Rural countryside at Malham

The Longest Day - A Day of Two Halves

Young Peregrine fledgling in flight, Malham
It’s just after 5 am when I arrive and this is not how it was supposed to be. The Met Office app has failed me, again. Not right this minute, no, right this minute the app is quite accurate, but at 11 pm last night the app told me I’d be bathed in golden sunlight. Had I known Malham Cove would be enveloped by cloud and drizzle, I would have made a bigger flask of tea! Read more


When the final cry of the curlew is heard but not recognised

Pivotal Moment for Sun Lane Green Belt  

 

I’ve lost any sense of how long I’ve been standing here in this hedge.  The twine of barbed wire and bramble pressing into my thigh is marginally more bearable than the stench seeping out of the weighty poo bags that hang out in this same hedge. Time evaporates as I watch the first midges of the year stretch their wings and dance, backlit by the shards of early evening sunlight. It’s hypnotic. A sudden, abstract flash of white in the distance catches my eye and snatches me away from my daze. I’m on full alert. It’s blurred and masked by several other hedgerows but there’s no doubt in my mind. She’s here.Read more


Two swifts (Apus apus) soaring in a stormy spring sky, Burley in Wharfedale.

The Birds From Hell, A Most Welcome Return!

It's been a largely grey and wet day here in Burley. Miserable some might say, and many would agree. Yet, among the gloominess, my cheeks have that painful glow you get when you blow up too many balloons. Pain not from blowing out too much hot air though, but from smiling. Smiling at my first sight of this year's Swifts! Read more


Swan family with cygnet on the river wharfe

A Swan Summer: No broken arms, just a broken heart

A first-hand account of a British summer spent in the company of a stunning and iconic swan family. Read more


Male Kestrel lunching into flight

Wind Surfing Kestrel

Standgale, Windhover, Windsprite, Windcuffer, Windfucker. Or "Kestrel" as I would proudly exclaim as a child in the back of my parent's car. "Kestrel!" every time that iconic hovering silhouette appeared above the skyline, my enthusiasm never and still hasn't waned.Read more


Waxwings at Wetherby Whaler

I have a love-hate relationship with Waxwings. I love the bird, their intricate, vibrant colours, their heavy eighties eye shadow & punk hair-do. I hate that whenever you try to see them you invariably end up looking like a tool, hanging around with a camera and/or binoculars in a supermarket car park or train station! Read more


Barn Owl in flight in the late afternoon sun daytime

Burley's Barn Owl & Updates from the Yard...

Yesterday was Valentine's day and the hottest one for over 20 years. Today was equally warm as the sun shone on over 15,000 inspiring school children who went on strike in order to campaign for action on climate change. Amazing!

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Shades of Grey (Partridge)

Most birds and animals with the title Grey preceding them have a genuine cause for protest. As fashionable as the colour seems to be on the high street; in the wild a "grey... <<insert name here>>" sighting rarely conjures the excitement and enthusiasm it deserves. Read more


Supermoon with silhouette Starlings

The Moon, From the Terrace

Between 02.35 and 07.45 (GMT) earlier today a rare event called the "Super Blood Wolf Moon" occurred. Miss it? So did I! Don't worry though you get another chance  in 2021. Read more


Books on a Bookshelf

Good Reads 2019

Skip this post if you're looking for the next Margaret Atwood, Bernard Cornwell, celebrity biography or self help book. "This-is-not-the-Good-Read-Review-you're-looking-for"! If you're interested in wildlife, outdoors, conservation and the landscape stick around, I've got some little gems for you.Read more