Raptors in the reeds

The reservoir rose above the neighbouring fields, its sloping banks covered waist high grasses, thistles and stinging nettles. The surrounding fields were black, with rich, fertile soil planted with bright green lettuce. Around the edge of this rectangular body of water a broad fringe of reeds sway in a gentle breeze. The leaves were packed … More Raptors in the reeds

Forest Raptors

Golden light filled the evening, bathing the tops of the trees before disappearing into shadows. The cars drove slowly along the farm track following the hedges along the edge of the field. The recent prolonged dry weather meant the sandy track was bone dry and the cars kicked up great plumes of dust that swirled … More Forest Raptors

Night Songstress

Early morning mist still clings to the depressions in the gently undulating landscape of the Brecks. Trees on the slight ridges rise above a sea of opaque white, that is tinged pink and orange by the morning sun, like island mirages. Driving through this foggy landscape, one moment the scenery stretches out on either side, … More Night Songstress

Oh W’OWL!

Night in the forest. Blocks of densely planted pine trees crowd in close to the track. Narrow trunks, spindly branches and prickly needles are illuminated by the white beams of the car headlights, before disappearing into dark shadows once more. Immense piles of felled trunks, still caked in snow, are stacked by the side of … More Oh W’OWL!

Feathers wagging

The garden was resplendent, a vibrant palette of autumn colours. The oak tree was ablaze with reds, oranges and yellows. The leaves on the shrubs, bushes and trees varying from deep greens to bright reds. Many of the smaller trees had dropped their leaves, leaving twisted dark branches except for the silver birch whose striking … More Feathers wagging

One little petrel

It was July 2018 and I had just finished my first evening of catching storm-petrels on Sule Skerry. As dawn had broken, lightening the sky from dark velvet black to deep blue, rain had moved in and the dark rocks, capped white with the guano of seabirds, had become slippery and treacherous under foot. The … More One little petrel

Little Sea Dancers

Night has come to the island. Although the darkness is not absolute and will only last for a brief couple of hours at this time of year. The skies overhead are for once still. It is eerie not to see it filled with racing puffins, marauding gulls and pirating skuas. All are settled for the … More Little Sea Dancers

Guillies and Razors

On the sheer cliffs and geos of Sule Skerry there are hundreds of guillemots. The rocks are white with their guano as the birds perch on precarious ledges overlooking sheer drops into the churning water below. Sitting near a colony is an assault on the senses. Everywhere you look there are hundreds of these dark … More Guillies and Razors