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Nature Notebooks

Birds at the Peedie Sea - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Knots landing at the Peedie Sea

I’m wandering the shore at Kirkwall Harbour for an hour before the ferry takes me to Westray. I’m loving the complex singing …

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

Kestrel in Hyde Park

I’m back in the UK after a trip to Italy looking for Little Owls. We didn’t see them apart from a brief …

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

More more

There are blackberries everywhere in the hedges here in Italy. They taste wrong though. They’re drier, harder, less juicy and far less …

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

Searching for Little Owls

It’s been a dream of mine to see a Little Owl again. When I was a young teenager my friend Michael had …

Montagu's Harrier - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

A Harrier on the hill

I see a tiny speck of a bird circling  over a ruined building in Tarquinia: We drive the car in its direction …

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

Painting with light

There’s a Painted Lady butterfly in the garden on the Abbey here in Tarquinia in Italy. It’s high up and nicely isolated …

Red-Veined Darter Dragonfly - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Red-Veined Darter Dragonfly

It’s a glorious day here in Italy. I’ve climbed to the top of a hill and can see across the valley: There’s …

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

A juvenile Green Woodpecker

Our friend Paolo is driving us round some of his favourite birding spots in Tarquinia in Italy. It’s hot, I’ve got the …

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

High Roller

I love the hills and fields in Tarquinia. We’re here on a Little Owl hunt. That’s hunting with cameras and good intentions, …

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

Slant-headed cone face

We’re driving around Monte Romano near Tarquinia in Italy looking for Little Owls. They’re the number one species I’m looking for. The …

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

Insects by the pond

It’s blisteringly hot at the Abbazia San Giusto in Tuscania in Italy today. There’s not much wind and precious little shelter. Tucked …

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

Searching for Little Owls

We are up at 6am, politely yawning. Today is our most recent attempt to see Little Owls. As a child I helped …

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

A wolf at the door

We arrive home late to our rented room in Tuscania in Italy. As we get the key out we notice a huge …

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

The NoBike app

The River Tevere in Rome looks great today. I’d love to explore it. It’s such a grand river that it’ll take me …

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

Tiger territory

We drive past an animal circus in Italy. I look up the size of a Tiger’s natural territory. “A tigress may have …

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

Stone hearts and Stone Curlews

We’re driving around Tarquinia in Italy. Our guide is our new friend Paolo, an incredibly enthusiastic and endlessly patient local birder. He’s …

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

Donkey

Donkeys are fascinating creatures. There’s a field full of them, here in Tuscania, north of Rome: It’s not just me that’s fascinated …

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

The Bees of San Giusto

We’re staying in an Abbey in Italy for a few days as we tour around Tuscania. It’s the Abbazia San Giusto. Here’s …