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paul ward
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Birding in Rickmansworth..
Birding in Rickmansworth..

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The fields are on fire
As Judith was in the country and could take a day off, we visited one of our favourite reserves - Lakenheath Fen in Norfolk. This used to be the prime site in the UK for nesting golden orioles but they disappeared 5 or 6 years ago. You would rarely see them...

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Elegantly done
There is a clear hierarchy in the world of birding - patch list is worth less than year list is worth less than lifer. Best of all is a lifer which is also a country first. Elegant tern fits into this category. This normally breeds on the Pacific coast of t...

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Elegantly done
Around mid June the birding scene starts to dry up. Most of the commoner or regular birds are all breeding or have been here for some time, and without any change in the weather systems not much new turns up. Last week though there was one of these weather ...

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Did that really happen?
A couple of weeks ago the newswires started carrying reports of a very showy cuckoo at Thursley Common. Now cuckoos are getting harder to see each year, as more of them are blasted out of the skies over Malta, so I put a mental note down to go there. Then, ...

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Not tonight Josephine
Another early start today, as I wanted to get to Farmoor reservoir early doors to see a Bonapartes gull which has been there for 3 weeks. These are small gulls, superficially similar to black-headed gulls but with key differences, which I will highlight lat...

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Having a nice trip
We are right in the middle of the Spring migration now, so anything and everything can turn up. This can be from really rare birds - not too many so far this year - to the usual suspects moving up the country to their nesting grounds. Two typical birds of t...

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Climb every mountain
It would be a shame to go all the way to Scotland and not climb up something. So, on the last full day of our holiday we ventured out to go up Cairngorm. More precisely, we headed up from the main car park towards Ben Macdhui, a known spot for the mountain ...

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More than one way to catch a fish
Even before we went, one of the highlights we were looking forward to was a day at the Rothiemurchus fish farm. Not to do any fishing but to spend a day in a hide photographing the ospreys which come in to feed there. The farm have worked out it is worth a ...

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Catching up with old friends
One of our other trips out when we are in Speyside is to the Black Isle. Only about an hours drive north, this is not actually an island but a jut of land coming out into the Moray Forth. We first went a couple of years ago after heard about the dolphins wh...

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Heading North
We are about halfway through our traditional Easter break to Scotland. This time we are focusing on Speyside, staying in a lovely house on the edge of Aviemore. We drove up on Good Friday, stopping the first night at Dalhousie outside Edinburgh. We stayed i...
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