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Nature Notebooks

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

King Alfred’s Cakes

There’s an interesting fungus on this piece of dead wood. I’ve always known it as Cramp Balls, or Daldinia concentric, but my …

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

Rooks in flight

The River Exe has a railway line running the full length from Exmouth to Exeter on one side and from Dawlish Warren …

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

Buzzard in flight

I’m out for a walk along the River Exe with my camera. There are a few small wading birds around but nothing …

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

A Damselfly with a blue tail

There’s a Damselfly with a blue stripe on its tail over the water in Somerset: It’s a Blue-Tailed Damselfly, Ischnura elegans.

Great Crested Grebe - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Great Crested Grebe

There’s a Great Crested Grebe on the lake at Ham Wall RSPB Reserve in Somerset one minute, and the next, it’s gone. …

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

Hairy Dragonfly

I was wondering what this hairy dragonfly was called: Then I found out it was called the Hairy Dragonfly. Some people are …

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

Lapwings displaying

There are a few Lapwings flying around RSPB Greylake in Somerset today. These two drew a wonderful image in the air.

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

Goldfinches building a nest

There’s a lot of twittering and chattering in the trees in the back garden. It’s a pair of Goldfinches who are busy …

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

Oak Apples

There’s an apple on an oak tree over there. It’s not a fruit though, it’s a gall caused by the Oak Apple …

Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum) - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Variable Damselfly

There’s a Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum near the pond. They fly from May to August. The British Dragonfly Society (yes, there really …

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

Blackcap in the trees

Walking around RSPB Ham Wall Nature Reserve in Somerset I can hear singing. It must be a warbler of some sort but …

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

Linnets

The number of Linnets in Britain’s countryside has halved since I was a boy. I’m going to make the most of their …

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

A walk on Orley Common

Orley Common is a true common – absolutely no-one owns it or has ever owned it – it belongs to us all. …

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

Pheasant

Male Pheasants don’t do camouflage. This one’s face is like a beacon in the field.

Great White Egret - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Great White Egret at RSPB Ham Wall

It was 2012 when Great White Egrets first bred on the Somerset levels. Today there’s a thriving population. They look majestic against …

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

A Blackcap like a fine wine

I’m tickled by this description of a Blackcap’s song: “The Blackcap’s song lacks the Blackbird or Thrush-like phrases of the Garden Warbler …

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

Basal knob

That huge lump on the base of this Mute Swan’s beak is called a basal knob. Knowing that, however, tells you nothing …

Four Spotted Chaser - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Chasing a Four-Spotted Chaser

I’m chasing a Four-Spotted Chaser dragonfly. They’re very active this morning in the Somerset marshes. It takes an age for me to …

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

Whitethroat

I was delighted to spot this delightful male Whitethroat. It’s another fascinating migratory warbler which has spent our winter in Africa, south …

The Lesser Kestrels of Matera - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Lesser Kestrels of Matera #4

Photography still includes the principal fields of taking and developing images; it’s just that now they are digital and the development is …

Black Headed Gull - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Black Headed Gull

Bright skies, clear water, a fresh breeze and beautiful Black Headed Gulls.

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

Chiff Chaff

Chiff Chaffs are beautiful birds. They look almost identical to Willow Warblers to me. I’d need a high-powered telephoto lens to see …

Lesser Black Backed Gull - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Lesser by name, great by nature

Lesser Black Backed Gulls are magnificent creatures. They are noticeably darker on the back and wings than the more familiar Herring Gull …