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Black Tailed Godwit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Black-Tailed Godwits on the Exe

There are large flocks of Black Tailed Godwits on the Exe estuary at the moment. It’s winter and they’re probably here from …

Salmon illustration (c) Raymond Sheppard

Putchers and their Privileged Engines

What’s happened to the Salmon of my childhood? Pollution, habitat destruction and overgrazing of livestock. Here’s a story of Putchers and their Privileged Engines catching Salmon on the Wye.

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

Stonechatting

I’ve seen Stonechats before, most recently on Trendlebere Down in South Devon. They are very handsome birds, and their insistent habit of …

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

25 pairs of Pintail

There’s a pair of Pintail ducks at Bowling Green Marsh near Exeter. I’ve seen one before in the West Midlands when a …

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

Greenshanks and Redshanks

Good weather is in short supply in February. A bright day is a rarity, so after a view of clear blue sky …

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

Windows

I love the windows of the old buildings on Westray in Orkney. The stonework is wonderful, the walls are so deep and …

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

Pink Zebras and Ginger Swans

In Devon everything in the countryside takes on the colour of the soil; and that colour is often red. The Devonian red …

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

Tentative

Arriving at Einar, the cattle are always keen to see what’s happening. They approach me with tentative noses:

Westray - The Bay of Skaill - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Bay of Skaill

On a glorious day on Westray this boat on the Ouse on the Bay of Skaill makes a beautiful scene:

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

Curious wet nose

Westray is a farming and fishing island, with wildlife largely confined to the edges and margins. It is a very productive island …

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

Stop the vigilante ivy cutters

There’s something very deep within our animal brains that comes from our inner ancient ape that compels us to interfere, to tidy, to arrange and to act upon nature.

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

Mute

Photographing Swans is as difficult as photographing snow. They often appear bleached and featureless. Or bedraggled and dirty. Getting the exposure just …

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

The secret sex life of the Dunnock

Dunnocks are often unfairly overlooked. They are stunningly beautiful in close-up. You just need to get close: Here in Italy the beautiful …

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

Brambling

Forty years ago I saw a Brambling for the first time and noted it down in my childhood nature notebooks: Fringilla montifringilla. …

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

Chiff Chaff Chuffed

The weather forecast has been for sunshine today. I’ve been checking it all week. Sunny, it says. As the day gets closer …

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

Blue Tits with big bellies

I love Blue Tits. I’m used to seeing them in Devon. Here they are in Italy: This one so is immaculately groomed …

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

Pecking Wood

The Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dendrocopos major, is a wonderful bird. This is a female coming in search of food at the WWF …

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

Why do Wagtails wag their tails?

These Grey Wagtails, Motacilla cinerea, are so beautiful. In Italy they are not known as Grey Wagtails, they are known as Ballerina …

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

Green-haired Limpet

I suspect this Limpet has been experimenting with a new hairstyle. That green hair must be quite high maintenance, because the waves …

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

Herons on the Lake

Incoming! Grey Herons such are lumbering giants with prehistoric overtones: This one’s landed in the water and is going for a paddle: …