Latest Sightings

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!

Today's UK surface pressure chart.

27th June 2014

After a week of house painting, today I've been inducted into my new ecological project at Cardington in Bedfordshire. More to come as the project progresses, but here are a couple of pictures of the historic airship hangars that the project is adjacent to.

A pair of Peregrine Falcons have been nesting on the rear of the hangars for the past few years. Today I had a good view when the male brought back what appeared to be a Skylark and was greeted, mid-air, by the female and 2 well-grown young, one of whom tried to grab it off him, sending them spiralling down for a while!

25th June 2014

Whilst painting a house on the Hemmingwell in Wellingborough I couldn't believe my eyes when a Spoonbill flew over, quite low, heading south!

24th to 30th May 2014

Had a wonderful family holiday in Northumberland. Weather was great and we got over to my old workplace, the Farne Islands. Very funny seeing wife and daughters being pounded by the nesting Arctic Terns. To give them credit they didn't fuss about it, although wife did a bit!

Gosling Family pounded by Arctic Terns

19th May 2014

Set the moth trap up overnight. A meagre hall - 3 or four micros that zapped off as soon as I opened the trap, a burying beetle sp., a caddis fly, a Brimstone, a White Ermine and a Buff Ermine and a couple of Treble Lines.

Spent the majority of the afternoon in the garden. As is my habit, I kept a bird list. Although not the largest (26 species) the quality was excellent - highlights were 4 Hobbys together, a Red Kite and, top bird and a first for the garden list, a Whimbrel flying over calling.

There were also a few interesting insects around, including a tiny but colourful moth Pyrausta aurata (no English name) and less than 2cm in wingspan...

...and a Blue-tailed Damselfly...

18th May 2014

Another early morning at Ditchford leading a short walk for the Wildlife Trust. Much quieter than last time, highlights being Cuckoo and a preponderance of Wrens!

Back home in the afternoon I was treated to the sight of my first Hobby of the year and a rather tatty Buzzard - one of the local birds looking a bit worse for wear from its domestic duties!

There is a very healthy House Sparrow population in Little Irchester, and from my garden I can watch the small colonies going about their nesting activities. I videoed two adjacent nests for 5 minutes yesterday afternoon, and the results were interesting. One nest had 6 visits, the other three. It is interesting to speculate as to why one nest had a "better" stream of food than the other (there are many reasons, amongst them just the chance that the 5 minutes I chose just happened to be when one of the parents was having a bit of me time!).

More interesting too is the multiplication up of the samples for a whole day - light at 5am, dark at 8pm -
potentially 540 visits a day, just for three visits every five minutes!

3rd May 2014

Up early and at Ditchford Lakes by 5.50 to be first-aider and back-marker for a Wildlife Trust guided walk around the lakes led by Chris Green. Seventeen people on the walk, all of whom would later be canoeing up to Stanwick for breakfast. The things some people do for pleasure! I include myself in that remark.

Lovely sunny morning, and the mist rising from the lakes made for a beautiful sight. Half expected an arm holding a sword to surface at any moment.

Good numbers of summer visitors singing included Blackcap, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and Cuckoo. A Heron being soundly chased off by a female Mallard with ducklings was an interesting sight and sound.