Mark Hows - 2018 Wildlife Blog

Welcome to my wildlife blog - I will chronicle my exploits looking for wildlife in the UK and post links to trip reports from further afield. I have plenty of target species this year from Whitebeams to Ladybirds and plenty of things in between and tracking these down will keep me busy. I will be doing plenty of mammal watching and there will be some twitching in the mix as well which should keep me out of trouble - hopefully! and all this will be fuelled by lots of Chips and Ice Cream.


Tuesday 12th - Forest Foray

Nightjar Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary

A big day out arriving in the Cheddar gorge at dawn and having the place to myself, it was a cracking sunrise and I waited until the sun was up before ascending the north cliffs in search of Cheddar pinks. There were plenty in flower on the edge of the cliffs and looking down growing on the ledges as well. This is the only place where Cheddar whitebeam grows and having visited before knew were some individuals were to take a look at. Back down in the gorge I found some feral goats before ascending the south side in search of general plants but nothing of note before heading off. I arrived in the Forest of Dean and met up with Ben and we headed off for an epic day. Our first target was wood white but the sunny conditions earlier had disappeared behind cloud and we came up blank. We took a walk looking for some wild boar but despite lots of sign we did not see any but we did have a nice view of a Goshawk. Next stop was for dippers and we had a nice view of one on a small stream. Ice cream time at a small cafe as the sun put in an appearance, so we tried small pearl bordered fritillaries and we saw half a dozen including one very co-operative one. The improved conditions saw us return to the wood white site just one showing but it was very photogenic. A nice golden ringed dragonfly was one of half a dozen species at this site. We tried more dippers but only found beautiful demoiselles so tried for some wild boar. We drew a blank with wild boar but as we drove to another site to try a small sounder crossed the road in front of us. We knew where they went in so followed a path to try to head them off but just missed bumping into them as they had already crossed the path, but we got some brief views as they climbed the small hill next to us. It was time for refreshment at Speech House Hotel where chips and beer were selected for sustenance. We then met up with a nightjar researcher to help search for a nest, we could not find the nest but saw and heard several nightjars. Some interesting behaviour was observed, fallow deer sniffing a nightjar on the track, she moved and the deer followed and sniffed her again. We headed back to the car spotting a couple of glow worms on the way. I headed for home spotting two fox cubs on the side of the road and later on a hedgehog on the edge of the forest, I made it home exhausted after a great day.

Chips - Speech House Hotel, Forest of Dean - Just and Chips 7/10

Sunday 10th - Therfield Toadflax

Bastard Toadflaxt

I met three other people at Therfield heath to look for wildflowers for a few hours, they were all much more knowledgable than I am in regards to plants so I learnt quite a bit during the day. We found a nice selection of flowers, the white helleborines had pretty much all gone over only a couple in reasonable condition and a hybrid broad leaved x clustered dock was of interest. There were two plants of note to find and we easily located them bastard toadflax and field fleabane. A very late pasque flower was in perfect condition and we saw several butterflies including a dark green fritillary. It was a warm day so an ice cream was in order before heading home.

Chips - Catch, Ashford - Battered Sausage, pickled egg, mushy peas and Chips 7/10

Saturday 9th - Sandwich Specials

Bedstraw Broomrape

I headed to East Kent for Broomrapes, starting Near Sandwich Bay where I located some Common broomrapes before fnding my target of ox tongue broomrape which is quite rare, it was not quite out so a return visit will be required. Next stop was Sandwich bay itself where more common broomrape and the rather special Bedstraw broomrape. I popped into East Blean woods for Heath Fritillary I only found one in rather poor butterfly weather but it did show very well. I stopped for chips then popped into Wye for a very special and scarce moth, the day flying black veined moth one showed very nicely and as I was on a curfew I headed home.

Thursday 7th - Moths and stuff


I have run the moth trap a few times recently bur been a bit busy to do daily updates so a quick run down of some of the more interesting species although nothing rare. Poplar, Privet and elephant hawkmoths, shears, pale tussock, figure of eighty. What was nice to see at work was the stoat with a rabbit, I only had my phone but got a snippet of video.

Wednesday 6th - Oh My ochroleuca

Early marsh orchid var ochroleuca

I popped up to the Brecks to a fenland reserve to see a rare orchid at its only known site. Early marsh orchid var ochroleuca plenty of early marsh orchids as you would expect. A lovely little reserve to spend an hour.

Sunday 3rd - Misty Moltoni

Moltoni's Warbler

I had to be at home until 11am, but with news the Moltoni’s subalpine warbler was still present I headed to North Norfolk. The walk along the beach seems to get longer every time I do it, or does it just feel longer as I age? Anyway I arrived at the site just as the sea mist rolled in. The warbler was elusive only showing very briefly, but eventually it did show for short periods but not very well and was always distant. The walk back was slow as I kept stopping to photograph plants yellow horned poppy, sea milkwort, silverweed, sea spurrey of note, but no birds were photographed due to the thick sea mist. I made it back to the car and headed home.

Saturday 2nd - Orchids Galore

Tongue Orchid

I joined up with a small group of orchid enthusiasts in Essex to visit a site to see the tongue orchids which were in very good condition and very nice to see, very well organised and many thanks to those who arranged the access. I then headed into Kent for more orchids, first stop for late spider orchid, and pyramidal orchids just emerging. Next stop was an orchid greater butterfly orchids, fly orchids and a few lady orchids just going over. But here the target was the Fly Orchid var Ochroleuca a lovely green variation. I bumped into a few people from Dungeness Obs and I was already heading there and they gave me a few pointers for some nice plants to check out. I headed down there first stop for sand catchfly and crown vetch. Then I took a long wander round the long pits and the obs plenty of plants Sea Holly and Nottingham catchfly and finishing off with some yellow vetch. Time was getting on so it was chips and home.

Chips - Varne Chip Shop, Lydd - Battered Saveloy, Onion rings and Chips 8/10



Monday 28th - Homeward Bound

Sticky Catchfly

I headed to Edinburgh with some excellent directions I quickly located sticky catchfly in thick fog. I headed for home stopping at Barnack Hills and Holes where I bumped into David Gray and we took a look at the man orchids which were flowering nicely and in good numbers along with a few pasque flowers which were in good condition, although most were over. Which brought to an end a rather frustrating weekend.

Sunday 27th - Blowout


I was up at 4am visibility was much better and headed to John O' Groats once again, but no sign of the walrus. I worked my way down to Wick for some lunch, John Dixon rang me from John O' Groats and I told him I was heading south and he took over the search. I checked all the beaches down to Dornoch before heading further south. I had several options of what to try for and decided to head to Fort William area for Chequered skipper, however a crash on the A82 closed the road and that was scuppered as the diversion was 5 hours, so I found my way cross country to Aviemore and did some plant hunting on Cairngorm before calling it a day.

Chips - Smiffy's, Aviemore - Haggis, Onion rings, Pickled egg and Chips 8/10

Saturday 26th - Walrus Woes


I had almost reached the borders when news that the walrus had swam off got to me, but I carried on anyway. I arrived early morning and checked the beaches from Golspie upto Wick. Visibility was poor with sea mist all day but despite searching all the way up to John O' Groats no sign. I popped to Duncansby head to see the bird colony and encountered a few other birds along the way but nothing of note. I worked my way to Thurso (skipping Dunnet head as visibility there was terrible) where the visibility was better, but I needed a break from beach watching so drove down to Forsinard Flows RSPB reserve, I hoped for waders but nothing apart from a lapwing but I did see a nice pair of hen harriers. I stopped for food and then continued to work my way back along the coast. I was well south of Wick when I saw a report of the Walrus at John O’ Groats and headed back up there arriving at just after 10pm. I wandered the path without any sign until almost 11 before heading for sleep.

Chips - Castletown Chip Shop, Caithness - Haggis and Chips 7.5/10

Tuesday 22nd - Chiltern Orchids

Burn Tip Orchid

I had to visit family in Reading, but had to make a quick stop in Wiltshire and as I was passing Parsonage Down I decided to pop in on spec. Was I too early for Burnt tip orchids, they were out elsewhere but here I only managed to find one, the spectacular is a bit away yet. But it was not wasted a nice fox running through the reserve and small blue and marsh fritillary are always nice to see. After my family visit I was close to Hartslock so popped in to see the Monkey and hybrid orchids, which were flowering nicely as were a couple of white helleborines, I took the scenic route back along the Thames but could not find any club tailed dragonflies. I had enough light to stop briefly at Homefield wood for the Military orchids, which will need another few days to be perfect but plenty flowering nicely. Greater butterfly orchid was not quite out and the fading light indicated that it was time to head home, via the chip shop of course.

Chips - The Penguin Fish Bar, Marlow - Battered Burger, Onion rings and Chips 7/10

Monday 21st - Soham Stuff

Frog Orchid

Thanks to a tip off I headed to a local area near Soham after work to see some frog orchids and although tricky to find I found a few in nice condition. Also on site were some freshly flowering early marsh orchids and some going over green winged orchids.

Saturday 19th - Delightful Dorset

Pearl Bordered Fritillary

An early start, via to Dartford to pick up James Hunter for a day out in Dorset (mostly) he had a toadflax brocade for me to see. We arrived at Arne well before 6am, when I assumed the car park would open. However it is aimed at the springwatch crowd an only opens at something like 10am in time for the cafe opening! Anyway we dumped the car and headed off quickly finding the sika, which was the main target, we had two small herds and a few individuals dotted around. Our next stop was Ballard down and we timed it perfectly as the Adonis blues were in pristine condition. Small heath, dingy skipper and common blue. were all about in good numbers as well as a few moths. Durlston Country park was our next stop and the target was Early gentian and James quickly spotted one along with some early spider orchids that were well passed their best. They had run a moth trap but as everyone else recently the catch was quite small but a couple of nice species Light Brocade, Light Feathered Rustic. We moved onwards stopping for some sand lizards, and had a few dragonflies, downy emerald the pick as well as a grass snake and green hairstreak. We made it to Powderham common where we had some nice grizzled skippers, broad bodied and 4 spot chasers, common and azure damselflies and common lizard. Then popped in on the Woodcock x fly orchid hybrids, fly orchids were also present on site. We worked our way east to Bentley wood where the pearl bordered fritillaries were out and we saw quite a few but they were very active and only got a few sitting for photos. Last stop was Chappetts Copse for an orchid spectacular, thousands of sword leaved helleborines all in excellent condition along with a few fly and birds nest orchids as well. James located one white helleborine and one hybrid and that brought a good day to an end. A red fox after dropping James back and a near miss with a deer sp on the M11.

Chips - The Sole Plaice, Darenth, Lakenheath- Saveloy and Chips 8/10

Tuesday 15th - Lovely Lakenheath


I was in Lakenheath for work in the afternoon so Lakenheath RSPB was the ideal place to visit on a lovely spring evening. Hobbies were hawking for dragonflies, and there clearly had been a large emergence as there were dragonflies (mostly four spot chasers and hairy dragonflies) and damselflies (mostly variable and large red eyed) everywhere. A flyby bittern and at least 3 booming during my walk. Warblers were low in numbers and not very showy either, but a pair of cuckoos were very vocal and the female was quite showy.

Chips - Lakenheath fish & chips, Lakenheath- Battered Sausage, pickled egg and Chips 8/10

Sri Lanka - April 2018

Saturday 9th - Barmy Bird Race


The annual bird race came up once again, so Stephen Patemore, Mike Harris and myself fired up the Kia Piccanto and headed off at Midnight. Word on the street was previous teams had achieved 142 species so we had a target to aim for. Nocturnal birding was good with corncrake, long eared owl, spotted crake, nightjar and woodcock and we had a good selection of mammals, badger, fox and hedgehog all seen. We were around the Brecks for dawn and picked up most of the usual species but could not locate any grasshopper warblers or lesser spotted woodpeckers. We did pop into Lakenheath at first light and a singing Great reed warbler had Stephen running, we got a brief look at it as it disappeared into the reeds. We did spend a few mins looking but it did not reappear, but being a bird race we had to keep moving. We picked up tricky species like widgeon, crane before heading to the coast for waders, geese and a few seabirds. Titchwell produced a good selection of birds in what was now very showery weather. Some birds that had been available earlier in the day on the coast had disappeared we passed the 142 mark but the number of possible species was dwindling and we almost settled on 148 but a last stop in the rain added a little owl and just after 8pm we had to call it a day as the torrential rain made it almost impossible to bird. We were a little disappointed with 149 as there were a few birds that got away, but 150 did come as when checking the list we had missed counting a guillemot, and 10 mammal species as well a good day. Being a bird race there are no cameras or stops for chips but I did squeeze in an ice cream to keep moral up. The full list can be seen on the sidebar.

Wednesday 9th - More Moths

Iron Prominent

I ran the moth trap again and had a nice if small selection. Iron Prominent, pale prominent, twin spot carpet, grey dagger.

Tuesday 8th - Small Tufted Sedge

Small Tufted Sedge

I made a detour after work to Braughing in Hertfordshire to see Small Tufted sedge at its only UK site, after a short walk I found a dozen or so clumps of this rare plant. The site also held good numbers of thyme leaved speedwell and a large clump of wood speedwell.

Sunday 6th - Going Cuckoo


I had to visit Wiltshite in the afternoon so went via Thursley Common the main target was to see Colin the famous cuckoo. As I walked to the area Colin frequents there was plenty of bird life around, tree pipit, whitethroat and a nice Dartford warbler. I bumped into another birder who had a nice male redstart. A dozen mainly photographers were assembled at Colin's main haunt, it was not long before a male redstart popped in to help himself to Colin's mealworms and he returned a couple of times. It was hot but fortunately I was sat in the shade for the 3 hours it took Colin to arrive and he showed very well for several minutes, when he left so did I. I had a look for dragonflies but despite the perfect weather only a brief hairy dragonfly and a couple of large red damselflies although there was a nice hobby also looking for them. On the way back from Wiltshire I popped in at Bentley Wood, unfortunately no Pearl Bordered Fritillaries out but speckled wood, peacock, brimstone, large white and green veined whites were about.

Chips - Poulner fish & chips, Ringwood - Battered Sausage, pea fritter and Chips 7.5/10

Saturday 5th - Back to Basics

Powered Quaker

Not much this week but ran the moth trap and had a few moths Brimstone, powered quaker, common quaker, and Semioscopis steinkellneriana . I pottered round the garden which was full of bees including some Gooden's cuckoo bees which I had not seen before. holly blue and Orange tip also in the garden.



Saturday 28th - Bracing Bats

Leisler's Bat

I woke to torrential rain so was aprehensive about todays bat box checks in North Cambs, but it had eased to light drizzle off and on on arrival, but the weather had reduced the crew to 3. One of the first boxes held 17 noctules and scattered round the rest of the boxes were 28 soprano pipistrelles but the best bats were 2 leisler's bats always great to see and one of my favourites. I popped into Bedfordshire to see some early Purple orchids in a nearby wood before finishing for the day.

Chips - Chippy, Sandy - Saveloy and Chips 7.5/10

Dubai - April 2018

My latest article in The Mammal Society's Magazine - Mammal News Spring 2018

Mammal News Spring 2018 - Finding the Fossorial

Sunday 4th - Thawing Thayers

Fallow Deer

A full English set me up for the day as I headed from Reading down into Hampshire, first stop in the New Forest where ponies and fallow deer were foraging in the snow. All three colour forms of fallow deer were present, a creamy white one, several dark ones and a couple of spotted versions very nice to see all together. I headed to Burley where I located the distant Great grey shrike, I tried to get close but the place was in full melt and it was a swamp so I gave up and headed to Blashford lakes the final destination of the day. Here a small group were waiting for the Thayers gull, in the meantime we saw ring billed gull, several med gulls and a yellow legged gull. Eventually the Thayers was located at the far end of the gull roost and it was time to head home.

Chips - Poulner fish & chips, Ringwood - Battered Sausage, pea fritter and Chips 7.5/10



Saturday 30th - Soggy Squirrels

Black Squirrel

With poor weather the last two days I have been doing other stuff but a few incidental sightings of common field speedwell and sweet violet keeping my plant photo project ticking over. I popped in to see the melansitic grey squirrels at Letchworth as I was passing but little else.

Wednesday 28th - Follow the Star

Yellow Star of Bethlehem

I popped to Waylands Wood after work and dodged the showers to find some flowering yellow star of Bethlehem. I found about 20 or so flowering nicely with plenty more to come. I took a wander and found a few other plants flowering, primrose, early dog violet and barren strawberry and I made it back to the car before the heavens opened.

Sunday 25th - Musselborough a must


I was up at dawn, rechecking the bays again without any sign so about lunchtime I headed south. I made one stop at Musselborough where the White winged Scoter was showing distantly with a couple of velvet and common scoter but no sign of the surf scoter. I made it back home 1600 miles later but no walrus, still he who dares Rodney!

Chips - Cafe Central, Dunbar - Haggis and Chips 8/10

Saturday 24th - Where's Wally!

Red Deer

I chanced my arm and headed to Caithness to search for the Walrus, spotted there off and on over the last week. The uneventful drive took me into Sutherland where I stopped for 3 nice red deer stags shortly after dawn. I hit the coast and checked out every bay and beach on the OS map from Bettyhill to Amadale when news from Friday was it had been seen at Freswick. So there was my next destination but no sign so I searched south to Wick and then back north to Armadale. I searched along the coast to Wick for Chips stopping at Freswick once more and bumped into some locals looking for the walrus without any luck. A few nice common seals during the day and a few nice birds such as hooded crows, whooper swan and genuine rock doves

Chips - Henrietta's, Wick - Haggis and Chips 8/10

Sunday 18th - Forest Flit

Wild Boar

I popped into the Forest of Dean on the way home. Plenty of snow on the ground and loads of tracks shut. I met up with Ben and we headed for a wander to find some wild boar. No sign of wild boar but a brief flyover Goshawk was nice. We took a drive round and found a small herd of fallow deer and a small sounder of boar. Time was against us and we headed off after our brief visit.

Saturday 17th - Gusty Gower

Yellow Whitlow Grass

I was staying on the Gower peninsular and spent a few hours in the afternoon doing a bit of wildlife watching. First stop Pennard Castle home to a scarce plant yellow whitlow grass which was flowering nicely, maidenhair spleenwort, navelwort and danish scurvey grass also present, all difficult to photograph in very strong winds. I braved these at Worms Head where a wander brought me a short eared owl but little else of note.

Wednesday 14th - Mad Mothing

Common Quaker

I found the only warm evening of the last few weeks to put the moth trap out only 3 moths but nice to get something. Common Quaker, With a few toads and common newts out as well spring looked to be on the way.

Israel - February 2018

Saturday 10th - Trap Happy

Pygmy Shrew

I had set 35 traps at a rather rainy Fowlmere RSPB reserve the night before. A wildlife explorer group assisted me in opening them in much drier conditions. We had 8 captures not too bad considering the time of year. wood mice of course the most common 5 of those and 2 field voles are always nice to see, but the pick was a lone pygmy shrew allowing me to show all three types of small mammals. Not a bad morning.

Sunday 4th - Thawing Thayers

Fallow Deer

A full English set me up for the day as I headed from Reading down into Hampshire, first stop in the New Forest where ponies and fallow deer were foraging in the snow. All three colour forms of fallow deer were present, a creamy white one, several dark ones and a couple of spotted versions very nice to see all together. I headed to Burley where I located the distant Great grey shrike, I tried to get close but the place was in full melt and it was a swamp so I gave up and headed to Blashford lakes the final destination of the day. Here a small group were waiting for the Thayers gull, in the meantime we saw ring billed gull, several med gulls and a yellow legged gull. Eventually the Thayers was located at the far end of the gull roost and it was time to head home.

Chips - Poulner fish & chips, Ringwood - Battered Sausage, pea fritter and Chips 7.5/10



Wednesday 28th - Work Wonders

Bird Feeders

My new feeding station at work has been in place for a couple of months and has been very busy. My colleagues are even taking an interest keeping the feeders stocked when I am away. This has a nice selection of birds visiting marsh tits, jay, moorhen, red legged partridge and a trail camera has added a few mammals brown rat, wood mouse, rabbit, muntjac, fox. But today a stoat came visiting probably after rabbits or mice but very nice to see.

Monday 12th - Barney Burwell

Barn Owl

My last visit to Burwell was cut short by the pouring rain, so I spent a few hours this afternoon making up for the lost time. Plenty of roe deer but with no short eared owls there are hardly any people present and I spent some time with the Barn Owls 5 in total on the fen, they were often mobbed by kestrels. It was a lovely evening to watch them quartering over the fen as the sun set.

Saturday 10th - Brr well

Roe Deer

I spent a few hours wandering round Burwell fen, with no Short eared owls this winter it was much quieter than usual for a Saturday morning. Plenty of roe deer everywhere was the theme of the day with over 340 seen in several small herds. Birdwise it was a bit quiet somwhooper swans and a couple of sightings of a kingfisher the highlights. I made it back to the car before the rain set in and was eating chips as the downpour started before heading for home.

Chips - Rumbles, Exning - Battered Sausage and Chips 8/10

Saturday 3rd - Back to Birding

American Horned Lark

Despite the rain and my hangover I headed out to Staines to see the American Horned Lark which was showing considerable better than my last visit despite the poor weather. I showed well for a while then became flighty. I caught up with the black necked grebe and the scaup but no water pipit. I added the first flowers to my 2018 wildflower photography project befire heading to the car to dry out. After a cup of tea I headed to Walthamstow where the little bunting was elusive and only showed briefly a kingfisher was showing nicely as I headed for home.

Chips - Fish n Chick n, Harlow - Battered Sausage and Chips 8/10



Saturday 27th - Boaring

Wild Boar

The weather forecast I had seen was clearly different from reality and I arrived at Arlingham in torrential rain, I found the area the Richards pipit favoured and even found a pipit but it vanished into thin air without calling and I headed back to the car to dry out. I headed into the Forest of Dean first stop was an unsuccessful look for the great grey shrike who was probably sheltering from the wind and rain somewhere dry. I tried my luck with wild boar and a group rather tame boar of four showed really well. Another go for the shrike was again fruitless but a couple of fallow deer were showing distantly on the tree line. A quick look at Cannop pond for mandarin and raven but little else and as time drew on I headed for home.

Chips - Blakeney Chip in - Burger, chips, mush peas pickled egg 5/10

Tueaday 16th - Breckland Beauty


I have been very busy with work and other commitments so have not had the chance to do much recently. But I joined Ben, Connie and Kevin in the Brecks for the morning in search of otters. It was a chilly but bright morning but the sun was in the wrong place for most of the time making it tricky to get decent photos. But we did see two otters the first only briefly but the second allowed us to follow it for over and hour and a half before it gave us the slip. I had to work and had an evening commitment but I had a nice muntjac, Fox and Barn owl on way home.

Saturday 13th - Nasty Nikon, Wonderful WEX

I had to send my D500 back to Nikon, one of the strap lugs was very badly worn, excessivly so, the other had no wear so clearly something is wrong on a 10 month old camera. My old D300 and D7000 both which have had more use and have less wear on the lugs in fact they are almost unworn. So I assumed a warrenty repair - oh no Nikon claim wear and tear which I disputed but they would not budge and want 100 pounds to repair what a con. WEX who I bought the camera from supported my argument but with stiff opposition from Nikon could not do much to sway them, they however kindly offered to split the cost of the repair with me.

WEX 1 - Nikon 0 and I have just ordered a nice new expensive lens from WEX and it was not a Nikon.

Saturday 6th - Whisby Wonder

Black Headed Blue Tit

I had to go up north for a birthday party and with little about I headed into Lincolnshire to Whisby Nature Reserve just south of Lincoln. A arrived just before 9 in what was horid conditions. I settled into the shelter which offered som protection and waited for my target. The feeders were busy with a few common species blue, great and coal tits, robin, chaffinch, blackbird, jackdaw a couple of grey squirrels but it was the brown rats or big mice that some passers by noted that kept me entertained in the biting cold. Eventually the black headed blue tit that I had come to see arrived and showed nicely for a while and I had to leave. The black headed blue tit is a recessive genetic mutation that occurs occasionally in the area.

Monday 1st - Home

Happy New Year, I had a lazy day at home with just garden birds to watch I have one project this year to photograph 365 UK plant species in flower, you can see how I get on with the list on the sidebar.

2017 Review



Another good mammal year with some amazing encounters yet again fantastic Wild Boars and brilliant beavers, a mole crossing a road in Cumbria was a lucky find and local leisler's bats were worth mentioning. Probably the best encounter was a rather acrobatic stoat in Gloustershire that really put on a show. A total of 50 species in total (47 photographed) which makes the 10th year in a row exceeding 50 species, I won't try for 50 this year as I think I have demonstrated that 50 species in a year is now easily acheivable, but I will keep a list.


Cedar Waxwing

Another average bird year with 238 species seen some highlights were parrot crossbills, Coue's Arctic redpoll, ptarmigan, pine bunting, American Horned lark, white rumped sandpiper, bee eater, scops owl, Caspian Tern, Great Reed warbler, red breasted flycatcher, bluethroat and dotterel to name a few. New species were a bit thin on the ground and I only caught up with Cedar Waxwing and Elegant tern

Other Wildlife and Trips

Thistle Broomrape Mole Cricket

Following up on my other areas of interest I had a great year with some nice new Ladybirds the highlight was Platynaspis luteorubra, other highights were a Bedstraw hawkmoth, Lesser Emperor, currant clearwing, tansy beetle, mole cricket and finally catching up with Queen of Spain fritillary and Silver Washed Fritillary var valesina. Only one Whitebeam now eludes me after finding three this year the best the very rare Motley's Whitebeam. Several broomrapes and a whole selection of nice plants and a few rares such as Woodstock x Fly orchid hybrids, purple toothwort, alpine saw wort Sickle-leaved Hare's-ear, Bean broomrape, Thistle broomrape and bedstraw broomrape. Trip wise it was a bit quite and we had to cancel our main holiday due to unforseen circumstances a week in Ireland and Scotland for local specialities such as Dense flowered orchid and few days in Fuerteventura for the Fuerteventura stonechat and Algerian hedgehog and some nice houbara bustards.

Catch up with the 2017 blog


Upcoming Trips

  • Scotland - July 2018
  • Romania - August 2018
  • My Flickr Photos


    2018 Targets

  • Llangollen Whitebeam
  • Alpine Speedwell
  • Corsican Speedwell
  • Thrift Clearwing
  • Ladybird Spider
  • Orange Tailed Clearwing
  • Yarrow Broomrape
  • Bedstraw Broomrape
  • Ox Tongue Broomrape
  • Greater Broomrape
  • Thyme Broomrape
  • Cheddar Pink
  • Deptford Pink
  • Hyperaspis pseudopustulata
  • Scymnus schmidti
  • Scymnus nigrinus
  • Sand Catchfly
  • Early Gentian
  • Field Gentian
  • 2018 UK Mammal List (No Target This Year)

    Green when photographed

  • 1 - Grey Squirrel
  • 2 - Brown Hare
  • 3 - Brown Rat
  • 4 - Muntjac
  • 5 - Otter
  • 6 - Red Fox
  • 7 - Roe Deer
  • 8 - Fallow Deer
  • 9 - Wild Boar
  • 10 - Lesser Horseshoe Bat
  • 11 - Greater Horseshoe Bat
  • 12 - Stoat
  • 13 - Wood Mouse
  • 14 - Field Vole
  • 15 - Pygmy Shrew
  • 16 - Red Deer
  • 17 - Common Seal
  • 18 - Rabbit
  • 19 - Noctule
  • 20 - Soprano Pipistrelle
  • 21 - Leisler's Bat
  • 22 - Sika
  • 23 - Hedgehog
  • 24 - Badger
  • 365 Plant Species Photo Project

    365 Plant Gallery

  • 1 - Red Dead Nettle
  • 2 - White Dead Nettle
  • 3 - Daisy
  • 4 - Snowdrop
  • 5 - Fox and Cubs
  • 6 - Smooth Hawk's Beard
  • 7 - Dandelion
  • 8 - Chickweed
  • 9 - Lesser Celandine
  • 10 - Greater Periwinkle
  • 11 - Shepherd's Purse
  • 12 - Maindenhair Spleenwort
  • 13 - Danish Scurvy Grass
  • 14 - Navelwort
  • 15 - Yellow Whitlow Grass
  • 16 - Gorse
  • 17 - White Butterbur
  • 18 - Yellow Start of Bethlehem
  • 19 - Barren Strawberry
  • 20 - Early Dog Violet
  • 21 - Primrose
  • 22 - Common Field Speedwell
  • 23 - Sweet Violet
  • 24 - Ground Ivy
  • 25 - Bluebell
  • 26 - Cow Parsley
  • 27 - Cowslip
  • 28 - Early Purple Orchid
  • 29 - Green Alkanet
  • 30 - Thyme Leaved Speedwell
  • 31 - Germander Speedwell
  • 32 - Wood Spurge
  • 33 - Heath DOg Violet
  • 34 - Red Campion
  • 35 - Wood Speedwell
  • 36 - House Chestnut
  • 37 - Alexanders
  • 38 - Small Tufted Sedge
  • 39 - Common Mouse Ear
  • 40 - Wood Speedwell
  • 41 - Creeping Buttercup
  • 42 - Common Forget Me Knot
  • 43 - Field Horsetail
  • 44 - Greater Stitchwort
  • 45 - Corsican Speedwell
  • 46 - Swedish Whitebeam
  • 47 - Common Cottongrass
  • 48 - Field Pansy
  • 49 - Spring Beauty
  • 50 - Common Comfrey
  • 51 - Common Sallow
  • 52 - Sweet Woodruff
  • 53 - Sword Leaved Helleborine
  • 54 - Bugle
  • 55 - Meadow Buttercup
  • 56 - Lousewort
  • 57 - Yelow Archangel
  • 58 - Scarlet Pimpernel
  • 59 - Early Gentian
  • 60 - Crosswort
  • 61 - Woolly Thistle
  • 62 - Birds Foot Trefoil
  • 63 - Chalk Milkwort
  • 64 - Field Madder
  • 65 - Broom
  • 66 - Wall Speedwell
  • 67 - Spanish Catchfly
  • 68 - Wild Strawberry
  • 69 - Quaking Grass
  • 70 - Adders Tongue
  • 71 - Early Marsh Orchid
  • 72 - Frog Orchid
  • 73 - Cuckoo Flower
  • 74 - Red Clover
  • 75 - Green Winged Orchid
  • 76 - Hawthorne
  • 77 - Ox Eye Daisy
  • 78 - Elder
  • 79 - Ribwort Plantain
  • 80 - Black Medic
  • 81 - Glaucous Sedge
  • 82 - Common Sow thistle
  • 83 - Common Rock Rose
  • 84 - Burnt Tip Orchid
  • 85 - Sticky Catchfly
  • 86 - White Helleborine
  • 87 - Military Orchid
  • 88 - Common Twayblade
  • 89 - Fly Orchid
  • 90 - Three-Cornered Garlic
  • 91 - Dames Violet
  • 92 - Welsh poppy
  • 93 - Hedge Bedstraw
  • 94 - White Campion
  • 95 - Common Scurvygrass
  • 96 - Red Valerian
  • 97 - Foxglove
  • 98 - Winter Cress
  • 99 - Man Orchid
  • 100 - Pasque Flower
  • 101 - Purple Milk vetch
  • 102 - White Bryony
  • 103 - Dwarf Cornel
  • 104 - Wooly Willow
  • 105 - Downy Willow
  • 106 - Net Leaved Willow
  • 107 - Creeping Willow
  • 108 - Alpine Lady's Mantle
  • 109 - Mountain Avens
  • 110 - Butterwort
  • 111 - Eared Willow
  • 112 - Lady's Mantle
  • 113 - Sheeps Sorrel
  • 114 - Water Avens
  • 115 - Roseroot
  • 116 - Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage
  • 117 - Water Crowfoot
  • 118 - Water Cress
  • 119 - Harebell
  • 120 - Marsh Marigold
  • 121 - Starry Saxifrage
  • 122 - Mossy Saxifrage
  • 123 - Thrift
  • 124 - Bramble
  • 125 - Common Mallow
  • 126 - Common Dog Rose
  • 127 - Late Spider Orchid
  • 128 - Sea Campion
  • 129 - Yellow Horned Poppy
  • 130 - Sea Milkwort
  • 131 - Silverweed
  • 132 - Sea Sandwort
  • 133 - Vipers Bugloss
  • 134 - Common Vetch
  • 135 - Horseshoe Vetch
  • 136 - Stinging Nettle
  • 137 - Cleavers
  • 138 - Woody Nightshade
  • 139 - Tongue Orchid
  • 140 - Sea Rocket
  • 141 - Hedgerow Cranesbill
  • 142 - Sticky Groundsel
  • 143 - Grey Hair Grass
  • 144 - Sea Spurge
  • 145 - Salad Burnet
  • 146 - Wood Sage
  • 147 - Nottingham Catchfly
  • 148 - Wild Minonette
  • 149 - Yellow Flag Iris
  • 150 - Lesser Spearwort
  • 151 - Yellow Vetch
  • 152 - Biting Stonecrop
  • 153 - English Stonecrop
  • 154 - Subterranean Clover
  • 155 - Bur Medick
  • 156 - Wild Clary
  • 157 - Crown Vetch
  • 158 - Hawksbeard
  • 159 - Harestail Grass
  • 160 - Small Flowered Cranesbill
  • 161 - Vipers Bugloss
  • 162 - Weld
  • 163 - Slender Thistle
  • 164 - Thyme Leaved Sandwort
  • 165 - Sea Kale
  • 166 - Sand Catchfly
  • 167 - Crested Hair Grass
  • 168 - Lady Orchid
  • 169 - Milkwort
  • 170 - Oxford Ragwort
  • 171 - Common Houndstongue
  • 172 - Tree Lupin
  • 173 - Caper Spurge
  • 174 - Ragged Robin
  • 175 - Rosebay Willowherb
  • 176 - Chalk Fragrant Orchid
  • 177 - Smooth Meadow grass
  • 178 - Dove's Foot Cranesbill
  • 179 - Greater Knapweed
  • 180 - Small Cat's Ear
  • 181 - Wall Barley
  • 182 - Sanicle
  • 183 - Garlic Mustard
  • Halfway
  • 184 - Wild Privet
  • 185 - Wood Sedge
  • 186 - Wood Avens
  • 187 - Nipplewort
  • 188 - Clustered Dock
  • 189 - Wood Meadow Grass
  • 190 - Perrenial Rye Grass
  • 191 - Wood Millet
  • 192 - Field Fleabane
  • 193 - Bee Orchid
  • 194 - Clustered Bellflower
  • 195 - Bastard Toadflax
  • 196 - Prickly Sow thistle
  • 197 - Candytuft
  • 198 - Routh Hawksbit
  • 199 - Hedge Mustard
  • 200 - Cock's Foot
  • 201 - Field Bindweed
  • 202 - Hop Trefoil
  • 203 - Yellow Vetchling
  • 204 - Welted Thistle
  • 205 - Bladder Campion
  • 206 - Dropwort
  • 207 - Russet Sedge
  • 208 - Horseshoe Vetch
  • 209 - Red Fescue
  • 210 - Yorkshire Fog
  • 211 - Yarrow
  • 212 - Common Storksbill
  • 213 - Everlasing Pea
  • 214 - Lizard Orchid
  • 215 - Wild Carrot
  • 216 - Sea Holly
  • 217 - Sharp Rush
  • 218 - Fennel
  • 219 - Sea Beet
  • 220 - Pyrimidal Orchid
  • 221 - Common Cow Wheat
  • 222 - Common Broomrape
  • 223 - Bedstraw Broomrape
  • 224 - Toadflax
  • 225 - Hedge Bedstraw
  • 226 - Barren Brome
  • 227 - Pignut
  • 228 - Hogweed
  • 229 - Annual ROcket
  • 230 - Slender St John's Wort
  • 231 - Agrimony
  • 232 - Heath Speedwell
  • 233 - Cheddar Pink
  • 234 - Cheddar Whitebeam
  • 235 - Rusty Backed Fern
  • 236 - Wall Rue
  • 237 - Hard Shield Fern
  • 238 - Grey Sedge
  • 239 - Hartstongue Fern
  • 240 - Tutsan
  • 241 - Selfheal
  • 242 - White Clover
  • 243 - Honeysuckle
  • 244 - Hemlock Water Dropwort
  • 245 - Tall Melilot
  • 246 - Ox Tongue Broomrape
  • 247 - White Clover
  • 248 - Lady's Bedstraw
  • 249 - Wild Cabbage
  • 250 - Greater Knapweed
  • 251 - Asparagus
  • 252 - Common Poppy
  • 253 - Hedge Woundwort
  • 254 - Ragged Robin
  • 255 - Foxglove
  • 256 - Marsh Lousewort
  • 257 - Fen Sedge
  • 258 - Mexican Fleabane
  • 259 - Sulphur Clover
  • 260 - Hoary Cress
  • 261 - Black Horehound
  • 262 - Musk Thistle
  • 263 - Greater Broomrape
  • 264 - Wild Gladoli
  • 265 - Lesser Butterfly Orchid
  • 266 - Bog Pimpernel
  • 267 - Bog Asphodel
  • 268 - Oblong Leaved Sundew
  • 269 - Bulbous Rush
  • 270 - Allseed
  • 271 - Long Bracted Sedge
  • 272 - Heath Spotted Orchid
  • 273 -
  • 274 -
  • 275 -
  • 276 -
  • 277 -
  • 278 -
  • 279 -
  • 280 -
  • 281 -
  • 282 -
  • 283 -
  • 284 -
  • 285 -
  • 286 -
  • 287 -
  • 288 -
  • 289 -
  • 290 -

  • 2018 Bird Race

    No Particular Order

  • 1 - Chaffinch
  • 2 - Greenfinch
  • 3 - Goldfinch
  • 4 - Siskin
  • 5 - Linnet
  • 6 - Bullfinch
  • 7 - Yellowhammer
  • 8 - Reed Bunting
  • 9 - Corn Bunting
  • 10 - Red Breasted Merganser
  • 11 - Long Eared Owl
  • 12 - Great Reed Warbler
  • 13 - Raven
  • 14 - Razorbill
  • 15 - Scaup
  • 16 - Little Grebe
  • 17 - Great Crested Grebe
  • 18 - Fulmar
  • 19 - Cormorant
  • 20 - Bittern
  • 21 - Little Egret
  • 22 - Grey Heron
  • 23 - Spoonbill
  • 24 - Mute Swan
  • 25 - Whooper Swan
  • 26 - Pink Footed Goose
  • 27 - Greylag Goose
  • 28 - Canada Goose
  • 29 - Barnacle Goose
  • 30 - Brent Goose
  • 31 - Egyptian Goose
  • 32 - Shelduck
  • 33 - Mandarin Duck
  • 34 - Wigeon
  • 35 - Gadwall
  • 36 - Mallard
  • 37 - Garganey
  • 38 - Shoveler
  • 39 - Red Crested Pochard
  • 40 - Common Pochard
  • 41 - Tufted Duck
  • 42 - Common Scoter
  • 43 - Red kite
  • 44 - Marsh Harrier
  • 45 - Sparrowhawk
  • 46 - Buzzard
  • 47 - Kestrel
  • 48 - Hobby
  • 49 - Peregrine
  • 50 - Red Legged Partridge
  • 51 - Grey Partridge
  • 52 - Golden Pheasant
  • 53 - Pheasant
  • 54 - Water Rail
  • 55 - Corncrake
  • 56 - Spotted Crake
  • 57 - Moorhen
  • 58 - Coot
  • 59 - Common Crane
  • 60 - Oystercatcher
  • 61 - Avocet
  • 62 - Stone Curlew
  • 63 - Little Ringer Plover
  • 64 - Ringed Plover
  • 65 - Grey Plover
  • 66 - Lapwing
  • 67 - Sanderling
  • 68 - Knot
  • 69 - Dunlin
  • 70 - Ruff
  • 71 - Snipe
  • 72 - Woodcock
  • 73 - Bar Tailed Godwit
  • 74 - Black Tailed Godwit
  • 75 - Whimbrel
  • 76 - Curlew
  • 77 - Redshank
  • 78 - Greenshank
  • 79 - Common Sandpiper
  • 80 - Turnstone
  • 81 - Little Gull
  • 82 - Mediterranean Gull
  • 83 - Black headed Gull
  • 84 - Common Gull
  • 85 - Lesser Black Backed Gull
  • 86 - Herring Gull
  • 87 - Great Black Backed Gull
  • 88 - Sandwich Tern
  • 89 - Common Tern
  • 90 - Little Tern
  • 91 - Feral Pigeon
  • 92 - Stock Dove
  • 93 - Woodpigeon
  • 94 - Collared Dove
  • 95 - Turtle Dove
  • 96 - Cuckoo
  • 97 - Barn Owl
  • 98 - Little Owl
  • 99 - Tawny Owl
  • 100 - Nightjar
  • 101 - Swift
  • 102 - Kingfisher
  • 103 - Green Woodpecker
  • 104 - Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • 105 - Woodlark
  • 106 - Skylark
  • 107 - Sand Martin
  • 108 - Swallow
  • 109 - House Martin
  • 110 - Meadow Pipit
  • 111 - Tree Pipit
  • 112 - Yellow Wagtail
  • 113 - Grey Wagtail
  • 114 - Pied Wagtail
  • 115 - Wren
  • 116 - Dunnock
  • 117 - Robin
  • 118 - Nightingale
  • 119 - Redstart
  • 120 - Stonechat
  • 121 - Wheatear
  • 122 - Blackbird
  • 123 - Song Thrush
  • 124 - Mistle Thrush
  • 125 - Cetti's Warbler
  • 126 - Sedge Warbler
  • 127 - Reed Warbler
  • 128 - Whitethroat
  • 129 - Garden Warbler
  • 130 - Blackcap
  • 131 - Chiffchaff
  • 132 - Willow Warbler
  • 133 - Goldcrest
  • 134 - Firecrest
  • 135 - Bearded Tit
  • 136 - Long Tailed Tit
  • 137 - Marsh Tit
  • 138 - Coal Tit
  • 139 - Blue Tit
  • 140 - Great tit
  • 141 - Treecreeper
  • 142 - Nuthatch
  • 143 - Jay
  • 144 - Magpie
  • 145 - Jackdaw
  • 146 - Rook
  • 147 - Carrion Crow
  • 148 - Starling
  • 149 - House Sparrow
  • 150 - Tree Sparrow

  • The Chip Count

    Chips 16
    Chip Butty
    Fish Cake
    Battered / Sausage 6
    Battered / Burger 1
    Saveloy 3
    Spring Roll
    Pickled Egg 3
    Cheese and Onion Fritter
    Baked Bean Fritter
    Mushy Peas / Fritter 4
    Spam Fritter
    Haggis 4
    Burger 1
    Macaroni Pie
    King Rib
    Onion Rings 3
    Ice Cream 3

    2017 Total
    Chips 62
    Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites