Wildlife and Words

Larking about at Elmley

In my mind, Elmley National Nature Reserve is the premiere location in the South East of England for seeing Marsh Harriers. These once-rare birds of prey are now easy enough to find around the country if you go to the... Continue Reading →


‘Birds of the Sea’ – a Vintage Treasure

A source of much joy for me, other than nature, are old books - especially ones with lovely illustrations. I have spent many a happy hour searching through second-hand bookshops for treasures and they don't all have to be pricey;... Continue Reading →

A Scathing Review

I love reading and I love books. To not finish a book that I have started is not something I enjoy doing and in fact comes near to sacrilege, but on a very small number of occasions I have done... Continue Reading →

A day of Raptors on the Downs

From autumn through winter, the South Downs attract a great diversity of birds of prey, some of which travel from the other end of the country or even from across the sea. This great open, rolling landscape which strokes the... Continue Reading →

Birding Delights at Dungeness

I have often written on this blog of what a unique place Dungeness is and how great it is for birding, especially in winter when it regularly attracts scarce birds that can be tricky to see elsewhere in the South-East.... Continue Reading →

What is a Tit really?

Blue, Coal, Great, Marsh, Willow, Crested, Long-tailed, and Bearded - Britain's titmice are among the most familiar, colourful and well-loved of all the country's birds. Who doesn't love to watch Blue Tits performing acrobatics on the feeders? Or watch the... Continue Reading →

Purple on the Pier: a trip to Newhaven

When you're new to birding it can take a while to realise that a lot of English bird names are nonsense. Mute Swans aren't mute, Black-headed Gulls have brown heads, Common Gulls aren't common, Marsh Tits live in woodland, Barnacle... Continue Reading →

Dawn birding by the river

The train slid through the night like a luminous caterpillar. The carriages rattled, the rails sparked. I peered out of the window; the shape of the approaching downland ridge was just an ink-black bulk against the purple-black canvas of the... Continue Reading →

Winter birds in stubble and hedge

A west wind was blowing, teasing its way through the bare treetops and carrying on its back a wide band of cold, cluttered clouds full of intent. I knew it would rain before long, so I hurried my pace. My... Continue Reading →

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