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Bush Cricket - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David bailey (not the)

Bush Cricket

I loved having a magnifying glass as a child. I had one with a blue handle, with a false Parker pen clip …

The Second Ladybird Book of British Birds - The Swallow

The Second Ladybird Book of British Birds #2 – The Swallow

Since this Ladybird book was published we’ve been to the moon, we’ve entered the computer age, there’s been huge urbanisation, the human population has more than doubled and we’ve caused mass destruction of habitat and extinction of species. What’s happened to Swallows in that time?

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

Stony Ground

Farming is a tough business. I often describe farmers as ‘scratching a living from the land’. There’s the weather, uncertain prices, problems …

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

Tree Sparrows

There’s a sparrow with a chocolate-coloured head peering at me. There’s a clue to its identity in that I’m at Tree Sparrow …

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

Crime Lake at Daisy Nook

I’m at Crime Lake. Apparently no crime was committed here, but having seen the six lanes of motorway built through beautiful countryside, …

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

Parrots in the grass

I’m walking on Orley Common and there are parrots in the grass. No, not these kinds of parrots: Rome’s Rose-Ringed Parakeets I …

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

Sniff my fingers

Grey seals are very distinctive. This one was hauled out at Broughton in Pierowall. They have that famous Roman nose: I first …

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

Collared Doves

There are a million pairs of Collared Doves in the UK, which is remarkable because there weren’t any in the country in …

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

An Uncommon Darter

Looking down from the top of the valley we can see the medieval hill town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio below. It’s …

Long Tailed Bushtit - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Long Tailed Bushtits in the bushes

I’m looking over the beautiful green treetops and palm-tops in Parco Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli: There’s a flock of Long Tailed Tits …

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

The Doctrine of Signatures

I’m walking around Villa d’Este in Tivoli. It’s the Renaissance masterpiece where hundreds of fountains flow with ornate carvings, pools, ducts and …

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

Temples and Lounging Lizards

I’m wandering around Tivoli with my camera. I’m in the Parco Villa Gregoriana. I expected there to be a fine house called …

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

Ol’ Blue Eyes is back

I love the street cats of Italy, despite the number of wild birds they kill. Today I have a day off in …

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

For every place, a palette

Every place on Earth has its own palette. Some are collections of complimentary colours; others have contrast. Some are simple; others are …

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

A Grayling

I’m trying to have a relaxed breakfast but there’s too much to see. I want my Italian coffee and croissant but I …

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

Praying for a Mantis

We are walking in Abruzzo in Italy at a height of 1,500 metres above sea level. It’s invigorating: Amongst the grass are …

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

A Cornish Chough in Italy

We’re spending a few days walking in Italy. We’re in Rocca Calascio, part of the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso. That means …

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

Aquila in L’Aquila

The L’Aquila region of Italy is named after Aquila which means eagle. It’s an area of breathtaking high peaks. “Do they have …