Originally posted on March 21, 2019 @ 10:05 pm
Bumbarrel, MumRuffin and Poke Pudding
At the edge of the wood early catkins - lambs tails - tremble and dance, sprinkling yellow gold-dust over the snowy branches. A small party of Long Tailed Tit tinkle through the delicate filigree of branches outlined against the winter sky. I count three, then from nowhere there were five, then seven, then twelve. It was mid-January - still Winter; yet on this rose coloured morning, the pink sun mirrored by their feathers, it was Spring.
Continue reading Bumbarrel, MumRuffin and Poke Pudding
Originally posted on March 6, 2019 @ 10:05 pm
What better introduction to Spring than this quotation from the writings of Richard Jefferies.
"The bird upon the tree utters the meaning of the wind—a voice of the grass and wild-flower, words of the green leaf; they speak through that slender tone. Sweetness of dew and rifts of sunshine, the dark hawthorn touched with breadths of open bud, the odour of the air, the colour of the daffodil—all that is delicious and beloved of springtime are expressed in his song. Genius is nature and his lay, like the sap in the bough from which he sings, rises without thought". —’ Field and Hedgerow’: Hours of Spring. Richard Jefferies
Continue reading Spring in the Country
Originally posted on March 6, 2019 @ 10:05 pm
I paused for a moment to look out over the marshy fields - a dull flat grey-green in the late autumn evening; almost night. The sun had set and white trails of mist followed the course of the river. A few Magpie were chakking noisily in some willow scrub. Starkly black and white. I counted - one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four a boy - a few more flew in - eight for a wish, nine for a kiss ... and then more - twenty, thirty, forty - from all directions. One hundred, two hundred, I lost count; now too dark to see ...
Continue reading Murder, Mischief and Murmurations
A River Chorus - Sunbeams dance on the surface of the water; a slight breeze brings the sound of birdsong from the ‘greener than green’ woods and fields at the edge of the river; the May blossom - drifts of snow along the river bank; an exquisite undertone - the sound of early summer - heard and yet unheard; a backdrop to the ‘Great Chorus’ (Edward Grey) ...
Continue reading A River Chorus
I turned the page ... “I have amazing news for you – and indeed for every bird-lover in the country,” he whispered. “As I suspected, the birds you saw and which I have been watching for fifteen minutes are bee-eater.” The year was 1957. It was my first day at Junior school and I had picked a book from the library shelves to read ...
Continue reading Of Bee-eater (and Bittern), Egret and Avocet
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.
Continue reading Sounds of Summer
‘Peep Peep’ - a black and white bird rounds a bend in the river and alights, bobbing and winking, on a rock midstream - a Water Ousel, Colley or Dipper - typically a bird of fast tumbling mountain and moorland streams and lakes. But I knew it best on a little lowland brook - the Cam - meandering through a pastoral landscape near Bath ...
Continue reading The Dipper, Water Colley or Water Ousel
Suddenly! Some chance movement has been noticed by the nearest Lapwing, and away they go at once as if with the same wings, sweeping overhead, then to the right, then to the left, and then back again, a ‘flickering chequerboard’. Wee-ah-wee! The notes immediately repeated by another - Wee-ah-wee! Finally they settle again ...
Continue reading A Deceit of Lapwing – The Seven Whistlers
Our Northern (Winter) Thrushes - Redwing and Fieldfare
It’s Autumn: the time of year when the ‘chakking’ calls of Fieldfare in the hedgerows in the frosty early morning, preceded by the ‘seep seep’ night-time calls of migrating Redwing announce the arrival of our Winter Thrushes. They arrive anytime from late September but it’s not until the frosts of October and November that we begin to see them en-mass in the fields and hedgerows.
Continue reading Our Northern (Winter) Thrushes – Redwing and Fieldfare
Walking upstream from the bridge the stream ceases to be tidal, and turns into a lovely clear running stream with a gravel bed. A flash of yellow; a beautiful male Grey Wagtail bounds away to alight on a boulder under the bank, the reflection of its brilliant yellow plumage in the pool beneath more evident than the bird itself. Another flies to join it at the waters edge - a female - less yellow and without the black bib - their pendulum swings of the tail in ceaseless unison ...
Continue reading Variations on a Theme – Yellow, Grey, White (Pied) – Wagtail All