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Nature Notebooks

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

Piggy little lies

We arrive at Challacombe farm to find a happy, inquisitive pig. It’s quite small and not too intimidating. It follows us as …

Laccaria laccata and Laccaria amethystina - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Deceptive

Walking through woodland in autumn is always a delight. The sights and smells are fascinating. I’m delighted when I find a Deceiver, …

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

Jewels in autumn leaves

There are warty jewels hidden amongst the leaves on the woodland floor. These are Common Puffballs, Lycoperdon perlatum. It’s always an impressive …

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

Fly Agarics

There are Fly Agarics in abundance on Bovey Heath at the moment. It’s tricky to find one which hasn’t been partially eaten …

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

Doggy Paddle

Kayaking always looks such great fun. I wish I did it more often. This kayaker has a couple of passengers. They’re better …

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

A Squab

There’s a big kerfuffle in the garden. Something’s happening in the pine tree. I glance out of the window and see a …

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

Skating on water

I always enjoy seeing pond skaters, as childhood memories flood back: Today there are some large ones on this brook and I’m …

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

An early Start Point

I’ve been to Start Point before. I came here with my son one morning, very early, and took photographs in the fog. …

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

The Drumstick Truffleclub

There’s a fungus which is barely visible on the forest floor. It’s Tolypocladium capitatum, the Drumstick Truffleclub. It’s a parasitic fungus which …

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

The Wasp Spider

Walking around Bovey Heath we spot a Wasp Spider. It’s a fantastic specimen. Just look at it: I manage to get between …

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

Challacombe Chickens

These chickens at Challacombe Farm have the look of an ancient painting about them. The farm is owned, like 52,760 hectares of land and …

Bark beetle tunnels - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Boring beetles

Beetles are never boring, unless they’re tunnelling, of course. How fabulous are these tunnels under the bark of this tree? I’d love …

Christmas Dolphin Brixham Harbour - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Dolphins in Brixham Harbour

It was Christmas Day 2019 and the Puffin Whisperer and I went for a day trip to Brixham. We spent the morning …

Arctic Skuas on Papay - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Air rage

Spending time in nature really helps you appreciate it. I’ve had such a great summer on the gentle hills and cliffs of …

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

Curlew

It’s a warm evening, bathed in orange light. I hear the call first. Then it’s the flypast. It’s a Curlew. There’s been …

Arctic Skua on Papay - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

A juvenile Arctic Skua flypast

I have to say it. These juvenile Arctic Skuas are… a little bit ginger. It’s fabulous to watch them sweep imperiously past. …

Arctic Tern and Arctic Skua on Papay - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Arctic Skuas v Arctic Terns

I’ve seen Arctic Skuas get into quite a few scraps this summer. There was the time one chased a Raven. Then the …

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

Wrens

There is a family of Wrens flitting along the field boundary in front of us. They’re working the margins for insects and …

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

Injured animal

Arriving on Papa Westray, we have to walk the full length of the island to get to North Hill and the drama …