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Songs from the Wood – Spring

Spring Near Midhurst - 1977 by S R Badmin RWS RE AIA FSIA (1906-1989)

Songs from the Wood - one of four posts: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter - the cornerstones of this blog, about the birds I see through the year. Spring is about woods, dawn, birdsong and the Dawn Chorus - a prelude to Summer. Follow me, if you will - share your favourite birdsongs ... for others to hear.

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Under the Snow – of Winter

Winter Wildfowl by Maurice Wilson in collaboration with Rowland Hilder

Under the Snow of Winter - one of four posts: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter - the cornerstones of this blog, about the birds I see through the year. Follow me, if you will - leave your own footprints in the snow ... for others to follow.

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A Deceit of Lapwing – The Seven Whistlers

Lapwing by R B Talbot Kelly


Forty or fifty years ago the Lapwing, Peewit, or Green Plover, was a regular nesting bird in Britain but ‘advances’ in agricultural practices – land drainage and general intensification – have, lamentably, driven it from traditional farmland breeding grounds.

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Artists Inspired by Nature – Eric Ennion

Waxwing by Eric Ennion

Eric Ennion was born on 7th June 1900 at Kettering in Northamptonshire, the son of a country doctor. In 1904 the family moved to Burwell on the edge of the Cambridgeshire fens where, after studying medicine at Caius College and St Mary's Hospital, he joined his father's practice in 1926.

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In Search of Yellowhammer, Corn and Cirl Bunting

Field and Open Countryside Birds (Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and Cirl Bunting)

Julian Hughes Bird Notes columnist of RSPB Conwy wrote a while back about Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and Cirl Bunting, in the Daily Post I think, quoting an article from the Llandudno Advertiser sent to him by Adrian Hughes at Llandudno’s  Home Front Museum.
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Artists Inspired by Nature – Charles F. Tunnicliffe, OBE, RA

Magpie by Charles F. Tunnicliffe, OBE, RA (1901-1979)

Charles F. Tunnicliffe, OBE, RA (1901-1979) was probably the best illustrator and bird portraitist of the last century. His work across a breadth of media – watercolour, pen and ink, woodblock engraving, etching and scraperboard – and across a variety of subject matter, has stood the test of time and is widely collected.

If you grew up in the fifties like me you probably read Ladybird nature books and collected Brooke Bond tea cards – all illustrated by Tunnicliffe. You might even have read the Puffin edition of Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter, with its cover and beautiful illustrations also by Tunnicliffe.

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

European Bee-eater


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.

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

Dipper by Carl Brenders

The Dipper is a bird of fast tumbling mountain and moorland streams - I’ve seen them on the rushing waters of Devon and Cornwall moors, the Staffordshire moors and Derbyshire Dales; the mountain streams and lakes of Snowdonia, and on tidal stretches of Welsh and Cornish rivers - the Ogwen and Fowey. But I knew it best on a little lowland brook - the Cam - meandering through a pastoral landscape near Bath.

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Summer came softly

Summer


Summer for me starts with the first of the Spring and Summer migrants - Swallow, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff, although the very early ones of the latter may have overwintered. Soon followed by Swift, which for almost as long as I have been in North Wales - 25 years now - have turned up on May 12th.

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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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