  Long tailed tit
  63.  Bearded reedling
  64.  Magpie
  65.  Jay
  66.  Jackdaw
  67.  Carrion crow
  68.  Rook
  69.  Starling
  70.  House sparrow
  71.  Chaffinch
  72.  Greenfinch
  73.  Goldfinch
  74.  Brambling
  75.  Linnet
  76.  Lesser redpoll
  77.  Reed bunting
Certainly a long way short of a good list by species count but not everyday you get: Red necked phalarope, Hen Harrier, Redstart, Pied flycatcher, Hoopoe Tawny owl and Radde's warbler, so, as I did a fortnight ago, settle for quality rather than quantity

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