Somerset Levels Tour
After previous postponements it was a relief to be finally returning to Somerset in the springtime, the clients were just as excited as we were. Going a day early gave the opportunity to do some reconnaissance work, first stop would be Glastonbury. Having seen Glastonbury Tor as the backdrop to the levels I thought it would be good to see the levels from the Tor, it is certainly quite a climb but worth it, as views out to the Bristol Channel were the reward, CLICK FOR MORE
Hampshire and Sussex
This was a trip into unknown territory, heading south to give a couple of lectures to the RSPB groups at Portsmouth and Brighton. Having done a bit of research prior to departure there seemed to be a host of interesting sites to visit, it would also give an opportunity to revisit the Royal Navy dockyard at Portsmouth. CLICK FOR MORE
Best of Lincolnshire in the Spring
Finally, it was great to get out in the field with guests, I had previously met Mr and Mrs Jordan when giving a talk to the RSPB group at Oxford where they had indicated an interest to see what Lincolnshire had to offer. Mr Jordan had indicated his desire to get some wildlife photography completed on this trip, so we went in search of our subjects on this tailor made tour. CLICK FOR MORE
Greenspaces In The Scottish Highlands
Finally getting back to the Highlands via an early morning Beaver watching session on the Tay river system. It was an absolute joy to see these creatures in their natural habitat on an early morning watching session. The highlight being when the adult male slapped his substantial tail on the surface of the water as a warning to other members of the family that danger maybe around. What a joy after an absence of 400 years they were finally re- established here in Scotland. A flying jewel in the form of a Kingfisher was an added bonus. CLICK FOR MORE
The Scottish Highlands on three occasions in 2020
Well who would have known, hindsight and all that. I remember going up to Scotland and hearing the first whispers in the news about a virus in China that was rather unusual. Quite strange, for the mark it eventually made on the World but particularly Great Britain. CLICK FOR MORE
A Day Trip to Yorkshire - March 2020
After what has seemed like a continual blow and rain cycle it was great to be heading off on the first daytrip of the year. At last a sunny day but with a bit of wind, it greeted us as we set off northwards to an unnamed destination in Yorkshire, here we were hoping to see the first reptiles waking up after their winter slumber. CLICK FOR MORE
Scotland in Winter Feb 2020
One can never have too much of Scotland whatever the season, so setting off with much anticipation of seeing snow on ‘them thar’ hills this was to be a reconnaissance trip for forthcoming Greenspaces tours.
Calling at Insh Marshes on the way up gave loads of waterfowl , mainly the dabblers of Mallard, Teal and a couple of Shoveler. It was clear that there was to be very little snow on the mountain tops and it had been wet rather than cold.
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Norfolk Tour Dec 2019
With the forecast for strong winds in the early part of the week hopefully giving way to more settled weather as guests arrived in midweek, this trip in Norfolk promised ornithological riches that only this part of the UK can supply.
The base for this trip was to be the central location of Wells next the Sea with most of the sites being easily accessed from there, so giving more birding time and less travel time.
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Autumn in Speyside - Dolphins, Rainbows and the Rut.
It is with great anticipation, that I returned for the umpteenth time to see what has now become my second family at the Grant Arms Hotel. In recent times I have been organizing my own tour groups to share what makes this area so special, CLICK FOR MORE
The Somerset Levels
Back down to the Southwest to a very unique area of the UK. All guests on his trip were from Lincolnshire so we travelled as a party. But getting there for lunch time allowed a few hours at RSPB Ham Wall reserve. It was a great introduction to the area with many hirundines taking advantage of the mass of insects at the site. A few late season Reed Warblers were also seen no doubt packing on the weight in order to sustain them over the migration. CLICK FOR MORE
North Norfolk Tour
Back to very familiar haunts this time, North Norfolk having lived there for four years of my life it was a former local patch add in that the opening day was my birthday gave it bit of a surreal feeling.
So meeting up with guests at our base for the week , a briefing followed before we set off for Sculthorpe Moor a reserve owned and managed by the Hawk and Owl Trust. It is already a fantastic reserve but it is set to double in size over the next two years. CLICK FOR MORE
Outer Hebrides - Goldies and Grey Ghosts.
It was with great anticipation and excitement that this trip was started, with day one getting as far as Oban before ferry travel to the Isles. To break the journey up a visit was made to Arkinglass garden situated on the banks of Loch Fyne in Argyll some 40 miles inland from the coast. CLICK FOR MORE
Cuba - Cigars, Cars, Todies and Trogons.
Well what a trip this turned out to be, a fairly unusual start due to the Drones or as it turned out non Drones at Gatwick airport. Eventually after a delay of 30 hours we touched down at Havana International Airport, one transfer later and we were at the small hotel situated on Plaza Vjeja in old town Havana, the strains of Cuban music could be heard everywhere which was pure joy to my ears. CLICK FOR MORE
Speyside , The Cairngorms And The Moray Coast .
Although this was the eighth visit to the Grant Arms in Grantown on Spey it felt somewhat different with a first foray into guiding Greenspaces clients whereas it had always been for hotel guests previously . A couple of days reconnaissance ahead of guests arriving proved invaluable . The omens were not good with the funicular rail on Cairngorm being closed indefinitely due to structural issues so that piece of news already had an influence on the proceedings. CLICK FOR MORE
Cruise Report -Fred Olsen ‘ BALMORAL ‘
The Scottish Isles
So another cruise for Fred Olsen which had originally been scheduled for mid September but had now been brought forward to July which presented endless wildlife watching opportunities. It didn’t start well as the car broke down on the drive up to Newcastle to get on board
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The Wild Brown Bears of Finland 9th to 19th June 2018
This was a trip that had been in the pipeline / wish list for a long time , although you can see more species of bear in North America a short flight to Finland with its wonderful Landscapes and guaranteed success were the deciding factors .
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A Roundup for Lincolnshire January / Febuary 2018
Well what a varied two months of weather we have had from driving rain , to lovely spring like days to be reassured at the end of February that winter wasn't finished with us as we chilled in the Beast from the East. CLICK FOR MORE
Nocton Fen - a Brief encounter with Birds
A foray on to the east side of Lincoln for a couple of hours brought more birds than could have been expected
Starting at Bardney Bridge and taking the minor road to Wasps Nest and Nocton Fen the resident Peregrine was atop the chimney at the beet factory surveying its next meal , a couple of weeks earlier it had been interacting with a Buzzard which had strayed onto its patch .
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Scotland - Extension to Islay
Having heard so much about this Island I finally got round to visiting it. So taking the Teatime ferry from Kennacraig to Port Askaig , sadly we could not birdwatch in the dark from the ferry .After disembarking and getting to the accommodation it was time for shut eye, CLICK FOR MORE
Speyside and the Cairngorms
So a return trip to the familiar haunts of Speyside to hopefully see Scotland in all its autumnal glory . An overnight stop at Carlisle broke the journey up ,so up early and away to get to the Kelpies close to Falkirk. These remarkable structures the shape of horses heads ( 30 Metres high ) signify a piece of Scottish history and also are synonymous with the heavy horses which used to pull heavy loads along the towpath of the adjacent Forth and Clyde canal CLICK FOR MORE
A Spring Week in Scotland
Yet another week up at the Grant Arms in Scotland as a guest speaker was beckoning . Going via Southport ( to see the mighty imps finish their season ) and a day in the Lake District ( to visit old haunts ) . It was good to get away to see Scotland at its finest little did I know that it would be a rain free week . CLICK FOR MORE
The Big Blue - Baja California
They say if you are going to go and watch whales only one time in your life then this is the trip to make. So it proved, but allow me to explain why The trip started at London Heathrow and flew out to San Diego (S D ) already dreading the thought of USA homeland security and revised plans after Mr Trumps election it proved to be unfounded .Spending some time in S D at either end of the trip proved to be the right decision with its wonderful climate , good transport and a host of things to see CLICK FOR MORE
Adventures in Borneo - Feet in the mud, Head in the Clouds
As they say in Borneo ‘ Selamat datang ‘ or welcome and so I hoped it would prove to be , having always wanted to go to this mythical place the land of The Headhunters and strange orange apes .Having reviewed itineries of various companies ‘ Wildlife Worldwide’ were selected and a fusion of their Sarawak and Sabah tours put together with it being a tailor made tour . CLICK FOR MORE
Cruise from Falmouth , Cornwall to Madeira , The Canaries and Lisbon .
Having been asked if I would be available for this trip as an on board speaker it really did not take too much thinking about to accept the invitation . The Canaries in the springtime what could be better? A smooth crossing over the Bay of Biscay was a must … CLICK FOR MORE
Several invitations to speak in both England and Scotland resulted in a mini lecture tour . Starting in Huddersfield talking to the Local Birdwatchers association where a talk on the straights of Gibraltar was warmly received .A journey further north to Oban taking a ferry to Mull brought me to the lovely little town of Tobermory ( Balamory for you kids out there ) , CLICK FOR MORE
A previously planned short break to Morocco had been organised on the back of many favourable reports from fellow birdwatchers . On account of the Isis threat and other terrorism in North Africa it was a destination which many people had temporarily taken off their itinery .So it proved to be a budget holiday with return flights from Stanstead to Marrakesh for £83, Four star Hotels on Bed and Breakfast basis at £23 per person per night . The low cost certainly did not detract from the quality of the experience CLICK FOR MORE
Birdwatching Weekend in Norfolk
With the vehicle on the drive , it was just a case of loading up the luggage and the passengers ( 7 in total ) for what was going to be the inaugural tour for stevelovellgreenscapes. The weather forecast was not very favourable with a front hanging over the southern half of Britain for the next few days . We were going to have to be flexible regarding the weather. CLICK FOR MORE
Beyond the Golden Triangle
Beyond the Golden Triangle - Temples , Tigers , Turbans and Tea.This trip had been booked well in advance of the above dates , with the ‘ Golden Triangle’ referring to the route from Delhi to Agra to Jaipur . The beyond bit was the visit to Ranthambore National Park . CLICK FOR MORE
‘Lets go find a Kite’ ( Of the Red Type )
A booking to speak to the RSPB local group at Didcot on this Monday evening took me to this part of Britain . The topic was to be ‘ Costa Rica’-Pura Vida . So with an overnight stay already booked in Oxford I decided to spend some time both viewing and hopefully photographing these wonderful birds. As it turned out the weather on the Monday deteriorated into rain, rain and more rain. But a trip round to check out the sites proved to be invaluable CLICK FOR MORE
‘ Time and Tide waits for no man ! or even Waders ‘
An organised coach trip on behalf of the local RSPB group saw me head off to a favourite reserve . With a good tide set to be at its peak at 4-40pm and the prospect of good weather it promised to be a fruitful trip .Setting off from Lincoln and arriving at ‘Snetts ‘ at 11am the weather was perfect also with the added bonus of not many people around . A walk along the seafront over the shingle promised a lot but delivered very little with just the odd calling Redshank and occasional Dunlin for company, CLICK FOR MORE
High Tide Spectacular - Waders Of The Wash
JOIN STEVE LOVELL your guide for the day to view one of natures absolute spectacles , yes waders in their thousands coming to a high tide roost and then flying back out over your head to the sanctuary of the wash as the tide recedes.
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