The Course


An overview of interesting wildlife to look out for whilst on the course is to follow.

Work has started on areas between the 15th and 16th holes at Ely City Golf Course to develop an area of wildflower habitat. This is part of 'operation pollinator' a new nationwide initiative to increase habitats for native insects, primarily bees. For full details on what's going on, check out this article.

Spotting anything?

If you have spotted any interesting wildlife whilst golfing why not write about it below...

Harmless grass snake spotted on the 13th hole

Bee Swarm by the 4th Fairway (D. Woods)

4 out of the 5 fledglings

Adult male returned with a collared dove


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  • barbara.woods 12.04.2017 @ 16:32:08PM

    A pair of kingfishers has been seen frequently visiting the corner of the pond adjacent to the 14th daily tee box. Let's hope they nest in the bank behind the thick bramble cover - it would be a first for the golf course!
    Dave Woods (can't log in as myself!!!!)

  • barbara.woods 28.03.2017 @ 20:17:56PM

    Yesterday our group witnessed a pair of kingfishers flitting about in the hedge above the ditch alongside the 13th fairway, near the green. Their fabulous blue and russet colours shining in bright Spring sunshine.
    Plenty of chiffchaffs, great spotted woodpeckers and green woodpeckers heard around the course.
    Spring activity in glorious Spring weather.

  • barbara.woods 03.04.2016 @ 22:19:12PM

    Great to see and hear several chiffchaffs back on the course today. With the recent sunny warm weather, summer is definitely on its way!
    Chiffchaffs are usually the first summer migrants to set up territories on the course. For the 19th consecutive year, one was heard at the back of the 12th green.
    I also witnessed the evidence of a couple of sparrowhawk kills, so let's hope they nest on the course again this summer.

  • barbara.woods 31.03.2016 @ 17:20:24PM

    The pair of grey wagtails seen in the ditch between 1st and 10th greens again today. Let's hope they are nesting nearby. Green and greater spotted woodpeckers very active and all in breeding plumage around the course.

  • barbara.woods 30.03.2016 @ 16:52:05PM

    After a typically quiet winter, it has been encouraging to hear and see our resident birds again on the course. The gulls, fieldfares and redwings have all but left now, and soon we will be welcoming our summer migrants. During every round recently, I have seen the resident female kestrel in the trees between the 12th green and 13th tee. She used to frequent the trees between the 11th tee and 16th fairway. No sign of a male as yet.
    On Saturday 20th February, I witnessed a first for me on the course, a beautiful grey wagtail, feeding in the fast-flowing ditch between the 1st and 10th greens. This very attractive grey and yellow bird is not to be confused with our usual pied wagtails on the course. Grey wagtails are normally birds of streams and rivers in upland areas of the country.
    No doubt most members have seen the heron and cormorant around the ponds on the 2nd hole. They may well have had a rudd or two, but the carp are obviously and thankfully too big for them!

    Another first was witnessed by my 4 ball one Saturday late morning in December, when a Chinese Water Deer scurried at a rate of knots into the thicket to the left of the 3rd green.
    Also encouraging has been 2 sightings of the kingfisher once from the 2nd green and again flying across the 16th green and entering the ditch near the greenkeepers' sheds alongside the 17th tee.

  • david.woods 09.07.2015 @ 11:50:29AM

    Update on the sparrowhawk nest near the 12th hole:
    There are 5 chicks in the nest. The previous white fluffy down has been rapidly shed and this morning I watched as the first nestling took its first flight. However it returned to the nest for lunch 30 minutes later when the adult male returned with a collared dove. I hope to post a couple of photos to this page; one of 4 of the chicks, and one of the adult male feeding with his offspring.

  • david.woods 04.07.2015 @ 17:50:58PM

    What a thrill this morning from the 12th tee. A sparrowhawk was seen to swoop up into the top of a tree. Subsequent scanning of the tree revealed an adult female feeding her 3 fluffy chicks. I will monitor the situation over the next few days, and hopefully manage to get some decent photos.

  • ellen.barnett 07.05.2015 @ 07:32:29AM

    My ball landed in rough left hand side of 3rd green. Went to look for it, heard lots of rustling in undergrowth and to my surprise a grass snake came wriggling out at great speed!! Frightened the life out of me! I am approaching these areas with more caution now as don't like snakes but also don't want to upset their habitat and breeding either. Looking forward to more sightings and hope the herons don't take off too many.

  • david.woods 24.04.2015 @ 08:11:16AM

    Great to hear from a couple of sources that 2 new bird species have been seen on the course, rather than flying over or near.
    A pair of barn owls have been seen hunting early mornings in the rough either side of the 15th hole, as well as being seen on the 13th.
    Also a buzzard was witnessed on the 7th fairway.

  • david.woods 05.04.2015 @ 16:31:04PM

    Yesterday I heard my first chiffchaff of the year, when I heard one singing behind the 12th green. That is now 19 consecutive summers I have heard one in that territory.
    And this afternoon, Barbara and I saw a lovely little weasel scuttle across the 17th yellow tee from the green keepers' sheds and down into the ditch.

  • david.woods 11.03.2015 @ 20:15:00PM

    Spring at last is on its way - the wind is drying up the ground after the long, wet winter. The fairway mowers are back in action, and great to see frog spawn laid over the weekend in the pond on the 17th. Buzzard drifting over the 10th today, probably migrating to its breeding territory.
    The heron which often roosts in the willow at the back of the right hand pond the 2nd, was seen on Saturday flying off with a good sized fish - ? rudd or roach.

  • david.woods 10.02.2015 @ 16:57:40PM

    It has been a somewhat quiet few winter months, although it has been good to see our seasonal redwings and fieldfares around the course. Many will have seen a heron frequenting the area around the ponds on the 2nd hole. I found a moderate sized Rudd alongside the second green last month - obviously dropped by the heron.
    I have seen the kingfisher a couple of times in the same area in recent weeks. It is good to see and hear the drumming of great spotted woodpeckers around the course, with a couple seen in December in splendid breeding plumage in the trees on the 18th, near the practice ground.
    Wonderful to witness Allistair Berry placing his owl boxes at the weekend - a tawny owl box alongside the 12th tee, and a barn owl box overlooking the farmland to the left of the 7th fairway.
    Fingers crossed for some new avian members!

  • allistair.berry 04.01.2015 @ 09:49:46AM

    I took advantage of the course closure yesterday and placed another 6 bird boxes around the course. We now have 33 boxes on trees thanks to the great support of the members here at Ely. I will shortly be placing a tawny owl box in one of the larger trees along with a barn owl box too.

  • david.woods 18.09.2014 @ 20:07:39PM

    A gorgeous warm sunny September afternoon was brightened even further by the magnificent sight of a kingfisher flying above me on the 14th tee towards the 2nd tee.

  • david.woods 10.07.2014 @ 07:19:21AM

    Last Thursday, 3rd July, Pete Rains saw, and took a photo of a superb adult female grass snake heading for the pond on the 8th hole. They are often seen on the lower, damper ground around the 13th tee and fairway, but this is the first report of one on the higher ground.

  • david.woods 02.07.2014 @ 08:43:00AM

    Keith Whiting and his playing partners were fortunate enough to see a cuckoo flying across the 14th fairway during their Seniors Invitation round on Monday morning.

  • allistair.berry 27.06.2014 @ 13:55:51PM

    You may have a spotted a number of bird boxes located around the course during a round or two. These are a the first phase of the successful adopt a bird box scheme. We currently have 27 boxes across the course and recently I visited each in order to determine if the local bird population have taken to them.

    The results are in and extremely encouraging in that half of them were occupied by either Blue or Great tits feeding young or sitting tightly on eggs.

    Only one check was carried out this year but next year I hope to make at least a second check and perhaps have some chicks ringed with a BTO ring.

    Interest in the boxes continues and in the autumn I will be placing an owl box in a suitable location in addition to a few more tit boxes.

    Thanks again to all those that have and continue to support the scheme.


  • david.woods 26.05.2014 @ 18:54:51PM

    Over Bank Holiday weekend, I have seen the return of a favourite sighting as well as two firsts for me.
    Yesterday it was again a thrill to see the iridescent blue flash of a kingfisher hurtling past the pond behind the 14th tee with a fish in its beak. Earlier it was a first for me to see a hobby hunting over the copse alongside the 8th tee, and again over the practice ground when sitting on the terrace after my round.
    Today our fourball witnessed a squirrel with a mouse in its mouth being chased up a tree by another squirrel! I didn't realise squirrels are omnivorous.

  • david.woods 23.04.2014 @ 18:16:32PM

    A very healthy looking muntjac seen today ambling down the 9th and 10th fairways. Also wonderful to hear so many warblers in the hedges and trees all around the course.

  • david.woods 16.04.2014 @ 09:33:34AM

    My first garden warbler of the year was heard on Monday, 14th April - in the hedge between the 14th green and the footpath / pond. I heard another yesterday in the hedge alongside the 6th fairway. It's great to hear the summer migrants back.

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