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.
It was Clive Bennett who got me traveling down this particular track. He's a real birder and maintains a wonderful blog - Art in Nature - where he writes of his adventures in the hedgerows and fields and where he celebrates birds and the artists who paint them.
In a comment on a post about kennings he listed some wonderful dialect and obscure bird names then quoted from a poem by John Clare about the bumbarrel - the long-tailed titmouse or bushtit.
Lying lazy in a meadow by a stream home to sheep ‘n’ cows and wagtail yellow buttercups dance in the meadow grass so high above kestrel hover a flit of swallow ... wild rainbow cast the summer breeze ‘cross grasses mix’d an artists palette red gold ‘n’ green finches twitter ‘n’ tweeze ...
Carefully parting Willow, Bramble and bronzed Bracken fronds that rustled and crackled in the winter frost I could see my secret lake ... well large pond really - an old disused Flight Pond ... a few Mallard quacked and splashed noisily; a couple of Tufted Duck circled warily in the middle while on the far bank a pair of Teal rested, blending well with the pondside rushes ... a Coot called from somewhere in the reeds - well hidden - shatteringly loud ...
One early autumn evening, I was standing out of doors when the sun came out beneath a bank of dark cloud and lit up the weathered, soft blue-grey slate roof of our old barn. No sooner had the light fallen on it than a few Yellowhammer dropped down out of nowhere and sat motionless on the sun-warmed slates, with heads drawn in and plumage bunched out. It was as if the sun had poured a golden-coloured light into their loose feathers making them shine a bright canary yellow ... Continue reading In Search of Yellowhammer, Corn and Cirl Bunting
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.
(Composed during the snow-thaw of last month…) As I sit here, goldfinches glance across the skies outside the window, their ‘charms’ like the bounce of iambic pentameter written with wings. They turn towards our garden, and immediately, their syntax becomes jumbled by a shift and gather of chaffinches – with an adjunct of sparrows tumbling in like a hurried conclusion. […] See Also: Our Northen (Winter) Thrushes
Welcome to my Blog – a celebration of birds – in art and anecdote, poetry and prose – part memoir, part anthology, part nature writing, with biographical snippets about favourite artists. Follow me as I ramble through the year writing about the birds I see – share your own encounters with birds, or tell me about your patch … More
2019 / 14 10:00 – 12:00 Overcast with bright spells. Warm in the sunshine 14°C. with Forestry Commission & UK Butterfly Conservation Today it’s about walking the proposed butterfly transect with representatives of BC and taking their advice on habitats, distances, directions etc – all of which requires a different approach and a different set […]
Brown hares, snow hares. I never meant to go out that far, that high or for that long. At least, not before getting some chores done. But, when it stopped snowing after more than 24 hours, the world was so transformed, so breathtaking in its beauty, I was utterly taken; spellbound. The light coming through […]