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Nature Notebooks

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

Autumn Parasols

One of the exciting finds at Killerton on our fungus foray with the Devon Fungus Group is a Parasol Mushroom. Our leader …

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

Lydford Gorge

Gabriel and I are visiting the deepest gorge in the South West at Lydford, owned by the National Trust. We’re walking along …

Beefsteak Fungus - Wistman's Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

When beef grows on a oak tree

We’re in Wistman’s Wood when I spot a familiar sight. It’s a Beefsteak Fungus, Fistulina hepatica. It’s only small and I’m not …

Wistman's Wood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The magical forest

My son Gabriel’s coming to visit for the weekend. He’s bringing his camera and wants to have a few trips out. We …

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

Noltland Castle

I’ve wanted to take a decent photograph of Noltland Castle ever since I first saw it, as I struggled up the hill …

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

Scenes from the sea

It’s all about perspective. Looking at familiar scenes from a different place always makes you think more deeply about them. Similarly, seeing …

David - The Hall of Einar

The return of the pot-boiler

There’s a spot on Westray where a buried ruin of a house is being lost to the sea. Whenever there’s a storm …

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

Harbour Seals

Amazingly, there are limbs inside the fat-suit which seals wear. You would, however, be forgiven for thinking otherwise: This one is delicately …

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

Greta Gannet

We’re watching the Gannets at Noup Head when the Puffin Whisperer gets very excited. She’s seen one with an egg. The adult …

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

Puffling in a flap

It’s rare to see a puffling, as young Puffins are called. They’re usually hidden in their rock or earth burrows, safe from …

Thistle at Noup - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Noup in the mist

Noup Head lighthouse isn’t visible until we’re almost on top of it. There’s dew on the grass and on the purple flowers …

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

Skeldro, Chaldro or Shaalder

There’s a Skeldro, Chaldro or Shaalder, as the Oystercatcher is known in Orkney, in the air. It’s giving me what can only be …

Puffin chased by Arctic Skua - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Chasing Puffins

There’s a marked difference in the size of fish which Puffins bring to their burrows. I’m sure that they were bringing smaller …

Great Black-Backed Gull - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Harsh life

We are at Noup Head watching the birds fly by. We get a close pass from a Great Black-Backed Gull. Aren’t they …

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

Goodbye to Puffins

Puffins have gone from our shores for another year. It’s been a wonderful summer with them and a pleasure to see them …

Meadow Brown on Angelica - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Knees up Meadow Brown

There’s a Meadow Brown butterfly, Maniola jurtina, on Angelica, Angelica sylvestris, at the Castle o’ Burrian. It makes a lovely scene.

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

Silage and Hay

I’ve enjoyed seeing the meadows being cut on Westray this summer and then being baled and wrapped. The skill of the farmers …

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

The first flight of the Kittiwake

Kittiwakes are one of my favourite birds. I love their delicate bills, their dipped-in-ink wings and their streamlined bodies. And their “Kittiwaaaak” …

Male Hen Harrier - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

A male Hen Harrier hunting

We’ve come to look for the Short-Eared Owl. Instead, as I pull up the car, there’s a male Hen Harrier heading over …