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The Dipper or Water Colley – A Study in Black and White

Dipper from the Crossley ID Guide Britain and Ireland

There is no better study of Dipper than that of Richard Jefferies.

When he visited Exmoor in the summer of 1882, Jefferies soon fell in love with the sweeping expanses of heather moors and the rocky, bubbling streams which supported a variety of wildlife. This short piece is a close-up study of the water-colley, more commonly known as the dipper.

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Musical Interlude – Sounds of Summer

Songs of Wild Birds

How better to start this post than with a quote from the writings of Richard Jefferies:

The fervour of the sunbeams descending in a tidal flood rings on the strung harp of earth. It is this exquisite undertone, heard and yet unheard, which brings the mind into sweet accordance with the wonderful instrument of nature.—’ The Life of the Fields’: The Pageant of Summer.

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Of Bee-eater (and Bittern), Egret and Avocet

European Bee-eater from the Crossley ID Guide Britain and Ireland

I have never seen a Bee-eater ….

but it was this bird or at least a story about it that inspired me, enthused me, and changed my life. Prompted also by moving from country village to town, from being a country lad to city dweller. The year was 1957. From then on I became a watcher of the countryside – its people, birds, and animals.

I don’t remember the title or the author of the book and have been unable to find it again but I think it must have been based on the discovery of Bee-eater nesting in Streat Sand Quarry, in 1955, and the RSPBs efforts to protect them – the first time I believe a nest protection scheme had been attempted.

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