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    Welcome to my wildlife website

    This page is my "diary" of wildlife sightings and adventures mainly from my home patch, Little Irchester in Northamptonshire, and elsewhere when we manage to get away. Please explore the links on the left too.

    More information about my home patch can be found here. More info on what scarcer birds are currently in Northamptonshire can be found here.

    You can contact me by e-mail at

    I try to make my living as an ecologist and environmental specialist, but when work is thin on the ground, I do other things!
    13th April 2014

    Another lovely day. Spent the afternoon in the garden in the beautiful sunshine. A Blackcap singing in a neighbours holly tree was a treat, but the real prize was when a stonking great Peregrine circled east over the garden, attracting a little attention from the local Buzzards!

    11th April 2014

    A morning in Lamport, digging a veg patch and shifting firewood, was again blessed by good weather. Birdsong all around, Buzzards displaying above, and my first singing Blackcap of the year.

    10th April 2014

    Another good day at Stanwick. A short walk bagged my first Sedge Warbler, Sand Martins (I don't get out much!) and Cetti's of the year.

    9th April 2014

    A day at Stanwick Wonderful Woodcraft event, manning my Littlechester Oak stall. Excellent weather. A good few caddis flys bombing around enjoying the sun. Birdwise, two Red Kites over, three Buzzards circling together, four Oystercatchers and my first two Common Terns of the year.

    8th April 2014

    Digging over a veg plot in Lamport this morning, and what a beautiful morning it was. Crisply cool to start, but with some warmth in the sun.

    Birdsong all around, the highlight being my first Willow Warbler of the year, and recently arrived Swallows careering around the building and the field adjacent.

    30th March 2014

    I was at Stanwick Lakes today, not for birding but attending the Producers Market with my oak items (see I do other things!). A pair of Pied Wagtails coming and going behind my stall provided interest, as did 2 Buzzards and 3 Red Kites circling together over the site.

    29th March 2014

    Lovely spring weather meant an attack on the garden. Joy of joys, the mower started on the first pull!!

    I had 31 species of bird during the day in or over or heard from the garden. Highlights being a singing Chiffchaff in next door's ash tree, 4 Fieldfare heading purposefully east, Stock Dove, also in the aforementioned ash tree, and Green and Greater-spotted Woodpeckers (the latter flying over the garden).

    Best day of the year too for butterflies, with Brimstone, Peacock and Comma.

    26th March 2014

    Recently there have been large numbers of Starlings roosting in the valley below Little Irchester. A neighbour,  Michael Hutchinson, was on the allotment on the evening of the 15th March and took the video below on his phone.

    Line dancing for Starlings

    What an incredible sight. I have heard accounts that, that week, traffic along the London Road came to a standstill whilst the flocks were in motion. Fortunately no accidents!

    23rd March 2014

    A very good day. I led a Wetland Birds workshop for the Wildlife Trust, indoor a Grendon Village Hall (excellent venue) and then around Summer Leys.

    I knew a Long-tailed Duck was on Mary's Lake, and hoped we'd pick that up. What I didn't expect was when one of my sharp-eyed students spotted a Bittern among the reeds! We had excellent views as it moved through the reedbed some 50 metres away. What a great start.

    Further round we got the LTD, showing very nicely, if a little sleepily, with a group of Tufted Duck. My joy was slightly marred by the development of a migraine aura, but this fortunately passed in about half an hour without the ensuing headache.

    THE Long-tailed Duck. Photo by Doug Goddard. Linked to via the Northants Birds website.
    Long-tailed Duck, Earls Barton GP, 3rd March 2014 (Doug Goddard) - Linked via Northants Birds website.

    Another highlight was a Curlew standing where, until recently, several hundred Golden Plover had been a daily sight. No sign of any GP's today though!

    The tally at the end of the day was 50 species. I will be supporting Sport Relief with a 10p per bird donation, and a little more added for the Bittern and LTD!

    22nd March 2014

    I've not posted for a considerable time, as I've been very busy. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!

    Busy has been good as it means that I have been working and managing to support the family, but I'm a bit disappointed that I haven't been able to share my wildlife related experiences with you. Anyway, this is a new start and I hope to be more organised!