Monday 9 October 2023

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Few days in Norfolk

 Species list.

  1. Mute swan
  2. Greylag Goose
  3. Canada goose
  4. Shelduck
  5. Egyptian goose
  6. Mallard
  7. Gadwall
  8. Shoveler
  9. Wigeon
  10. Teal
  11. Garganey
  12. Common scoter
  13. Pheasant
  14. Red throated diver
  15. Little grebe
  16. Fulmar
  17. Cory's shearwater
  18. Sooty Shearwater
  19. Manx shearwater
  20. Gannet
  21. Cormorant
  22. Little egret
  23. Grey heron
  24. Spoonbill
  25. Red Kite
  26. Marsh Harrier
  27. Common buzzard
  28. Kestrel
  29. Hobby
  30. Moorhen
  31. Coot
  32. Oystercatcher
  33. Avocet
  34. Ringed Plover
  35. Grey Plover
  36. Golden plover
  37. Lapwing
  38. Sanderling
  39. Turnstone
  40. Dunlin
  41. Curlew sandpiper
  42. Ruff
  43. Wood sandpiper
  44. Green sandpiper
  45. Common sandpiper
  46. Redshank
  47. Greenshank
  48. Black tailed godwit
  49. Curlew
  50. Snipe
  51. Black headed gull
  52. Common gull
  53. Mediterranean Gull
  54. Herring gull
  55. Lesser Black backed Gull
  56. Great Black backed gull
  57. Kittiwake
  58. Sandwich tern
  59. Common tern
  60. Little tern
  61. Razorbill
  62. Guillemot
  63. Stock dove
  64. Wood pigeon
  65. Collared dove
  66. Tawny Owl (heard)
  67. Swift
  68. Green Woodpecker
  69. Great spotted woodpecker
  70. Sand martin
  71. House martin
  72. Swallow
  73. Meadow pipit
  74. Pied wagtail
  75. Dunnock
  76. Wren
  77. Robin
  78. Stonechat
  79. Song thrush
  80. Mistle thrush
  81. Blackbird
  82. Blackcap
  83. Whitethroat
  84. Reed warbler
  85. Cetti's warbler (heard)
  86. Willow warbler
  87. Chiffchaff
  88. Great tit
  89. Blue tit
  90. Long tailed tit
  91. Bearded reedling
  92. Magpie
  93. Jay
  94. Carrion Crow
  95. Rook
  96. Jackdaw
  97. Starling
  98. House sparrow
  99. Chaffinch
  100. Greenfinch
  101. Goldfinch
  102. Linnet
  103. Reed bunting
  104. Yellowhammer

Saturday 10 June 2023

Yorkshire Trip 7 -

 Off to Bridlington for 3 nights. Places visited were:

Bempton Cliffs (Wednesday afternoon, Thursday evening, Friday evening)

Flamborough Head (Thursday morning, Friday afternoon)

Wykeham Forest and Raptor Viewpoint (Thursday midday)

Rosedale, North York Moors (Thursday afternoon)

Filey Dams Reserve (Friday morning)

Filey Brigg (Friday morning)

Hightor Tor Low Reserve (Saturday morning)

Blacktoft Sands RSPB Reserve (Saturday midday)

Home by 6pm Saturday having set off Wednesday 5.15am. Nearly 700 miles driven and a good trip list:

First sighting noted. Highlight of the trip was a Bee eater that I heard from the South Lagoon at Hightor Low Reserve. It flitted over the lagoon for less than a minute and was gone. Only my 4th record of this species in the UK, although I record loads of sightings when in The Camargue and The Algarve. Great bird to see.

  1. Mute Swan (Hightor Low)
  2. Greylag Goose (Filey Dams)
  3. Canada Goose (Filey Dams)
  4. Shelduck (Filey Dams)
  5. Mallard (Filey Dams)
  6. Gadwall (Filey Dams)
  7. Shoveler (Blacktoft Sands)
  8. Teal (Filey Dams)
  9. Garganey (Filey Dams, a pair)
  10. Tufted Duck (Filey Dams)
  11. Red Grouse (Rosedale)
  12. Pheasant (Bempton Cliffs)
  13. Red Throated Diver (Filey Brigg)
  14. Little Grebe (Blacktoft Sands)
  15. Fulmar (Bempton Cliffs)
  16. Gannet (Bempton Cliffs)
  17. Cormorant (Hightor Low)
  18. Shag (Flamborough Head)
  19. Little egret (Hightor Low)
  20. Great White egret (Blacktoft Sands)
  21. Grey Heron (Filey Dams)
  22. Red Kite (driving)
  23. Marsh Harrier (Hightor Low)
  24. Common Buzzard (Wykeham Raptor Viewpoint)
  25. Honey Buzzard (Wykeham Raptor Viewpoint)
  26. Sparrowhawk ( Filey Dams)
  27. Kestrel (A1 driving)
  28. Peregrine Falcon (Rosedale)
  29. Moorhen (Filey Dams)
  30. Coot (Filey Dams)
  31. Oystercatcher (Flamborough Head)
  32. Avocet (Filey Dams)
  33. Little Ringed Plover (Hightor Low)
  34. Lapwing (Filey Dams)
  35. Common Sandpiper (Hightor Low)
  36. Redshank (Flamborough Head)
  37. Greenshank (Filey Dams)
  38. Black tailed godwit (Blacktoft Sands)
  39. Curlew (Rosedale)
  40. Black Headed Gull (Flamborough Head)
  41. Herring Gull (Bempton Cliffs)
  42. Lesser Black Backed Gull (Hightor Low)
  43. Kittiwake (Bempton Cliffs)
  44. Common Tern (Hightor Low)
  45. Puffin (Bempton Cliffs)
  46. Guillemot (Bempton Cliffs)
  47. Razorbill (Bempton Cliffs)
  48. Wood Pigeon (Bempton Cliffs)
  49. Collared dove (Bridlington)
  50. Barn Owl (Bempton Cliffs)
  51. Swift (Bempton Cliffs)
  52. Bee eater (Hightor Low)
  53. Great Spotted woodpecker (heard, Wykeham Forest)
  54. Skylark (Bempton Cliffs)
  55. Sand Martin (Filey Brigg)
  56. Swallow (Bempton Cliffs)
  57. House Martin (Flamborough Head)
  58. Meadow Pipit (Bempton Cliffs)
  59. Pied Wagtail (Filey Dams)
  60. Yellow wagtail (Access Road, Hightor Low)
  61. Dunnock (Bempton Cliffs carpark)
  62. Robin (Bempton Cliffs carpark)
  63. Wheatear (Flamborough Head)
  64. Song Thrush (Bridlington)
  65. Mistle Thrush (Wykeham Forest)
  66. Blackbird (Bempton Cliffs)
  67. Ring Ouzel (Rosedale at The Kilns x2)
  68. Garden Warbler (Hightor Low)
  69. Blackcap (Filey Dams)
  70. Whitethroat (Bempton Cliffs)
  71. Sedge Warbler (Flamborough Head)
  72. Grasshopper Warbler (heard, Flamborough Head)
  73. Cettis Warbler (Hightor Low)
  74. Reed Warbler (Blacktoft Sands)
  75. Willow Warbler (Wykeham Forest)
  76. Chiffchaff (Bempton Cliffs carpark)
  77. Goldcrest (Wykeham Forest)
  78. Wren (Bempton Cliffs)
  79. Great tit (Bempton Cliffs)
  80. Blue Tit (Bempton Cliffs)
  81. Willow Tit (Wykeham Forest)
  82. Coal Tit (Wykeham Forest)
  83. Long Tailed tit (Bempton Cliffs carpark)
  84. Bearded Reedling (heard, Blacktoft Sands)
  85. Magpie (Bempton Cliffs)
  86. Jay (Approach Road, Bempton Cliffs)
  87. Jackdaw (Bempton Cliffs)
  88. Carrion Crow (Bempton Cliffs)
  89. Starling (Filey Brigg)
  90. House Sparrow (Bridlington)
  91. Tree Sparrow (Bempton Cliffs)
  92. Chaffinch (Bempton Cliffs)
  93. Linnet (Bempton Cliffs)
  94. Goldfinch (Filey Dams)
  95. Greenfinch (Filey Dams)
  96. Siskin (Wykeham Forest)
  97. Bullfinch (Wykeham Raptor Viewpoint and Hightor Low)
  98. Common Crossbill (Wykeham Forest)
  99. Reed Bunting (Filey Dams)
  100. Yellowhammer (Filey Brigg)
  101. Corn Bunting (Bempton Cliffs and Hightor Low approach Road)
  102. Feral Pigeon (ubiquitous)

Some of my favourite snaps of the trip.



Gannet enjoying the updraft

Recently fledged Tree Sparrow


Gannet thinking about having a salad!



Guillemot territorial dispute, note the Bridled form.

Nesting material



Have they seen the Fulmar?

Acrobatic Fulmar

Gannet that has suffered with Bird Flu. Note large pupil.


Tree Sparrow, extinct in my county of Hertfordshire, great to see so many.

Clifftop poppies at Flamborough Head.

Pied Wagtail

Recently fledged Tree Sparrow

Red Grouse

Meadow Pipit

More Puffins!

Juvenile Coot


Razorbill got the landing wrong. Splat! 2nd time around got it correct

Distant Shag


Distant drake Garganey at Filey Dams

New born Kittiwake

Juvenile Starling with parent

Flamborough Head seals

Emperor dragonfly

Guillemot on the updraft

Bempton Barn Owl


Wheatear at Flamborough Head

Posing Gannet

Razorbill just heard Boris Johnson has resigned!

Black tailed godwits at Blacktoft Sands

Grey heron in harsh light

Puffins and Razorbill

Gannet symmetry

World's worst Bee Eater photo from Hightor Low

Sunday 28 May 2023

Faro 23.05.23 - 27.05.23

 Quick trip for 3 day's birding. All 3 days were spent walking the Ria Formosa wetlands. Day 1: Quinta da Lago to Faro airport (10 miles) whilst day 2 was all around Fuseta and then the salt pans outside Faro (9 miles) and the last day a train to Tavira and again, the salt pans before a ferry over to Ilha de Tavira and back (8 miles)

The weather was hot with clear blue skies for most of the time so heat haze was a real problem. I tried to overcome this by a.) getting out on to the first train at 7am and b.) setting the camera to very fast speeds, up to 6400th of a second. To compensate for these speeds I had to increase the ISO which meant a rather grainy image when cropped, or a darker image. 

Photos here are 2nds as the really sharp ones will be included in my Portuguese presentation for Nat Hist societies and RSPB groups. Plus, I am planning on writing a pamphlet on birding in The Algarve and I shall use these better ones for that, as well.


  1. Mute swan
  2. Shelduck
  3. Mallard
  4. Great crested grebe
  5. Cormorant
  6. Cattle egret
  7. Little egret
  8. Glossy Ibis
  9. Spoonbill
  10. White stork
  11. Greater flamingo
  12. Coot
  13. Avocet
  14. Black winged stilt
  15. Ringed plover
  16. Kentish plover
  17. Sanderling
  18. Turnstone
  19. Dunlin
  20. Curlew sandpiper
  21. Common sandpiper
  22. Redshank
  23. Black tailed godwit
  24. Whimbrel
  25. Slender billed gull
  26. Yellow legged gull
  27. Audouin's gull
  28. Gull billed tern
  29. Little tern
  30. Wood pigeon
  31. Collared dove
  32. Scops owl (heard)
  33. Swift
  34. Pallid swift
  35. Hoopoe
  36. Bee eater (heard)
  37. Great spotted woodpecker (heard)
  38. Skylark
  39. Crested Lark
  40. Swallow
  41. House martin
  42. Pied wagtail
  43. Yellow wagtail ssp iberiae
  44. Robin
  45. Stonechat
  46. Song thrush
  47. Blackbird
  48. Sardinian warbler
  49. Whitethroat (heard)
  50. Zitting Cisticola
  51. Cetti's warbler
  52. Wren
  53. Great tit
  54. Blue tit
  55. Azure winged magpie
  56. Magpie
  57. Jay
  58. Jackdaw
  59. Starling
  60. House sparrow
  61. Chaffinch
  62. Goldfinch
  63. Linnet
  64. Greenfinch
  65. Serin
  66. Common waxbill
Cactus coming into flower




White stork

Azure winged magpie

Little egret with lunch

Crested Lark

Path over the Ria Formosa to the airport

Black tailed godwit

Black winged stilt

Greater flamingo

Ringed plover chasing a Kentish plover


Little egret

Little tern

Record shot of Audouin's gull

Shelduck with Sanderling, Dunlin and Redshank

Upper wings of Swallowtail butterfly

Underwings of same insect


Nesting Black winged stilt

Pleasant reflection

Black winged stilt eggs and nest

Another reflection

Crested Lark

Early morning flamingoes


Azure winged magpie

Another flowering cactus



Fuseta landscape


Asking me to move on as too near his nest.

Fuseta flamingoes

Slender billed gull

Sardinian warbler

Kentish plover

White stork

Kentish plover


Avocets and a BW Stilt

Greater flamingo


Plenty of Dunlin

One legged dunlin


Recently hatched Black winged stilt

Ringed plover


Curlew sandpiper

Fiddler crab

Collared dove

Little egret


Curlew sandpiper

Pair of dunlin with 2 Curlew sandpipers

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