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a wildlife review of 2018

img 6475 a wildlife review of 2018

img 6005 a wildlife review of 2018

I have always so loved seeing wildlife around both within the garden and outside in. This love has been there since childhood, where I spent hours watching blackbirds nesting within the hedges that surrounded our house, spending ages within rock pools, seeing what would crawl out of the woodwork.

Even during the times I was fishing, watching wildlife was always part of that, the enjoyment of watching a kingfisher landing on the rod tip, only 10ft away at times was as pleasurable as seeing a big fish in the net. Of course, fishing depends of wildlife from feeding the fish and to the fish themselves, so gaining that information of what is going on, was a great learning curve

img 5944 e1546589814875 683x1024 a wildlife review of 2018

My aim in 2018 was to spend more time seeing wildlife and listing what I had seen. Part of the reason behind it was to try and help control my depression and anxiety. This had started to vear its ugly head over the past year or so and I needed something to focus on other than work and family and this was idea. It brought me a lot of enjoyment during the year despite it being my worst year mental health wise I have had for many years well at least 10 anyway.

img 6475 a wildlife review of 2018

I always need something to aim for in what ever I am doing, so I set my self a few targets, one was to see 200 species of birds, 20sp of butterflies, 10sp of damsels and dragonflies and 15 sp of bees. Quite tough aims but could of been achievable but in the end I failed to achieve those goals for them all apart from the butterflies, where I scrapped in with 20! Do I care? Nah not at all, it was a little bit of fun that got me looking more into the beauty of what’s surrounding us and looking out for small things within the garden and whilst out walking in the wild and towns.

 a wildlife review of 2018

My highlights have been seeing so many birds for the first time, some I have wanted to see for many many years. Within minutes of driving though France, I spotted a large group of Avocets just feeding on a low reservoir, a bird I had wanted to see since my boyhood. Next highlight was a brief one but just stunning, watching a Hobby chasing a swallow, seeing both birds twisting and turning within the evening sky, like two aircraft in a dog fight. Seeing a large group of Black Tailed Godwits, sat there within 12m of me . Memories that will last with me for years

Butterflies indeed were the only group I managed to see all I aimed to see. The only new one happened to be a 5 second view but what a view! a Purple Emperor landed within a metre from me for a few seconds before flying off again. One of our biggest butterflies and one of the most stunning. I felt so lucky just to see it

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Well I am going to do the same this year and just have fun, This year I am going to try for 200 birds again, 25 buffer flies, 20 bees, 10 dragonflies and Damsels flies and 10 different uk Orchids, another childhood favourite! I hope I will get there but if I don’t, well it doesn’t matter, just as long as I enjoy it! I hope you will enjoy my journey too

img 5642 a wildlife review of 2018

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Watching Nature

img 3672 Watching Nature

img 3672 Watching Nature

I think being a gardener makes you more in tune with nature and let’s be honest we are! We spend time nurturing plants and soils in our own little Eden, whether it’s paid for a client or for our own pleasure. It’s not just for us or the bank manager we do this work for but also the wildlife that supports and uses this area for food, not always to our pleasure, I may add.

I suppose I did start gardening before getting very interested in wildlife, I say suppose, as I was only 4 before started gardening and not long after getting into wildlife and loved to spending time wandering around the countryside seeing what birds were flying around, the butterflies dancing in the bushes and the mammals trying to avoid our eye contact as they dart around.

brimstone Watching Nature

Over the past few years I have started getting back into my wildlife, spending time watching them during my working day and when driving around and this has led me to start listing them, and this year I thought I would share what I see with you all. I am very lucky that I work in a very varied areas from the South Downs to the new forest and a few trips towards the sea and I cover quite a lot in a working week and I hope this will bring me a wide diversity of wildlife.

img 5168 Watching Nature

I have got little spreadsheets made up to record what I see during the year and I am going to take part in the #My200Birdyear challenge started and hosted by Bird watching magazine and it’s basically trying to see 200 different birds in a year. I am going to run my list from January as I had already written down what I have seen already. I also take part in the great bee and butterfly count and love seeing them. Adding in dragonflies and damsels for this time as its a group of insects I would love to learn more about and this would be a great chance

So anywhere here’s where I am at in the 4 areas at the moment.

My bird list

  1. Redwing
  2. Pheasant
  3. Jackdaw
  4. Wigeon
  5. Mistle thrush
  6. French partridge
  7. Raven
  8. Common teal
  9. Song thrush
  10. English partridge
  11. Heron
  12. Shoveler
  13. Field fare
  14. Wood pigeon
  15. Little egret
  16. Gadwell
  17. Blackbird
  18. Collard dove
  19. Large egret
  20. Robin
  21. Wren
  22. Kingfisher
  23. Blue tit
  24. Mallard duck
  25. Moorhen
  26. Great tit
  27. Lapwings
  28. Coot
  29. Long tailed tit
  30. Grey wagtail
  31. Canada goose
  32. Coal tit
  33. Pied wagtail
  34. Kesteral
  35. Gold crest
  36. Mute swan
  37. Red kite
  38. Chaffinch
  39. Cormorant
  40. Buzzard
  41. Bull finch
  42. Green parakeets
  43. Sparrowhawk
  44. Green finch
  45. Skylark
  46. Peregrine falcon
  47. Gold finch
  48. Great backed gull
  49. House sparrow
  50. Starling
  51. Jay
  52. Dunnock
  53. Black headed gull
  54. Tufted duck
  55. Tree creeper
  56. Herring gull
  57. Great crested grebe
  58. Nuthatch
  59. Magpie
  60. Ostercatcher
  61. Green woodpecker
  62. Rook
  63. Common poachard
  64. Great spotted woodpecker


  1. Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum)
  2. Red tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidaries)


  1. Red Admiral
  2. Brimstone

So if you feel inspired, I would love you to join in and see what you can see as well