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December 2018

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

Zeeeeeeee

There’s a loud ‘Zeeeeee’ call from the top of the Yew trees in the churchyard opposite my house. I say churchyard but …

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

The Darkling Thrush

There’s a Song Thrush singing high above. It’s getting dark and I can just glimpse it through the branches. It’s hard to …

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

Purple mushrooms on Dartmoor

I’m on an organised fungus foray on Dartmoor with the Devon Fungus Group and, yes, we are all exactly like you would …

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

Hedgehogs are to blame

There was a Hedgehog in my garden in Orkney. We all ran outside to see it and it curled up in a …

Black Necked Grebe - Orbetello - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Black Necked Grebe

I’m in the middle of one of the most surreal of experiences of this year. There’s a small group of us in …

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

Serin

There’s a small, noisy flock of birds in the trees in this Italian park. I think they might be Siskins. They’re too …

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

Stonechatterbox

There’s the repeating sound of two stones being knocked together. There must be a Stonechat somewhere. It flies up to a wire …

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

Rotivator claws

Of all the birds you might guess would sit on a wire, I suspect the Heron would be near the bottom of …

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

Italian Sparrows

We all ignore the over-familiar. Sparrows are one species which is often unfairly overlooked. This is despite them being beautiful, fascinating to …

Autumn Leaves, Rome - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Autumn leaves in Rome

The early morning light is beautiful in this tiny park in Rome. I’ve read a few tourist reviews of Roman parks. They …

Ring Necked Parakeet - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Ring Necked

There’s a Ring-Necked Parakeet in the park in Rome. They are so noisy and distracting. They are another example of how our …

Mycena epipterygia - The Hall of Einar

Yellowleg Bonnet

We’re having a field day. Or rather, I should say we’re having a woods day. We’re out having fun looking for as …

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

A tight bundle

There’s a tight bundle of curiously coloured mushrooms on this dead wood. It’s Sulphur Tuft. That’s such a perfect name. Their yellow …

Airone Bianco Maggiore

Airone Bianco Maggiore

Here’s the beautiful three-dimensional sign from a bird hide in Italy: It’s for the Great White Egret, which is a huge white …

Yellow Legged Gull - Rome - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Visitors to Ancient Rome

I’m walking along the main road between the Colosseum and the Forum in Rome. I know what you’re thinking, “Did a funny …

Clouded Yellow - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Clouded Yellow

Seeing butterflies in November and December is an unexpected joy. This Clouded Yellow,¬†Colias croceus, is wonderful to watch. There are Red Admirals, …

Black Redstart - Caffarella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Black Redstart and blue skies

There’s a Black Redstart in the park here in Italy. I’m at Parco della Caffarella for the afternoon and finding the Black …

Water Rail - Orbetello - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Narcissus at the Source

I’m getting the usual view that everyone gets if they see a Water Rail: They are skulking birds which rarely come out …

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

Flaming Flamingo

At the Lido di Tarquinia there are Flamingoes. They are such surreal birds: Their reflections don’t look any better. This being Italy, …

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

Orange-toothed Swamp Beavers

Those teeth. They are extreme aren’t they? They’re bright orange. They belong to a Coypu, a semi-aquatic rodent from South America. They …