Dale’s Springwatch


A young roe deer Hi all,

Last year I posted a few blogs chatting about the birds and animals I discovered whilst walking my trusty hound Toby. Many of you got involved and responded helping me identify in particular birds that I'd photographed. It's no co-incidence that this blog idea has been inspired by BBC TV's Springwatch programme that started again this week.
I've been off work this week for the kids' half-term and spent a few hours walking over the heathland and woodland near my home. Where possible I'll include photos, although as any amateur wildlife watcher will confirm – all the wildlife evaporates the instant the camera is switched on!

This week I spotted a rare Dartford Warbler; last year I had a false alarm when I thought I'd photographed one – but it turned out to be a stonechat.

I haven't captured the Dartford yet but I'll persevere!
Dale's mystery bird I caught a young roe buck grazing last night (pictured above left) and a bird (pictured left) that I'm wondering if it might be a Nightingale? It had a beautiful song, so is it or isn't it ? – as last year any advice would be welcome – please help this amateur twitcher!

I'll update next week.

Till then,


  1. cathy g June 4, 2010 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    hi, Dale, it might be a Thrush- they used to be called ‘Song Thrushes’ when I was small (long time ago!!), or it might be a Missel Thrush.
    They have the most beautiful song, and are quite wary birds.The RSPB website has good sound and visual clips, useful for identifying the birdsong you hear. Hope you enjoy your walks and time off-

  2. julie June 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dale
    I am a springwatch addict, i jus love anything to do with nature and animals as i am sure i have told you before.
    Unfortunately i can’t help you with what your picture is though.
    My hubby and I have been taking lots of pictures if all the birds on our feeder the last couple of weeks.
    Hope you enjoyed your time off and that Mr Toby is well!!!
    Love Julie

  3. Gail June 5, 2010 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Dale, how wonderful that you appreciate the diversity of the wildlife in your ‘back garden’ so to speak. How lovely to see a wild roe buck and a very good photo Dale, I’m very impressed. Walking over heathland and woodland – sheer bliss – music to my ears; lucky old you. Not so much of the old; sorry Dale. Somehow I knew you’d be interested in the birds (of course I mean the feathered kind).
    Talking of wildlife, can I interest you or any of your readers in visiting the Australia Zoo website. Please everyone, visit the site even if it is only to learn about the Wenlock and its diversity, beauty and importance.
    Back to Dale. Good luck with the wildlife watching. As you have probably guessed, I am a great wildlife enthusiast. Look forward to more of your photos and news of the local wildlife. Take care.
    Much love, Gail (Mrs P) xxxx

  4. Dale Franklin June 9, 2010 at 2:15 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, I considered the Thrush family, as you say they have a beautiful song but this bird was smaller, I’m wondering if it might be a Chiff Chaff, although that bird has a song like it’s name and I don’t remember it sounding like that.The RSPB website is fantastic!
    Julie, many thanks, bird feeders and tables are a great way to see wildlife, unfortunately we have the fattest squirrels ! My neighbour bought a huge squirrel proof globe feeder in an attempt to let the birds feed.
    Mrs P, what can I say, I’ve always loved the great outdoors and wildlife – I even used to work with Indian elephants !! True – I’m sure Steve Irwin would have approved – I loved his TV series and I’m sure Australia Zoo is a lasting reminder of his great work. Thanks to all. Dale x

  5. Margaret June 16, 2010 at 11:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dale , could it be a nightjar?

  6. THERESA CHIVERS January 18, 2011 at 9:20 am -  Reply

    You were very polite when we saw you in Guildford a while ago and you are the best presenter. Athony came close and it is sad to see him leave as you are all like a family. Where has Anthony gone? Takecare and we hope you have a happy and healthy new year and everyone at QVC. Theresa

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