Sunday, 19 May 2013

An afternoon at the lakes

Here are a few photos from a couple of hours that I spent walking around the lakes, whilst Holly was at the Wildlife Explorers group.

Egyptian goose - one of five on the northern side of Ferry Lagoon

Great Crested Grebe - on the river

Female Hairy Dragonfly - Oxholme Drain

Friday, 17 May 2013

Black-winged Stilt

I had a county first today in the form of this fantastic Black-winged Stilt at Wicken Fen.

Read about it on the Outside the Patch page.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


A nice adult Goldfinch was on the nyjer seed this morning.

Monday, 18 March 2013

A few signs of spring

I haven't posted anything for a while, so here are a few photographs from Saturday afternoon's walk around Fen Drayton Lakes.
We dropped Holly off at her Wildlife Explorers Group and took Jet for a walk around Ferry Lagoon, along the river, down the western side of Drayton Lagoon to Moore Lake & back along the Busway. It was relatively quiet for birds, but there were some nice signs of the approaching spring.

Willow catkins
As well as the willows, the hazels also have catkins. Many species of tree are in bud, ready to burst into leaf any day now and there is a small amount of blackthorn blossom showing too.

Signs of spring - willow catkins & poplar buds next to the river, with Holywell church in the background
 When we got back to the Discovery Zone, the Wildlife Explorers had been very busy making wildlife art from natural materials found around the reserve. Here are some of their efforts:

A log garden

Decorating the log pile

A snail made of snail shells - this was Holly's

A nest

Lizard - I love the catkin tail bands

Lizard - head on view

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Harlequin Duck

Another successful long-distance twitch, this time for a drake Harlequin Duck. Read about it on the Outside the Patch page.

Harlequin Duck - not my photo!

Monday, 18 February 2013

1000 page views

I've had my first thousand page views. Thanks everyone!
Always happy to hear what you think about the blog.


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Splashing around the lakes

Here are a selection of photos from my afternoon walk around Fen Drayton Lakes:
Jet enjoyed splashing in the floodwater on Holywell Ferry Road
Drake Goldeneye, Ferry Lagoon
Goosanders & other wildfowl, Ferry Mere
Swavesey church
Wigeon, Ferry Lagoon
Ferry Pond
Balloon over Holywell

Goldeneyes, Ferry Lagoon
Magpie, Holywell Lake
One way to get through the floods
Another way!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Pine Grosbeak

Here are a couple of photos taken by one of my travelling companions, Jim Lawrence, from when we twitched the Pine Grosbeak.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Foot It - the results

For those of you that are interested, I came 38th out of 109 in the Foot It challenge. Scoring was based on the percentage of species seen against your original target.
Of those people that entered their lists onto the BUBO listing website, I came 5th out of 41. This is based on actual number of species seen.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

An amazing trip to Shetland

A full report on my incredible day-trip to the Shetland Islands, to twitch a Pine Grosbeak, in on the 'Outside the Patch' page. Here's a taster..........

1st winter Pine Grosbeak at Housetter, Mainland Shetland

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Grafham Water

A short report from our day out at Grafham is on the 'Out of the Patch' page.

Saturday, 2 February 2013


There are a few photographs of the female Hawfinch at Wimpole Hall on the 'Outside the Patch' page.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Lesser Redpolls

The first ever sighting of Lesser Redpoll in my garden was on 29/12/12, when two birds came in with some sparrows, but didn't hang around.
This morning, presumably the same birds returned & this time they stayed to feast on my nyjer seed.

A cropped image of the paler bird.

Enjoying the nyjer seed.
Here's a quick video that I shot through the back door.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

New page

I've added a new page entitled 'Outside the Patch'. On it I shall write reports & post photos from outside my Ouse Valley patch.
To start with, are some photographs & a short video of the Waxwing flock at Cambourne.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A white nun & two weasel coots

We enjoyed an excellent walk down to Fen Drayton Lakes, today. We saw 60 species in total, including the ones named in the title. Find out what they are on the Progress page.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Green & white

Just a couple of photographs from this morning's walk to Ouse Fen.

Green Woodpecker - a nice, showy male

British White calf - pretending to be a polar bear (but the black ears give it away!)
I would have taken more, but the battery on my camera packed in! :-(

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fun in the snow

A cracking afternoon walking in the snow & another tick on my Foot It list. Details are on the progress page.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Made it!

See which two species helped me reach my 100 target on the Foot It progress 2013 page.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A wintery walk

Here are some photographs from this morning's walk around Ouse Fen & Overcote.

Some frosty shots from around the village
This great tit didn't seem to be too bothered by the cold

Heading out to the Fen
Cell 1
The kingfisher ditch
Waterfowl on Cell 3
Waterfowl on Cell 2

Heading towards Overcote
Middle Fen

This fella was looking for food in a stubble field near Lowbury Holme
No new birds seen today, but it was a very enjoyable walk nonetheless.

Monday, 14 January 2013

A snowy morning

With snow on the ground, I had enough time for a morning walk out to Ouse Fen. Read about it on the Foot It progress 2013 page.
I'm moving ever closer to my end of January target.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Foot It progress 2013 page has been updated

After an excellent day's birding, I'm much closer to my 100 species target. All the details can be found on the Foot It progress 2013 page.
One of the species I saw was Whooper Swan. This was a patch tick (my 183rd in just over 5 years) for me; one I expected to see much sooner than I have!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Another day, another Foot It update

Read about how I braved the floods in my quest for gulls on the Foot It progress 2013 page.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

My latest Foot It adventure

Check out the Foot It progress 2013 page to see how well I'm doing!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Day 2 of the Foot It challenge

See how I got on on the second day of my challenge on the Foot It progress page.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A New Year and a new challenge

Today, 01/01/2013, was not only the first day of the year, but also the first day of my Foot It challenge. I've created a new page where I will post my progress over the coming month & the first entry has just been added.

I'm trying to see 100 species, on foot, during the month of January. Wish me luck!