News/Reports

Guided walk at Wrabness

09/05/2022

Another lovely morning for our guided walk at Wrabness NR. Amazing to stand and listen to so many birds singing - nightingale, turtle dove, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, chiffchaff, blackcap, wren, yellowhammer, song thrush, sand martins chattering overhead ..... Still at least 150 brent geese on the foreshore; and other sightings included stock dove, common buzzard, common tern, green woodpecker and swallow.

Guided walk at Alton Water

05/05/2022

Really enjoyable guided walk at Alton Water this afternoon. Star bird was on the far side of the reservoir (!), but a slavonian grebe in breeding plumage is a bit special, even at distance. Plenty of birds singing - chiffchaff, blackcap, blackbird, nightingale (7), garden warbler, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, goldfinch, linnet, yellowhammer, reed bunting, cuckoo, wren. Other highlights included swallow, kingfisher, great crested grebe, greylag geese with goslings, mallard ducklings, tufted duck, shelduck, grey heron .... Notable plants included bluebells, spring beauty, water mint and crosswort.

Guided walk at Shut Heath Wood

03/05/2022

A little sunshine would have been nice for our guided walk at Shut Heath Wood today, but we still had a great time. The floral display was stunning with bluebells, bugle, climbing corydalis, primrose, wood anemone (going over), yellow pimpernel, wild strawberry and cuckoo flower. The wood ants were amazing to watch and listen to! (sounds like pattering rain as hundreds of them move trough the leaf litter). Bird highlights included common buzzard, very vocal blackcaps, chiffchaff, wren, treecreeper, a pair of long tailed tits bringing food to the nest, brief views of a tawny owl chased into a tree by a jackdaw and then just as we relocated it in the tree it flew off again, song thrush, great spotted woodpecker.

Dawn Chorus at The Naze

30/04/2022

Out and about a bit earlier today for our guided Dawn Chorus at The Naze. Got off to a great start with a nightingale singing below Sunny Point; and finished with the star bird of our walk - a surprise fulmar south along the cliffs by The Tower. In between there were plenty of warblers - whitethroat, blackcap, chiffchaff, lesser whitethroat, sedge warbler, Cetti's warbler; and other sightings included goldfinch, greenfinch, sparrowhawk, song thrush, swallow, reed bunting, whimbrel, cuckoo, oystercatcher (39 species in total).

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

27/04/2022

Would have been nicer if it had been a few degrees warmer, but still an enjoyable guided walk round Fingringhoe Wick this afternoon. It's always wonderful to hear nightingales, and a couple were very close, but unfortunately we didn't spot them. Plenty of other birds singing too - whitethroat, blackcap, chiffchaff, cuckoo, reed warbler ... Other sightings included whimbrel, tufted duck, pochard, Mediterranean gull, avocet, oystercatcher, black tailed godwit, marsh harrier, kestrel, little grebe ...

Guided walk at Arger Fen

22/04/2022

Decent weather helped to make this morning's guided walk at Arger Fen very enjoyable. The bluebell display was stunning; and falling blossom from the wild cherries looked like snow! Other highlights included wild service tree; flowers - yellow archangel, primrose, wild garlic, cuckoo flower, wood sorrel, thyme-leaved speedwell, water avens; birds - common buzzard, nuthatch (heard only), garden warbler (2), blackcap (4+), chiffchaff (6+), kestrel ....

Wildlife boat trip

14/04/2022

Fabulous morning for our wildlife boat trip round the Walton Backwaters. The real highlight was spending time with the engine off just drifting silently past the marsh with the tide, listening to the birds, with common seals popping up to check us out; and sightings included swallow (2), Mediterranean gull (40+), red breasted merganser (2), golden plover (50+), sandwich tern (1), red kite (2), common buzzard (4+), oystercatcher (100+), curlew, turnstone, grey plover .....

Guided walk at Alresford Creek

11/04/2022

Weather and tide were both good for our guided walk at Alresford Creek this morning. Bird highlights included vocal chiffchaffs and blackcaps, black tailed godwits and golden plovers acquiring their stunning breeding plumage, common buzzard, marsh harrier, sparrowhawk, lingering single avocet and a few brent geese (total 47 species); some nice spring flowers - greater stitchwort, field pansy, bluebell, lesser celandine, storksbill, spring beauty, three cornered leek; and a few butterflies - small tortoiseshell, comma and peacock.

Guided walk at Frinton/Gt Holland

05/04/2022

A bit breezy, but at least the drizzle stopped for our circular guided walk via Frinton golf course and Gt Holland this morning. 'Star bird' was between a cracking male wheatear and the good numbers of singing skylarks, with other highlights including 3 red throated divers offshore, reed bunting, yellowhammer, corn bunting, common buzzard, kestrel, red legged partridge, linnet, greenfinch, goldfinch ....

Guided walk at Heybridge Gravel Pits

24/03/2022

It felt more like summer than March for this morning's guided walk at Heybridge Gravel Pits. Highlights included black tailed godwit (800+, including various stages of moult to breeding plumage), kingfisher (2), chiffchaff (1+), common buzzard (2), red kite (1), greenshank (1), avocet (20+), reed bunting (male), Cetti's warbler (heard only), tufted duck, pochard, shoveler, brent goose, knot, bar tailed godwit, redshank, curlew ......

Guided walk at Holland Haven

16/03/2022

Surprise mammal highlight on our guided walk at Holland Haven this morning was a Chinese water deer on the grazing marsh. Bird highlights included 2 common buzzards sitting on an owl box, shoveler, displaying lapwing, black tailed godwit (4), avocet (30+), snipe (15), curlew (5), male stonechat and sparrowhawk.

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

11/03/2022

The forecast was pretty much spot on today - rather breezy, but dry morning and showery afternoon (first spots of rain just as we got back to the cars) for our guided walk at Old Hall Marshes this morning. Highlights included 80+ pintail, 5-6 marsh harrier, a big female peregrine feeding on the ground (see record photo) and then sat on a post, 100+ black tailed godwit with some moulting into breeding plumage, 3 ruff, avocet, golden plover, displaying lapwing and redshank, actually saw a Cetti's warbler as well as heard them, brent geese, brown hare .....

Guided walk at Shut Heath Wood

08/03/2022

Sunshine and blue skies, but a cold SE wind for our guided walk at Shut Heath Wood this morning. There was plenty of blue tit and great tit song and activity; we had brief views of a coal tit; at least 3 great spotted woodpeckers were calling, drumming and moving about the trees; star bird was a treecreeper moving like a mouse along branches; wrens, green woodpecker and song thrush were heard but not seen; skylark and red legged partridge were noted on an arable field; 2 common buzzard soared above the woods......

Wildlife boat trip

05/03/2022

A gloomy day, but a fantastic guided wildlife boat trip round the Walton Backwaters this morning. Star bird was a stunning little merlin that gave amazing views; but other highlights included kestrel (2), marsh harrier (2), short eared owl (1), brent geese (500+), red throated diver (2), red breasted merganser (9), rock pipit (1), avocet (30), Mediterranean gull (1), cormorant (500+), common seal (9+), as well as shelduck, gadwall, golden plover, ringed plover, little grebe .....

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

28/02/2022

A bit cloudy and chilly for our guided walk at Abberton Reservoir this afternoon, but at least it stayed dry. Highlights included male marsh harrier, grey wagtail, smew, goosander (7), great white egret, snipe (at least 38), dunlin (12), black tailed godwit (c30), redshank (2), peregrine, common buzzard, hybrid male baikal teal x teal (presumed escapee), skylark (16), Egyptian goose (3), goldeneye (10+) ....

Guided walk at Mersea Island

22/02/2022

The forecast said "fresh breeze", but it was definitely "windy" for our guided walk east from The Strood on Mersea Island. Challenging conditions for birdwatching (problems holding optics still and birds hiding!), but highlights included skylarks singing, little egret, common buzzard, corn bunting, reed bunting, curlew, brent geese, mute swan, great crested grebe; and amazingly a Chinese water deer.... And the rain held off until after we'd finished!

Guided walk at Cockaynes Wood

16/02/2022

Wellies were required after yesterday's rain, but we had a very enjoyable guided walk at Cockaynes Wood this morning. Star of the show was definitely the kingfisher that posed for us and gave great views; but other highlights included yellowhammer, siskin, coal tit, great spotted woodpecker, male marsh harrier, gadwall, great crested grebe pair displaying, skylark, mistle thrush; as well as scarlet elf cup and yellow brain fungi.

Guided walk at Colne Point

11/02/2022

An excellent morning guiding at Colne Point - great weather and fantastic birding, including 6+ marsh harrier and 6+ common buzzard against a bright blue sky, peregrine, kestrel, short eared owl, lapwing (100+), starling (200+), reed bunting (2 male), several skylark singing, corn bunting, stock dove, brent geese (100+), shoveler (pair), rock pipit (2), stonechat ....

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

08/02/2022

Lovely sunny morning for our guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick. Highlights included a flock of lapwings and golden plovers glinting in the sun as they flew overhead, siskin (2) in alders by the lake, great spotted woodpecker, shoveler, teal, tufted duck, shelduck, little grebe, red breasted merganser (pair), knot (including one starting to gain its breeding red plumage), common buzzard (at least 3), male marsh harrier, singing song thrush .... A lovely morning.

Guided walk at Wrabness

03/02/2022

The light wasn't great for photography, but a really nice mix of birds on our guided walk at Wrabness EWT reserve this morning. Highlights included song thrush, little owl, 10+ yellowhammer, 20+ linnet, 20+ goldfinch, skylark, kestrel, marsh harrier, brent geese, 6 red breasted merganser, 8 pintail, 400+ knot ....

Guided walk at Alton Water

28/01/2022

Fab morning guiding at Alton Water. So many highlights - kingfisher, siskin, brambling, linnet, reed bunting, yellowhammer, goldcrest, great crested grebe, slavonian grebe, continental race of cormorant, goldeneye, fieldfare, mistle thrush, common buzzard, great spotted woodpecker, red legged partridge ....

Guided walk at The Naze to Stone Point

25/01/2022

Bird of the day on this morning's guided walk to Stone Point at The Naze was a pale bellied brent goose (breed in Arctic Canada) among the usual dark bellieds (breed in Arctic Russia) on the foreshore (pale bellied on the left in the photo). Other sightings included kestrel, curlew, oystercatcher, bar tailed godwit, ringed plover, turnstone, sanderling, rock pipit, skylark, little egret, and muntjac deer.

Gift Vouchers

21/01/2022

Bespoke Gift Vouchers are now available for 1-2-1 guided walks and/or programmed walks.

Guided walk at Manningtree & Mistley

21/01/2022

Sunny but cold pretty much summed up today's weather for back-to-back guided walks at Manningtee/Mistley. Sightings included: teal, wigeon, pintail, greenshank (3), snipe (3), avocet (400+), knot (3,000+), kingfisher (1), Mediterranean gull (1), black swan (2), lapwing, ringed plover, red breasted merganser (9), goldeneye (20+), grey wagtail (1), grey heron, little egret, brent geese, little grebe ......

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

05/01/2022

First guided walk of the year - at Abberton Reservoir this morning. Bright and sunny but cold. Good list of species, with highlights including rock pipit, 8 great white egret, 6+ goosander, female scaup, 80+ black tailed godwit, 200+ lapwing, 35+ goldeneye, great northern diver, 4 cattle egret, redhead smew ....

Guided walk at Brightlingsea

30/12/2021

Nice bright morning, if a bit windy, for our guided walk along the river at Brightlingsea. Highlights included 2 confiding rock pipit around puddles in the car park, brent geese, curlews on the grazing marsh, 4 red breasted merganser, shelduck, 150+ avocet, 400+ lapwing, oystercatcher, a very pale common buzzard and marsh harrier interacting, fieldfare, gadwall, kestrel ....

Guided walk at Holland Haven

20/12/2021

A fantastic morning's guiding at Holland Haven - I love it when a plan comes together! No fog was a good start after the last couple of days! First target was purple sandpiper; and we were soon enjoying close views of 5 on the sluice with turnstones. Next target was dartford warbler (a scarce bird in Essex); and another tick when we found it following a stonechat pair by the golf course - very mobile, but good views (and a couple of record photos). Our surprise find was a flock of 13 white fronted geese that flew in off the sea. Other highlights included 300+ brent geese, 200+ lapwing, red throated diver, rock pipit, kestrel, Cetti's warbler, reed bunting, shoveler, teal, wigeon, shelduck, curlew, little egret ....

"Birds of Essex" Photographic Competition

16/12/2021

Chuffed! One of my images was voted as winner of Essex Birdwatching Society's "Birds of Essex" Photographic Competition Autumn 2021.
Received the framed copy of my winning photo from EBS today. Thanks to everybody who voted for my entry.

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

14/12/2021

Another lovely morning for our guided walk at Old Hall Marshes RSPB. Highlights included 4-5 marsh harrier, 3 reed bunting, brent geese, lots of wigeon & teal, 2 snipe, 400+ lapwing, 100+ avocet, 100+ golden plover, bearded tit (heard only), female peregrine, brief kingfisher, kestrel, pintail, mute swan family ....

Guided walk at West Mersea

09/12/2021

Bit of a first today - didn't take a single photo on our guided walk at West Mersea this morning!! Some good birding though, with highlights including great crested and little grebes, brent geese, great northern and red throated divers (though sadly failed to find the recent black throated diver), red breasted merganser, wigeon, sanderling, Mediterranean gull, skylark, rock pipit, corn bunting, avocet, kestrel ....

Guided walk at The Naze

08/12/2021

Lovely sunny morning for our guided walk at The Naze, but a rather challenging fresh breeze kept small birds well hidden. Despite that we still recorded 47 species, with highlights including pied wagtail (30+), kestrel, brent geese (400+), grey partridge (15), stonechat (3), avocet, redshank, black tailed godwit, sanderling, shelduck, gadwall, green woodpecker, long tailed tit, Cetti's warbler (heard only) ....

Guided walk at Colne Point

03/12/2021

Given the morning's weather I think we did pretty well for our guided walk at Colne Point this afternoon. Stars of the show were 2 short eared owls (records shot attached), but the supporting cast included barn owl, marsh harrier (3), common buzzard (2), kestrel, stonechat, rock pipit, sanderling, oystercatcher, curlew, wigeon, shoveler, little grebe, little egret and a big flock of brent geese as a noisy finale. Excellent!

Guided walk at Copt Hall

29/11/2021

Couldn't really have asked for better weather for our guided walk at Copt Hall this afternoon, given that it's the end of November. Birds such as golden plover, male marsh harrier, stonechat, reed bunting and starling all looked stunning in the low sunshine. Other highlights included squadrons of cormorants streaming overhead towards Abberton Reservoir, a big flock of brent geese, teal, wigeon, kestrel, 4 little grebe in the borrowdyke, curlew, redshank, common buzzard, little egret, lapwing and redwing.

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

25/11/2021

Such a beautiful morning for our guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick - had to keep reminding myself it's the end of November!! Magic moment was watching an adult male marsh harrier repeatedly having a go at getting a little grebe and then being mobbed by two crows until it finally gave up and drifted off to find an easier meal; and surprise sighting was a common seal hauled out in the intertidal area. Other highlights included: gadwall, wigeon, teal, shoveler, shelduck, brent goose, golden plover, avocet, bar tailed godwit, great spotted woodpecker, great crested grebe, kestrel, common buzzard, and a rather late red admiral.

Guided walk at Walton Channel

15/11/2021

Not a bad morning for our guided walk along Walton Channel - overcast, but with very light wind and a falling tide. Over 50 bird species, including marsh harrier, brent goose, teal, black and bar tailed godwits, avocet, curlew, stonechat, reed bunting, skylark, kestrel, common buzzard, red legged partridge, rock pipit, jay ...

Guided walk at Wrabness

10/11/2021

Challenging viewing conditions with fog and mizzle for our guided walk at Wrabness this afternoon. Made things very atmospheric; and nice to see some autumn colours and mist droplets on leaves and spiders' webs. Highlights included: brent geese, wigeon, teal, redshank, knot, lapwing, black tailed godwit, rock pipit, sparrowhawk, green woodpecker, jay, little egret and grey heron.

Guided walk at Cudmore Grove

27/10/2021

Lovely morning guiding at Cudmore Grove, East Mersea. Highlights included: brent geese (with a few juveniles), shoveler, wigeon, teal, jay, goldfinch, Cetti's warbler (heard), golden plover (300+), avocet, black tailed godwit, curlew, swallow (4), rock pipit, skylark, little grebe, kestrel ...

Guided walk at The Naze

22/10/2021

Fairly challenging birding conditions for this morning's guided walk at The Naze - blustery fresh westerly, bright sun and a high tide! Highlights included: 3+ jay, chiffchaff, sparrowhawk, brent geese, turnstone, bar tailed godwit, c60 sanderling, rock pipit, ringed plover, little egret, goldcrest, Cetti's warbler, long tailed tit; and a few common darters still on the wing by a sheltered, sunny pond.

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

19/10/2021

Windy conditions made birdwatching (and photography) a bit more challenging on our guided walk at Old Hall Marshes RSPB (near Tollesbury) this morning. Highlights included 40+ black tailed godwit, 200+ golden plover, 2-3 spotted redshank, 2 greenshank, 1 ruff, 20+ ringed plover, common buzzard, kestrel, 2 marsh harrier, jay, gadwall, shoveler, pochard, reed bunting, skylark, meadow pipit ....

Guided walk along Walton Channel

14/10/2021

Walton Channel 'round 2' for today's guided walk. A bit breezier and not so pleasant, but still plenty of birds to see. Highlights included:- black and bar tailed godwits, avocet, grey plover, curlew, lapwing, wigeon, teal, brent goose, little grebe, marsh harrier, linnet, stonechat .... Love hearing the calls of waders (mainly curlew and redshank today) carrying across the saltmarsh.

Guided walk along Walton Channel

13/10/2021

A beautiful afternoon for our guided walk along Walton Channel today, with blue sky, incoming tide and calm conditions. Unexpected highlight was c15 grey partridge dust-bathing along a field edge, 5 brambling that dropped in but didn't stay long, meadow pipits and redwings passing overhead, 400+ black tailed godwit, avocet, grey plover, curlew, common buzzard, jay, reed bunting, skylark, wigeon, teal ....

Guided walk at Landguard Point

08/10/2021

A foggy journey to Landguard Point was a bit disheartening for our guided walk, but visibility was much better by the time we started. There'd been an obvious influx of robins, blackbirds and song thrushes overnight. Other highlights included black redstart, purple sandpiper, Mediterranean gull, a few swallows heading south, chiffchaff, blackcap, wheatear, small groups of brent geese south offshore, a flock of goldfinches, linnets and meadow pipits on the common ....

Guided walk at Colne Point

23/09/2021

A fresh breeze, but a lovely morning for our guided walk at Colne Point. Highlights included a juvenile pale morph common buzzard, 2 juvenile marsh harriers, small parties of swallows and house martins heading south, linnet, kestrel, yellow wagtail, oystercatcher, curlew, lapwing, golden plover, lots of sea aster mining bees, yellow horned poppy and more.

Wildlife boat trip - Walton Backwaters

18/09/2021

Fantastic weather for our wildlife boat trip on the Walton Backwaters this morning. Highlights included: common seal, turnstone, little egret, golden plover, sandwich tern, common tern, the first returning brent geese of the autumn, common sandpiper, marsh harrier, female eider, sanderling, avocet, dunlin, bar tailed godwit, knot, teal, wigeon, wheatear, swallow. Good weather, good birds, good company ... and cake - can't be bad!!

Guided walk at Brightlingsea

13/09/2021

Fabulous weather again for our guided walk at Brightlingsea this afternoon (along the river from Bateman's Tower). Highlights included a rather distant osprey, sparrowhawk (2), kestrel, common buzzard, common tern (3), grey partridge (4), green woodpecker, wheatear (2), oystercatcher (20), curlew (15), turnstone (2), reed bunting, linnet, goldfinch (flock of 50+), and a clouded yellow butterfly.

wildlife calendar 2022

11/09/2021

Delighted to announce that my calendar for 2022 is now available at £8.50 each (plus postage if mail order).

Guided walk at Holland Haven

07/09/2021

Such a beautiful morning for our guided walk at Holland Haven - sunny, warm and calm (if a little hazy). Started off with a successful search for wasp spiders (we found 5); butterflies included red admiral, small copper and speckled wood; migrant hawker dragonflies. Our bird total was 43 species, including blackcap, lesser whitethroat, greenfinch, linnet, wheatear (4+), whinchat, avocet (10), black tailed godwit (5), brief views of kingfisher, common buzzard (2), juvenile marsh harrier, sandwich tern, reed warbler, teal, grey heron, turnstone (2).

Wildlife boat trip - Walton Backwaters

27/08/2021

Today's "guided walk" was a wildlife boat trip on the Walton Backwaters. Sightings included 60+ turnstone, 15+ golden plover, 100+ bar tailed godwit, curlew, sandwich tern, 2-3 marsh harrier, peregrine, a female eider, c50 avocet, grey plover, and of course common seals (though 2 rhea on Horsey Island didn't make the official list!).

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

24/08/2021

Fabulous encounter with two brown hares on our guided walk at Abberton Reservoir today - such a privilege! (It always worries me after a birdwatching walk when 'bird of the day' is a mammal!!) Other highlights included: brimstone butterfly, 500+ cormorant, 30+ common tern, 2 common sandpiper, 2 green sandpiper, 5 ruff, 6 red crested pochard, 30+ pintail, 30+ wigeon, 2 great white egret, 15+ Egyptian goose, 12+ yellow wagtail, kestrel, greenshank ....

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

19/08/2021

Fab morning guiding at Fingringhoe Wick EWT. Star bird was an osprey over Geedon Marsh; but the waders were spectacular, many still in breeding plumage - black tailed godwit (500+), bar tailed godwit (2), avocet (100+), grey plover (120+), golden plover (100+), greenshank (43), spotted redshank (2), curlew (100+), whimbrel (1), lapwing, redshank, ringed plover, dunlin, knot, oystercatcher. Total of 47 bird species, plus plants, butterflies and other insects.

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

12/08/2021

Reached the dizzy heights of 50 bird species on our guided walk at Old Hall Marshes RSPB this afternoon, of which an impressive 17 were waders. Many of these are returning from much further north and look particularly stunning in their breeding plumage at this time of year. Highlights included: whimbrel, green and common sandpipers, greenshank, avocet, ruff, black tailed godwit, golden and grey plovers, snipe, spotted redshank, common tern, spoonbill, marsh harrier ....

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

30/07/2021

Not the best weather conditions for today's guided walk at Abberton Reservoir, but timed it right being in the hides during the worst of the wind and rain. Highlights included 60+ common tern, 250+ cormorant, teal, gadwall, 1 goldeneye, 2 great white egret, spoonbill pair with 2 juveniles, swifts and martins feeding low over the reservoir, stock dove, great crested grebes with young, 10+ Egyptian geese, 1 black swan, 40+ goldfinch, linnet ...

Wildlife boat trip - Walton Backwaters

27/07/2021

Not strictly a "guided walk", but so good to be able to do wildlife boat trips round the Walton Backwaters again. Highlights included 2 eider, 4 little tern, c40 sandwich tern, 12+ Mediterranean gull, 3+ whimbrel, 30+ bar tailed godwit, 12+ black tailed godwit, 2+ marsh harrier, 1 common sandpiper, 30+ grey plover, and 15+ common seal. A brilliant trip, and we missed the rain! Can't wait till the next one.

Guided walk at Cockaynes Wood

22/07/2021

Fab weather again for our guided walk at Cockaynes Wood. Star sighting was between juvenile nightingale and a sunbathing chiffchaff - both giving amazing views. Other highlights included common tern, song thrush, great spotted and green woodpeckers, swallow, common buzzard, yellowhammer; painted lady, small copper, gatekeeper; green eyed flower bee; oak eggar caterpillar; common centaury, chicory, sainfoin, small balsam.

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

19/07/2021

A beautifully warm and sunny afternoon for our guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick, with a nice range of species seen, including:-
birds: turtle dove, swallow, chiffchaff, black tailed godwit, lapwing;
butterflies: purple hairstreak, red admiral, peacock, gatekeeper, small heath;
dragonflies: brown hawker, ruddy darter, emperor, blue tailed damselfly;
plants: common centaury, lady's bedstraw, hare's foot clover, viper's bugloss, sea lavender, lesser calamint;
other: beewolf, labyrinth spider, cinnabar moth caterpillar, ichneumon wasp

Guided walk at Elmstead Woods

15/07/2021

Great time at Elmstead Woods this morning for our guided walk. Varied habitats = varied wildlife! Highlights included a 'singing' quail (very close at one point, but still couldn't see it!!), common buzzard, juvenile swallows and house martins, yellowhammer, kestrel, green woodpecker; banded demoiselles along the brook; brown hare; 10 species of butterfly; pyramidal orchid ....

Guided walk at Stour Wood

13/07/2021

Un-forecast sunshine this morning helped our guided walk at Stour Wood in search of butterflies and other wildlife. Our main targets were white admiral and silver washed fritillary; and we saw both, but they wouldn't settle for us, so unfortunately no photos. A nice selection of plants too, including common centaury, narrow leaved ragwort, slender St John's-wort, enchanters nightshade, foxglove and yellow pimpernel.

Guided walk at Landseer Park

07/07/2021

Slightly different guided walk at Landseer Park this morning, focusing more on butterflies and wildflowers. Would have preferred a little more sunshine, but still plenty to see. Highlights included marbled white, Essex skipper, Roesel's bush cricket, swollen thighed flower beetle, chiffchaff, kestrel, swift, pyramidal orchid, lady's bedstraw, cornflower, vipers bugloss, common toadflax, dittander and so much more.

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

29/06/2021

Superb afternoon guiding a walk round the Lord Woodmouse Trail at Abberton Reservoir - with 52 bird species seen/heard, and the weather remained dry for us too! Best moment for me was finding a summer plumaged red necked grebe, but other highlights included little ringed plover, yellow wagtail, hobby, nightingale, bullfinch, swift, yellowhammer, common tern, ruddy shelduck, gadwall, cuckoo ....

Guided walk at The Naze

28/06/2021

Very misty conditions for our guided walk at The Naze this morning. Lovely to see some young birds, notably kestrel and ringed plover, while other highlights included swallow, sand martin, swift, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, greenfinch, curlew, oystercatcher and more.

Guided walk at Wrabness

16/06/2021

Twas a little hot, but a superb morning guiding at Wrabness NR, with so much to see and hear. Highlights included sand martins (with juveniles), turtle dove (eventually seen after hearing them several times), yellowhammer, reed bunting, linnet, song thrush, jay, kestrel, whitethroat and lesser whitethroat, common buzzard; painted lady, brimstone and common blue butterflies; mullein moth caterpillars; common centaury and common spotted orchid; and so much more.

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

11/06/2021

Another lovely morning for our guided walk at Old Hall Marshes RSPB reserve, and busy with bird activity. Cuckoos (at least 4) were very vocal, marsh harriers hunted the marsh, common terns were busy nesting, and avocets and lapwings had young. Other highlights included sedge warbler, Cetti's warbler (heard only), distant cattle egret, pochard, shoveler, reed bunting....

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

10/06/2021

A warm and relaxed afternoon for our guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick EWT today, with a varied range of wildlife seen/heard. Highlights included: nightingale, turtle dove, chiffchaff, garden warbler, cuckoo, marsh harrier, common tern, grey plover, great spotted woodpecker, reed warbler, swallow, jay; brimstone, green hairstreak, speckled wood; hairy dragonfly, four spotted chaser, black tailed skimmer...

Guided walk Frinton to Holland Haven

08/06/2021

Fabulous morning - warm and sunny with a gentle breeze - for our guided walk from Frinton to Holland Haven. Highlights included several reed warblers and reed buntings, showy sedge warbler and meadow pipit, male stonechat, house martins and swallows, linnet, surprise sighting of 2 barnacle geese, nesting avocets, swift, lapwing.... Also butterflies:- orange tip, small heath, peacock and red admiral.

Guided walk at Manningtree

04/06/2021

Surprisingly good bird list (32 species) from a very soggy guided walk west along the River Stour from Manningtree this afternoon. Highlights included avocet, oystercatcher, lapwing, little ringed plover, gadwall, shelduck, common tern, skylark, sedge and reed warblers, marsh harrier, swift, swallow .... Just about dried out now!!

Guided walk at Elmstead Woods

03/06/2021

Felt much more like summer guiding at Elmstead Woods this morning. Great variety of wildlife - plants, birds, butterflies, dragonflies... Highlights included: banded demoiselle; brimstone, green hairstreak, small heath; cinnamon bug; chiffchaff, willow warbler, yellowhammer, swallow, green woodpecker; yellow rattle, grass vetchling, birds foot trefoil....

Guided walk at Cockaynes Wood

27/05/2021

Fantastic morning guiding at Cockaynes Wood EWT reserve. Great views of nightingale (singing and carrying nest material). Other highlights included blackcap, great spotted and green woodpeckers, yellowhammer, cuckoo, swift, mistle thrush, common buzzard; green hairstreak; blue tailed and azure damselflies; and a nice range of wildflowers too.

Guided walk at The Naze

24/05/2021

Nearly finished our guided walk at The Naze before the showers arrived this morning! Many birds were heard only - blackcap, cuckoo, lesser whitethroat, Cetti's warbler, reed warbler, skylark - but sightings included several whitethroats, chiffchaff, kestrel, greenfinch, gadwall, sedge warbler, long tailed tit family and a muntjac.

Guided walk at Wrabness

18/05/2021

Fortunate with the weather for a morning guiding at Wrabness EWT reserve. Highlights included 3+ turtle doves, 6+ nightingales, 150+ sand martins, c100 brent geese still along the river, shelduck, linnet, whitethroat, reed bunting, yellowhammer, blackcap, green woodpecker...

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

14/05/2021

Felt like more birds heard than seen on a fab morning guiding at Fingringhoe Wick, but sightings included whitethroat, blackcap, chiffchaff, nightingale, lesser whitethroat, garden warbler, great spotted woodpecker, cuckoo, swallow, swift, reed bunting, common tern... Also heard tawny owl and reed warbler.

Guided walk at Holland Haven

12/05/2021

A beautiful morning for our guided walk at Holland Haven today. Lots of birds heard and seen (39 species), but most disappeared as I reached for the camera! Highlights included blackcap, whitethroat, swallow, green woodpecker, shelduck, avocet, linnet, stonechat, sedge warbler, skylark and kestrel. Also a few butterflies - orange tip, peacock, speckled wood and red admiral.

Guided walk at Shut Heath Wood

07/05/2021

Spectacular display of bluebells in Shut Heath Wood for our guided walk this morning. Other highlights included a very noisy and active pair of great spotted woodpeckers, several treecreepers and wrens, blackcap, chiffchaff, mistle thrush, common buzzard, jay; as well as the amazing colonies of wood ants.

Guided walk at The Naze

30/04/2021

Fab morning guiding at The Naze with numbers of highlights - a very showy lesser whitethroat (just after hearing it singing nearby and telling the group we were unlikely to see it as they skulk deep in cover!!), swallow, sand martin, female eider, Mediterranean gull, dunlin (flock of c400 with several in breeding plumage), common buzzard, kestrel, whitethroat, blackcap, chiffchaff, jay, lapwing ...

Guided walk at Wrabness

27/04/2021

Fabulous morning at Wrabness guiding a group. Sightings included turtle dove (2 - my first of the year), ring ouzel, blackcap, chiffchaff, nightingale (at least 5 present), swallow, sand martin (c200), whimbrel, yellowhammer, whitethroat (at least 9), linnet, common buzzard, green woodpecker and much more. And it was nice and warm!

Guided walks at Frinton

22/04/2021

Two guided walks at Frinton today (circuits via the golf course). Highlights included: reed bunting (2), wheatear (2), whimbrel (7 + 1), skylark (c20), corn bunting (10+), yellowhammer, mistle thrush, green woodpecker, common buzzard, sparrowhawk, kestrel (2), Cetti's warbler, whitethroat, reed warbler; also muntjac (2) and Chinese water deer.

Guided walk at Cockaynes Wood

21/04/2021

Highlight of our guided walk at Cockaynes Wood this morning was a nightingale singing close to the path (that gave frustratingly brief views); but there were also singing blackcap, chiffchaff and goldcrest; green woodpecker, sand martin and swallow, kestrel and common buzzard, linnet, great crested grebe ... Also a nice selection of flowers - bluebell, lesser celandine, wood anemone, golden saxifrage, greater stitchwort, storksbill ...

Guided walks at Fingringhoe Wick

15/04/2021

A real mix of weather for our guided walks at Fingringhoe Wick today - sunshine, cloud, rain, hail. Highlights included brief nightingale, lots of chiffchaff and blackcap, a pale bellied brent goose in among the dark bellied, Mediterranean gull, common buzzard, marsh harrier, linnet, great spotted woodpecker, swallow, stock dove, little grebe, shelduck, shoveler ...

Guided walk at The Naze

13/04/2021

Lovely couple of hours for our guided walk at The Naze this morning. Highlights included skylark, chiffchaff (8+), blackcap (2), jay, greenfinch, Cetti's warbler (heard only), sanderling (67), eider (1 female), ringed plover, dunlin (including 1 in breeding plumage), common buzzard ...

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

09/04/2021

Weather was better than forecast for our guided walk at Abberton Reservoir this morning. Nice to see some familiar faces, but also some great birds too, including Egyptian goose family, little ringed plover, yellow wagtail, swallow, whimbrel, blackcap, goldeneye, skylark, snipe, reed bunting, Mediterranean gull, common buzzard, common tern ...

Guided walk at Holland Haven

07/04/2021

Viewing conditions a bit tricky in this morning's cold wind, but still had a successful guided walk at Holland Haven with over 40 species seen. Highlights included purple sandpiper, avocet, snipe, black tailed godwit, shoveler, wigeon, shelduck, chiffchaff, kestrel, common buzzard, green woodpecker, brown hare and adder.

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

01/04/2021

Somewhat cooler for this morning's guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick. Chiffchaffs were everywhere we went, as well as several blackcaps; while other highlights included shoveler, tufted duck, shelduck, brent geese, skylark, common buzzard, kestrel, little grebe and little egret. However, my favourite was my first swallow of the year flying around the visitor centre as we ended our walk.

Guided walk at Wrabness

31/03/2021

Another fabulous morning for today's guided walk at Wrabness EWT. Bird of the day for me was the sand martins that have arrived back from Africa. Other highlights included chiffchaff (8), yellowhammer, common buzzard, green and great spotted woodpeckers, bullfinch, cowslips, peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies, and a colony of mining bees (possibly Andrena clarkella).

Guided walk at Mistley

30/03/2021

So good to be out guiding again! Spent the morning at Mistley Walls & Quay, where highlights included lots of black tailed godwits (most in their stunning brick-red breeding plumage), turnstones lined up along boat decks, avocet, oystercatcher, redshank, shelduck, teal, little egret, black swan, chiffchaff and another rookery to add to the EBS survey ... and it was such a beautiful day to be out as well.

Guided walks update

24/03/2021

In line with Government guidelines I'm starting a programme of small group guided walks (for 5 + me) from 29th March 2021. For details and availability please see the Events page.

Lockdown update

15/03/2021

In line with latest Government guidance all my guided walks, courses and events are currently cancelled. However, with easing of restrictions I plan to start offering guided walks (rule of 6) from 29th March, and details are on the Events page. Wildlife photos and greeting cards are still available for sale - please contact me if interested to make arrangements.

Index

Guided walk at Wrabness

09/05/2022

Guided walk at Alton Water

05/05/2022

Guided walk at Shut Heath Wood

03/05/2022

Dawn Chorus at The Naze

30/04/2022

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

27/04/2022

Guided walk at Arger Fen

22/04/2022

Wildlife boat trip

14/04/2022

Guided walk at Alresford Creek

11/04/2022

Guided walk at Frinton/Gt Holland

05/04/2022

Guided walk at Heybridge Gravel Pits

24/03/2022

Guided walk at Holland Haven

16/03/2022

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

11/03/2022

Guided walk at Shut Heath Wood

08/03/2022

Wildlife boat trip

05/03/2022

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

28/02/2022

Guided walk at Mersea Island

22/02/2022

Guided walk at Cockaynes Wood

16/02/2022

Guided walk at Colne Point

11/02/2022

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

08/02/2022

Guided walk at Wrabness

03/02/2022

Guided walk at Alton Water

28/01/2022

Guided walk at The Naze to Stone Point

25/01/2022

Gift Vouchers

21/01/2022

Guided walk at Manningtree & Mistley

21/01/2022

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

05/01/2022

Guided walk at Brightlingsea

30/12/2021

Guided walk at Holland Haven

20/12/2021

"Birds of Essex" Photographic Competition

16/12/2021

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

14/12/2021

Guided walk at West Mersea

09/12/2021

Guided walk at The Naze

08/12/2021

Guided walk at Colne Point

03/12/2021

Guided walk at Copt Hall

29/11/2021

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

25/11/2021

Guided walk at Walton Channel

15/11/2021

Guided walk at Wrabness

10/11/2021

Guided walk at Cudmore Grove

27/10/2021

Guided walk at The Naze

22/10/2021

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

19/10/2021

Guided walk along Walton Channel

14/10/2021

Guided walk along Walton Channel

13/10/2021

Guided walk at Landguard Point

08/10/2021

Guided walk at Colne Point

23/09/2021

Wildlife boat trip - Walton Backwaters

18/09/2021

Guided walk at Brightlingsea

13/09/2021

wildlife calendar 2022

11/09/2021

Guided walk at Holland Haven

07/09/2021

Wildlife boat trip - Walton Backwaters

27/08/2021

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

24/08/2021

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

19/08/2021

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

12/08/2021

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

30/07/2021

Wildlife boat trip - Walton Backwaters

27/07/2021

Guided walk at Cockaynes Wood

22/07/2021

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

19/07/2021

Guided walk at Elmstead Woods

15/07/2021

Guided walk at Stour Wood

13/07/2021

Guided walk at Landseer Park

07/07/2021

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

29/06/2021

Guided walk at The Naze

28/06/2021

Guided walk at Wrabness

16/06/2021

Guided walk at Old Hall Marshes

11/06/2021

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

10/06/2021

Guided walk Frinton to Holland Haven

08/06/2021

Guided walk at Manningtree

04/06/2021

Guided walk at Elmstead Woods

03/06/2021

Guided walk at Cockaynes Wood

27/05/2021

Guided walk at The Naze

24/05/2021

Guided walk at Wrabness

18/05/2021

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

14/05/2021

Guided walk at Holland Haven

12/05/2021

Guided walk at Shut Heath Wood

07/05/2021

Guided walk at The Naze

30/04/2021

Guided walk at Wrabness

27/04/2021

Guided walks at Frinton

22/04/2021

Guided walk at Cockaynes Wood

21/04/2021

Guided walks at Fingringhoe Wick

15/04/2021

Guided walk at The Naze

13/04/2021

Guided walk at Abberton Reservoir

09/04/2021

Guided walk at Holland Haven

07/04/2021

Guided walk at Fingringhoe Wick

01/04/2021

Guided walk at Wrabness

31/03/2021

Guided walk at Mistley

30/03/2021

Guided walks update

24/03/2021

Lockdown update

15/03/2021