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Groatie Buckies - The Hall of Einar

Groatie Buckies

On the table in the Groatie Buckies cafe on Westray, run by Stewart and Marian Groat, is a jar of Groatie Buckies. …

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

A solitary Goosander on the canal

Goosanders are such wonderful birds. They have amazing sawtooth bills to grip slippery fish underwater. I can see the solitary individual still …

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

Knowledge is over-rated

There’s a Treecreeper, Certhia familiaris, on the tree in front of me: That’s very exciting. I creep a little closer to the …

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

King Alfred’s burnt his cakes

There’s a seriously weird fungus growing on this fallen tree trunk. It looks the shape of bubbles, as if it’s been forced …

Primrose - the Hall fo Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Spring and the Prime Rose

We’re walking along the gushing river in Dunster in Somerset. It was snowing last week. This week the English Primroses are in …

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

Cherries growing on Oak trees

There are Cherry Galls, Cynips quercusfolii, on the fallen Oak leaves here in Bridford Wood. They are the tree’s defensive reaction to …

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

Mute

I never get bored of Mute Swans, Cygnus olor: There’s something about their size, their poise and their steady pace that enthrals …

A Bloody-Nosed Beetle on the march

If ever a beetle gave the impression of being a wind-up clockwork toy, it’s the Bloody-Nosed Beetle, Timarcha tenebricosa. Today they are …

Stock Dove - Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Stock Dove

There’s a pigeon above me. I think it’s a Wood Pigeon but it looks far too small and scrawny. It’s silhouetted in …

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

Fresh bedding

This Squirrel has a message to all dog owners at my local country park. It’s a polite request to keep dogs on …

Graphis scripts - Bridford Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The secret writing on a lichen

In Bridford Wood there’s a tree. On the tree is an unusual lichen; it’s called Graphis scripta, the Secret Writing Lichen. It’s …

Holden Clough frogspawn - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Spawn of the Frog

Will future generations have the same thrill of recognition as I do when I see a mass of frog spawn in the pond at Holden Clough?

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

Russian Corks

It’s getting more and more unusual to find Russian corks on the beaches and sea caves on Westray. Here are some sheltering …

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

Snow upon snow

Snow is a problem for people when you don’t prepare for it. It’s also a problem for wildlife. I’m wearing boots, waterproof …

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

Blue Tit in the snow

Snow has been falling all afternoon and delicate powdery flakes have been cushioning the world into a different, eerie, soft and soundless …

Seal on Westray - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Seal haul

In Pierowall on Westray in Orkney, the seals haul themselves up onto the rocks in the Bay. They lie scattered like the …

The Snare of the Fowler

The Snare of the Fowler

I’m enjoying leafing through a copy of Lilliput magazine from February 1955. ‘Lilliput is a man’s magazine’, it declares on the cover. …

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

Face like a shovel

There’s a deluxe duck in a flooded field in Exeter: It’s a Northern Shoveler: It has a face like a shovel. It’s …

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

Egrets, I’ve had a few

I recently saw Little Egrets in Italy: Little Egrets Today I’m in Exeter and there’s one hunting on the Exe: Egretta garzetta …

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

Curlew wading

I recently saw a flock of over 100 Curlews on the fields at the side of the River Exe. They seem to …

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 …