Alder Leaf Beetle, Agelastica alni photographed at Burley in Wharfedale West Yorkshire

The Un-Extinct Alder Leaf Beetle From the Doorstep

Can you keep a secret? I've succumbed a new camera! 😱  More on that another time, but of course the first thing anyone wants to do when they get anything new, is to test it out, and I'm no different!Read more

Otter on the river Wharfe, Ben Rhydding Nature Reserve

Tails, from the Riverside

Oh, how I’d love to tell you about how I woke up hours before sunrise. How I hand-ground some coffee and gently simmered it over a stove before stepping out into the cold and dark. That I went into full camouflage mode, rubbed otter spraint into the pores of my skin and waited motionless for hours in anticipation of my quarry. While the reality is somewhat more mundane, my most recent and closest encounter yet with otters was no less magical and no less authentic. Read more

Dipper sunlit under a wrought iron bridge, Ilkley

A Dip Under the Bridge

I don't need to tell you that since the global pandemic, finding the quieter spots locally has become harder. Yet, where there's a will, there's a way and on a bright summer's evening where best to find some quiet? Under a wrought-iron bridge, naturally. Read more

Hoopoe, Upupa epops on a driveway digging for grubs Collingham, Leeds West Yorkshire

Mott the Hoopoe & All the Young(ish) Dudes!

Sporting a majestic mohawk, I guess the Hoopoe may be more punk-rock than my glam rock pun-tastic blog title (channelling Mott the Hoople) suggests! Read more

Mother and son watch a mason bee approach solitary bee nest box

Is this the Summer of a Lifetime?

It won’t just be the virtual watchers of a Sun appearing over a pixelated Stonehenge who will have changed their plans this Summer.  All of us to varying degrees will have had to abandon preparations and adapt in the wake of the Covid pandemic. Read more

Long Tailed Tit, Aegithalos caudatus with nest material

Lichen, Moss and 1,500 feathers! The Wonder of a Long Tailed Tit's Nest

Nature is full of gob-smackingly awesome engineering, and right up there with the best of them is the long-tailed tit nest. Long-tailed tits are one of my favourite garden birds. It’s impossible not to smile when these miniature Nerf balls grace you with their presence. Read more

Baildon Swifts: Pre-Season Training

"Shortbread or Gingers Nuts?!" These choice biscuits and one or two cups of tea will be the only immediate reward for braving the lofty heights of Baildon's hilly settlements today. Read more

Want to see what 526 Lapwings and 89 Starlings Look Like?

Do you know what 615 birds flying in the air looks like? Well I didn’t, or at least I wasn’t sure. That was until I saw, photographed and counted them. 

It happened a couple of weeks ago. A chance glance out of the studio window and there they were, swarming in the distance, five hundred and twenty six lapwings and eighty nine starlings. 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