Birds From My Rocking Chair

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I enjoy watching birds ... the colour and sound and light, the changing days, the birds of the wood and of the field ... woven embroidery so beautiful, because without design ...

Some lines from the writings of Richard Jefferies, a constant companion, and inspiration, throughout my life; there is always one of his books on the coffee table. His writings as fresh today as they were in the 1800’s.

distant hills 
across the vale
skylark sing 

And here, a passage from the recent book ‘Waiting for the Albino Dunnock’ by Rosamund Richardson, herself an admirer of Richard Jefferies, which also in part, prompted me to start writing about birds ...

The great silence of waterscapes. That evening a single tree on the shore of Hickling Broad was reflected between low-lying strands of land. Reeds made squiggly lines in the water, masts and rigging of sleeping boats impaled an orange sky splashed with magenta and lavender and blue. The orb of the sun turned to gold. A family of Great Crested Grebe floated in silhouette on water ablaze in a final fling of tomato-red and violet. Sunset in the water, fading into darkness as the flames of day melted into the blue dark.

Waiting for the Albino Dunnock Rosamond Richardson 2017.

Could I, through my own writing, evoke such a mood or ‘spirit of place’ ... could I awaken a memory - half forgotten since childhood ... could I capture the essence of the countryside - it’s sight, its sound, and smell ... could I capture the ‘beauty of the moment’ ... I’ll have a damn good go!

So welcome to my website. A celebration of birds - in art and anecdote, poetry and prose - part memoir, part anthology, part nature writing, with biographical snippets about various artists and writers - that brings the birds of my childhood back to brilliant life. I hope you enjoy it.

Join me, if you will, as I ramble through the year. Share your own encounters, or poems - leave a comment, tell me about your patch - be part of the story ...

You can see all my Blog Posts here: Blog Posts.

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Artist Credit

The featured image is from an original watercolour of Cranborne Chase by Philip L Eden, member of the British Watercolour Society (1924)


I've drawn extensively on the resources of the Richard Jefferies Society in particular the Blog managed by Dr Rebecca Welshman with Simon Coleman who have already done much of the transcription of Jefferies writings enabling me to reference quite long passages without having to copy type from the original text of his books and essays.


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July 11, 2019 10:03 am
Reply to  Clive Bennett

My patch is not far from Polperro! But rural rather than coastal. Very quiet, very peaceful. Plenty of birdlife. Generally nothing out of the ordinary although last year I was almost convinced that I hear a nightingale. I was prepared for it this year but sadly, nothing. I’ve not heard the green woodpeckers for a year or two. I’m hoping this year they will be back.

July 12, 2019 10:44 am
Reply to  Clive Bennett

Rich indeed, Clive. Your own area equally so, I think 🙂

Clare Pooley
Clare Pooley
February 17, 2019 8:59 am
Reply to  Clive

I thought your description of the book sounded familiar! I am so pleased you have found it again. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for the follow. I will be following you, too. I haven’t had very much time for blogging during the past couple of years but I always hope to do better….

Cynthia Reyes
Cynthia Reyes
June 29, 2018 5:00 pm

I’m liking your blog. Thank you!

Martin Smith
August 5, 2018 4:27 pm

Hello Clive. You’ve recently liked my local patch blog about Hut Wood in Hampshire, so I read yours. Fascinating. Thanks very much. Ornitheology is a lovely word

Martin Smith
August 5, 2018 5:21 pm
Reply to  Clive Bennett

Gosh – not at all. I may have been writing for a while, but I have no clue about networking and spreading the word etc. Thanks

Marie E Good
May 6, 2019 10:31 pm

What a lovely blog you have here. I’m Marie Elena from Poetic Bloomings with Walt Wojtanik. My personal little site is pictured words, which I see you have kindly visited as well. Thank you!

Like you, I’m a lover of poetry, and of birds. I used to live on Audobon Lane in Poland Ohio. The street was appropriately named. The variety of birds was astounding. My husband and I have feeders where we currently live in northwest Ohio. Our area is well known for being a significant migratory path.

I was trying to figure out how to follow your blog. I hope the “subscribe” button is the correct way. If I have obviously chosen the wrong way, please let me know.

Thank you, and I look forward to sharing words at Poetic Bloomings!

July 11, 2019 10:00 am

Hello Clive, I’m so glad that you came across my blog – it has meant that I’ve discovered yours! I’m going to enjoy it here 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading more as time allows.

July 12, 2019 10:42 am
Reply to  Clive Bennett

I certainly will, Clive. I had noticed the Polperro piece (yet to read it) but not the Talland one. Talland is closer to us than Polperro though Lansallos is our nearest beach. (I have at least one post on both somewhere on my blog 🙂 )

July 12, 2019 3:12 pm
Reply to  Clive Bennett

I haven’t had an opportunity to look yet, Clive, so it may well be there. If not, I shall look forward to it around Halloween. (When sunshine, Wimbledon and gardening are no longer competing for blogging time!)

January 19, 2020 10:58 am

I’m enjoying your wanderings and their sounds so much.

January 19, 2020 10:59 am

I’m enjoying your wanderings and their sounds so much. Unfortunately I’m finding it difficult to leave a comment or even a like!