Monday, May 13, 2013 8:44:02 PM
Is a city defined by its sounds? There is no aural free space in London - police sirens, tour guides, the ubitiquous rumble of traffic, the automated announcements on stations. And then, also, there is this: a tuba player busking on the street by the British Museum, breathing music, and breathing fire.
St James Park was alight not with flames but with flowers
But the countryside is only ever a train journey away from the capital. On the coast, the birdfeeders continue to attract patrons. If the blackcap didn't match her name...
...the chaffinch was still resplendant in his plumage
And the nuthatch was sunning itself on the birdtable, and took time to return to its normal sleek attire.
But badgers grace the shadows upon the fall of night.
And they listen.
The woodlands rustle more softly than the city, but they are not silent either.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:51:38 AM
At least someone's happy with the weather
The diversity within birds never ceases to amaze. Very different from mallards are robins...
...and different again are common kestrels
Saturday, March 2, 2013 5:46:22 PM
It's coming late this year. The woods are oddly silent and most of the flowers are yet to emerge. In fact, I'm yet to see any nestbuilding at all - but I was woken up this morning by one spring-signal. A great spotted woodpecker was tapping a tree loudly outside my window, echoed by another further away.
The robin was quieter, but apparently hungrier.
And the woodpigeon had a strand of grass stuck in its beak. I've never seen this before, but it might be hard for the bird to extract without some help.
Just a couple of other pictures today - first, the largest flock of coots that I've ever seen:
And a glimpse of a 900-year-old Sussex church.
Sunday, January 20, 2013 11:06:02 AM
...not in an ecological sense, or even a meteorological sense, although snow has found the south-east of England and painted all the non-native rhododendron bushes with white highlights. Norfolk has been carpeted, as usual, and even down here on the south coast the conditions are not very conducive for travel.
But those with wings can still visit, and my 'invaders' are very small, very cute birds that travel in large flocks and cannot stay silent for more than a few seconds at a time
I'm not quite sure how many foraging parties of long-tailed tits are visiting my table, but they're pecking through the peanuts at an unprecedented rate. They need to eat fatty foods just to keep warm.
A great spotted woodpecker and a jay have both made fleeting visits, but the robin is nearly always present.
All five local members of the titmouse family visit here most days. Marsh tits are the rarest nationally, but the pair that have adopted the table have virtually moved in (in fact one is on the peanut feeder as I type this). Blue tits and coal tits drop by, but great tits use their size and aggression to dominate the lesser members of the family whenever possible.
Nuthatches can also be surprisingly ill-tempered, but divide their time between the table and the oak tree.
It's still snowing
I've been hearing a fox barking for the last few nights, and the snow has recorded many tracks. I'll leave a trail camera outside tonight.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:53:31 AM
...the crowd of the human race, at any event, although wildlife is both abundant and noisy at Strumpshaw Fen, one of the finest treasures of the Broads National Park, and one that is frequented by Norfolk's most spectacular bird of prey
Marsh harriers are larger cousins of the northern or hen harrier, and their UK population is mostly restricted to East Anglia. Like their "skydancer" relative, they are fast and agile fliers, which makes them splendid to watch but hard to photograph
Other creatures are certainly not lacking. I've seen otter tracks on the paths here in the past, and it's also home to Chinese water deer - those strange sabre-toothed deer that surprise visitors to these parts
Less startling, perhaps, are robins.
And long-tailed tits
Reed buntings perch amidst the spring's new buds.
Not forgetting the pheasant
Finally, a couple of other photos from recent days.