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Nature Notebooks

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

Beautiful Brittlegills

There are many brightly coloured species of fungi in Yarner Woods. These are all Russulas, to use their scientific name, or Brittlegills …

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

Cherries on an Oak

There are Cherry Galls, Cynips quercusfolii, on this fallen Oak leaf. Inside each are tiny wasp larvae, protected by the Oak’s reaction to …

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

Master of austerity

There’s only one species of Nuthatch in the UK, the Eurasian or European Nuthatch, Sitta europaea, and it only lives in England and Wales …

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

Getting the winter duvet out

It’s been a cold night and there’s an unexpected frost with this clear blue sky. There’s a Grey Squirrel above me. Instead …

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

Robin Orangebreast

Robins. Humans love them. We’ve developed a whole mythology around them and they form an essential part of our mid-winter iconography. We …

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

Blackbird

There’s a Blackbird skulking and hopping around the path. I love them. If someone tells you they are plain birds, don’t agree …

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

Close to a Cormorant

It’s a beautiful morning in my local country park. I see another photographer and we exchange pleasantries. He says it’s much better …

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

A Bounty of Bay Boletes

The ground on Trendlebere Down is full of surprises at this time of year. In amongst the understory of bracken and bilberries …

Dead Man's Fingers - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Dead Man’s Fingers

I joined my local Natural History Society when I was 11 or 12 years old. It was full of retired men who …

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

Oakbug Milkcaps

Oak trees are our most common native tree. They host hundreds of species of insects because they’ve had the time to develop …

Knopper Gall Wasp - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Have you seen my peduncle?

English Oaks take 40 years to produce their first acorns and don’t reach ‘peak acorn’ until they are 100 years old.

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

Holly in Autumn

The Holly is bursting with berries in South Devon this year. It’s glorious against the colour of the autumn leaves at Yarner …

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

The Cornish Pasty fungus

The Birch Polypore. Razor Strop Fungus. Birch Bracket. Like many fungi, this one has a range of strange and exotic folk names …

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

Tortoiseshell

There’s a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly which has settled in front of me: I’m thrilled because I hardly ever see them. I took …

Common Seal - 1970s Nature Notebooks - (c) David Bailey (not the)

Common Seal in the 1970s

Leafing through my childhood scrapbooks I come across a drawing of a Common Seal. It has all the characteristics of a Common …

Mediterranean Spotted Chafer - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Mediterranean Spotted Chafer

It’s taken me a while to identify this beetle I saw in Italy this summer. It really shouldn’t have taken me this …

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

Shelduck

Whenever I see Shelducks walking and eating in the mud I wish I could join them.  Well, the walking bit anyway. Maybe …

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

Banded Demoiselle

Here’s a Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) from this summer: They get better the closer you look: If you have any children in …

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

Purple Pigeon

A quick trip out to one of the bridges on Brunel’s Great Western Railway in South Devon means a great view of …