Originally posted 2018-11-04 21:06:47.
Wandering alongside an autumn hedge all yellows, browns, reds, pinks and purples my eye was caught by a bright flash of orange-red ahead of me; a Redstart - its wings flapping in a blur; its tail fanning out - orange-red as it hovers and snatches at a fly. It lands on a fence post, standing upright, its tail shivering. An adult male. Then up it jumps again snatching at another passing insect and lands on a dead branch further along - it’s fiery tail and ‘tweet-tut’ fretting call teasing me on ...
Continue reading Along an Autumn Hedge
Originally posted 2018-04-14 23:40:56.
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
Originally posted 2018-04-14 12:19:12.
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
Originally posted 2018-06-27 08:19:27.
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 ...
Continue reading In a Summer Meadow
Originally posted 2018-04-27 06:50:12.
A pale cerulean-blue sky – crisscrossed with misty white vapour trails of planes - a modern art canvas; paint casually, thrown from the artists brush; white clouds tinged salmon-pink hanging over the blue-grey mountains; just before sunrise – white wreaths of mist lingering over the fields and valley wood mirroring the vapour trails above. A lone Buzzard calls ...
Continue reading Songs from the Wood – Spring
Originally posted 2018-04-13 05:59:13.
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 ...
Continue reading Under the Snow – of Winter
Originally posted 2018-05-15 06:06:01.
For many musicians and composers birdsong is the ultimate musical composition - yet is it music: Birds use variations of rhythm, relationships of musical pitch, and combinations of notes that resembles music, but without fixed musical intervals, as on a scale, there is a chaotic randomness to their singing.
Continue reading Birds in Music
Originally posted 2017-07-15 15:09:21.
‘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 or Water Colley – A Study in Black and White
Originally posted 2018-04-27 19:37:37.
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
Originally posted 2018-04-14 23:36:36.
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 – Magpie, Raven and Starling