Wednesday, 27 November 2013

And up goes the bird count once more

An early morning CURLEW calling in flight over the garden made it 112 for the list! Nice one....

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Two garden ticks in a day

Two new species for the garden toeday - one of them a very sad corpse courtesy of one of our evil cats, we're afraid....

The posthumous species was a Water Shrew (Neomys fodiens)- ironically we saw one in July in the Wye Valley (a lifer for Julia), and this was only the third Simon had ever seen. Do they use our pond?

On a brighter point, this superb Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi) was alive and well in our long grass in the afternoon. A fairly recent colonist in the south of England, the speices has spread well inland, and has been recorded at Blashford before, but we've never seen one. Great to add to the garden list!

Monday, 15 July 2013


Our 111th bird species this morning - heard only, but they all count! At least two Crossbills flew over at 0700, calling insistently - hardly unexpected, but it's taken three years for us to record one!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

110 up! The flying cat has landed...

Yes! Appropriately enough, as we watched the opening scenes of "The Big Year", a BARN OWL flew right past the window and landed on Tony's derelict bird-box next door. Result! 110 species for the garden list, and a Blashford tick for Julia.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Long-standing local rarity on our list!

Been waiting for this one for ages, and largely suspecting we'd never see it - but at 1338 today, the long-staying local Great White Egret (species 109) finally flapped overhead and onto our garden list! Yippee!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


108 up! A much hoped-for but hardly expected Merlin flashed through the back of the garden on Sunday - lightning fast and tiny, and only for Simon, alas! But at least we know there's one around - we'll need to keep looking....

Monday, 3 September 2012

Bird list advances

When you've already seen 105 species in/over/from your garden, new additions get pretty hard to come by, but this week, we've had not one but two new ones - both migrant passerines: Spotted Flycatcher and Whitethroat. Also a Tree Pipit flew over to the west about ten days ago.

On another point, "Rameses" the wholly leucistic Egyptian Goose remains safe and well on the fields along Snails Lane - hasn't been picked off by a Fox yet!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Longer still between posts! Eft-swounds....

Yesterday we added a top new species, one which we really hoped for one day, but surely not this soon in the history of the pond? But we weren't totally surprised, as a suspected eft sighting last autumn turned today into a confirmation - a Newt in the pond! Whether it's a Smooth or a Palmate, we're not yet sure.....but no doubt we'll see more if him/her/them in the weeks ahead. Spring is definitely in the air!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

More moths and a new Odo

Yet another good moth trap (another Light Crimson Underwing included), plus a new Odo in the form of Ruddy Darter, found during Geoff and Elaine's visit. Also Greenshank at Rockford Lake and the first Wigeon back on Snails Lake.

Ruddy Darter


Mullein Wave

Mouse Moth


Beautiful Yellow Underwing

Garden Tiger

Small Rivulet

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

All systems go

A cracking wildlife day in the garden started with our best ever moth trap - 130+ moths of 40+ species, including our very own Light Crimson Underwing (a Red Data Book species in our garden!), Poplar and Sallow Kitten, Lime-speck Pug, Reddish Light Arches and Twin-spotted Wainscot.

Light Crimson Underwing

Supporting the cause....

Lime-speck Pug

Twin-spotted Wainscot

Maiden's Blush

The last act of the day trumped even that, however - a dusk vigil out on the patio, and an unmistakable silhouette flew right over the top of us - NIGHTJAR! Fantastic - 104 for the garden.