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Feb 2018

Avocet - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Avocets on the Exe

We once killed all the Avocets in Britain. We destroyed their habitat by draining their salt marshes and we killed them for …

Edwin Rendall - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Edwin and the shipwreck cabin

Westray is a small island and has some really interesting characters; Edwin Rendall is one of them. My theory is that everyone …

Seedheads - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Sunstar seedheads

Whenever it’s winter, it’s hard to imagine summer and whenever it’s summer, it’s hard to imagine winter. Whenever it’s spring, it’s hard …

Barbed Wire - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Udal Law

The law on who owns what land isn’t as simple as you might think. Living in a country with a name like …

Black Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Black-Tailed Godwits on the Exe

There are large flocks of Black Tailed Godwits on the Exe estuary at the moment. It’s winter and they’re probably here from …

Salmon illustration (c) Raymond Sheppard

Putchers and their Privileged Engines

What’s happened to the Salmon of my childhood? Pollution, habitat destruction and overgrazing of livestock. Here’s a story of Putchers and their Privileged Engines catching Salmon on the Wye.

Stonechat - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Stonechatting

I’ve seen Stonechats before, most recently on Trendlebere Down in South Devon. They are very handsome birds, and their insistent habit of …

Pintail - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

25 pairs of Pintail

There’s a pair of Pintail ducks at Bowling Green Marsh near Exeter. I’ve seen one before in the West Midlands when a …

Greenshank - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Greenshanks and Redshanks

Good weather is in short supply in February. A bright day is a rarity, so after a view of clear blue sky …

Window - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Windows

I love the windows of the old buildings on Westray in Orkney. The stonework is wonderful, the walls are so deep and …

Mute Swan - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Pink Zebras and Ginger Swans

In Devon everything in the countryside takes on the colour of the soil; and that colour is often red. The Devonian red …

Steer - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Tentative

Arriving at Einar, the cattle are always keen to see what’s happening. They approach me with tentative noses:

Westray - The Bay of Skaill - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Bay of Skaill

On a glorious day on Westray this boat on the Ouse on the Bay of Skaill makes a beautiful scene:

Cow - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Curious wet nose

Westray is a farming and fishing island, with wildlife largely confined to the edges and margins. It is a very productive island with green fields and very healthy-looking cattle.

Here’s a curious wet nose:

Ivy - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Stop the vigilante ivy cutters

There’s something very deep within our animal brains that comes from our inner ancient ape that compels us to interfere, to tidy, to arrange and to act upon nature.