But is it art?


This uprooted tree, seen from beneath, has a sculptural beauty. But is it art? Continue reading

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Chaddesden Woods, August 2016

"I am the gate-keeper" "I am the key-master"

“I am the gate-keeper”
“I am the key-master”

A day of elusive insects and amphibians in Derby last weekend, but there were some treats amongst the frustrations. Continue reading

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Taking the family to church

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Saw this family of starlings perching on the weathercock atop All Saint’s Church, Huntington. And they say church attendance is declining!

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Seals – They’ll have your arm off…

Atlantic Grey Seal

Grey Seal

Back in June in my slightly abortive 30 Days Wild 2016 efforts, I took a bunch of photos of Grey Seals off the Cornish coast. I was meaning to get round to posting them, and a recent story about the danger seals present in St Ives gives me the perfect excuse… Continue reading

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A different sort of ‘cute’?

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It’s easy to say what ‘cute’ is. Furry. Big eyes. Eyebrows. But should we have time for the less obviously appealing? Isn’t this froghopper (Philaenus spumarius) cute, in his own way? Continue reading

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Southern Hawker

Always a bonus to have a beautiful bit of wildlife come to you and today it was a glorious dragonfly.

This Southern Hawker buzzed me in a garden in Derby then settled and allowed me to take her picture. 

She wasn’t the only obliging insect this weekend. Amongst lots of flighty ringlet butterflies was one of my long-standing favourites, the Comma.

The nearby ponds in Chaddesden Park are recovering after being wrecked by vandals last year, and there was a brief sighting of a newt. Encouraging. 

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Mystery remains – The answer

Feathers and bones

Feathers and bones

Yesterday I posted this picture and asked people what they thought this used to be.

Quite a few people went for birds of prey, based I expect on the hooked tip of the beak. It’s a decent shout. But it’s also quite a long beak, and if you look at the skull of buzzards, sparrowhawks etc the bill is hooked, but shorter and almost a little stubby.

So we’re on a bird that’s about half a metre long with a wingspan of about three-quarters of a metre.

The feathers rule out things like crows, and the bill rules out pigeons. Brown and yellow striped flight feathers.

It’s the remains of a female pheasant.

Congratulations to Amy Schwartz who nailed the ID within about five minutes of my posting it, and commiserations to the rest of you.

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30 Days Wild – Day 24 – North Cave Wetlands

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_24With a day to myself after the horrors of the EU referendum, I decided on a trip to North Cave Wetlands, a site I’ve often passed and never yet visited. It didn’t disappoint, and yielded some of my favourite photos I’ve personally taken… Continue reading

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Mystery Object – Whose remains are these?

_DSC7457 (1024x682)While out at North Cave Wetlands for Day 24 of 30 Days Wild, I stumbled upon the remains of a bird. And I thought it would be fun to make it into a bit of an ID quiz. Bigger image below… Continue reading

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Vote Remain for Nature and the Environment

As most readers will know, whether in the UK or not, on Thursday Britain’s electorate will be polled on whether or not to remain a member of the European Union.

It is possible to read a million-and-one opinion pieces on this, and in 99% of areas it is guesswork as to whether Leave/Remain is better or worse. But there is one area where Leave is unquestionably a bad choice; nature and the environment.
Continue reading

Posted in About the blog, Birds, Botany, England, Invertebrates, Mammals, Media, Plants, Scotland, Tech stuff, Why watch wildlife?, Zoology | 4 Comments