News/Reports

Guided walk at Copt Hall (7 spaces)

29/11/2021

Monday 29th November 1.30 – 4pm Copt Hall Marshes NT
(£10 per person). Meet in the car park by the church in Copt Hall Lane, Little Wigborough (off the B1025) CO5 7RD.
Species we’ll be hoping to see include: yellowhammer, reed bunting, barn owl, short eared owl possible, fieldfare, redwing, golden plover, stonechat, brent geese, marsh harrier.
Booking in advance is essential please.

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 ....

Photography Exhibition

02/08/2021

I have a selection of my wildlife photos and cards on display at Fingringhoe Wick visitor centre until the end of August. The centre is open daily 10am-5pm.

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 Copt Hall (7 spaces)

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

Photography Exhibition

02/08/2021

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