Friday, 27 May 2011

Croxley Common Moor

A visit to this place an SSI site of Special Scientific Interest was my naturalist play ground my mother and father and her brother all worked at Dickinsons paper mill.
I would wait along the canal or River Gade fishing in the school holidays,the Gade produced roach and big Perch caught on minnows,today I was with Paul Lewis reminiscing my childhood.
On  arrival a Whitethroat greeted us and Blue tits were calling from a nest box as we entered along Ebury Way .

Crossing the moor reed bunting and willow warbler obliged with more whitethroats in territorial display.
Walking towards the river Gade the phragmites held displaying reed and sedge warblers,moving along the river we were distracted by flora notably birds foot trefoil and cranesbill amongst others.
Buff rumped bumble bees were polinating a thistle and there was breeding evidence of Moorhen with a juvenile,young blackcaps,goldfinch,greenfinch and starlings.
On departing a  lesser whitethroat obiged.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Canal festival at Rickmansworth

A re asonable success Sat was sunny and Sun was windy with sunny intervals,a few stalwarts were entertained  by a talk on Bury GP and Stockers gravel pits.
But the walks were a success with parents and children viewing a vast array of species being viewed from  the causeway between Stockers and Bury lake also taking in Stockers farm where Buzzards and Swallows  obliged,of note along the causeway a pair of Reed Bunting were feeding young,a Greenfinch was singing.
While overhead Common Tern were carrying fish to the females nesting on Stockers,on Bury lake the gaudy male Red Crested Pochard with it's duller female showed well,as did a Mute Swan with 6 cygnets as did the ever present Coot with a brood.
A great weekend for the Colne Valley and the Canal festival.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Return to Broadwater

Joe Crump picked me up around 10.00hrs,basically Joe wanted to know where this area was,we arrived it was cloudier today but chiff chaffs were calling in good numbers,and a passing but fleeting glimpse of kingfisher.
We followed the dry cracked ground,a prediction of the forthcoming drought?. Two girls working for Veiola
 or Thames water had been checking water levels, at some distance on Korda lake I could just make out Little ringed plover,while at Broadwater the terns were stuggling too find a breeding space amongst the numerous black headed gulls.
Overhead a Hobby obliged and th LRP had moved closer too confirm identification,returning down the track to Moorhall road blackcaps called along the River Colne as we headed home.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Tewinbury badger watch

Arrived Tewin 20.00hrs with Hugh Day,blackbirds were singing in an area of scattered fruit trees,as we walked with our fellow watchers we anticipated the evenings events.
Sitting comfortably in the hide just panels of glass between us and our nocturnal visitors,we were soon entertained by a single muncjac,then a green woodpecker left the tree in undulating flight.
In the nearby woods rabbits were in profusion,a cuckoo called in the distance then as the light faded a tawny owl was hunting the meadow, a juvenile was calling in the background awaiting dinner.
Around 22.00 hrs the badgers started leave there earth mound and walk towards the hide at one stage 7 of 9 individuals were visible,  a pair was actually mating at the den, I tried in vain to photograph without flash and in respect of fellow watchers and Tewin rules,it was too dark but it was just privelige to be here watching this event.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

On the border with Lewis

From Denham Way to Middlesex it takes 5 minutes by car,parking in Moorhall road in Denham we are soon walking a hundred yards towards Broadwater GP,nature reserve,after 20 yards we find a dead muncjac on the path swiftly followed by two may flys.
We crossed the Colne and enter the reserve,passing Korda lake,named after Alexander Korda a famous film maker from Denham film studios near by,incidentally he is buried in a cemetary in the Chalfonts near Maple Cross(not a lot a people know that).Back to the present bird song was everywhere a host of warblers and a riot of colour pink flowered Horse Chestnut trees and Demoiselle dragon flys on Alkernet flowers,while overhead Sparrowhawk outwits Carrion Crow,numerous gulls dispossessing Common Terns.Lewis spots a single Black Tern,I guessed we might get one on passage.
Canada geese with young and butterflies abound,red admiral,brimstone,orange tip.
Great crested grebes at nest and pairing up,a Hobby overhead,female green Demoiselles bodys glisten in the sunshine. A Chiffchaff's monotonous song is interupted by a cuckoo which poses in an Alder on the causeway.Mallards with broods move quickly along, amongst a backdrop of Campion in profusion.
Will  HS2 destroy this area,we passed 2 people in 2 hours of sheer bliss only mother nature to admire.
The Colne Valley should be  a National Park before it is destroyed ,for what another train line there is already one doing the same route with nobody on because people can't afford the fares and its cheaper by car.

On route we passed a dead badger and a dead muncjac,killed by people in a hurry going no where.