On the trail of whales

The boat cruised out into the stretch of water between the mainland of Shetland and the island of Bressay. Behind us was the built up, bustling, urban landscape of Lerwick and in front the rocky shoreline, moors, grassland and occasional buildings of Bressay. The boat stopped, gently bobbing up and down with the swell and … More On the trail of whales

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!

Winter Checks

It had been a foul night as Storm Deidre swept into the UK. For many it brought snow and very strong winds. For us in Norfolk it was a night of wind and rain. The morning however dawned calm and bright, with a beautiful blue sky. After the nights battering the forest was soggy. Droplets … More Winter Checks

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

The Owl of Athena

Night on a working farm is not quite completely quiet or completely dark. The surrounding fields are cloaked in darkness and the sky above is filled with stars. Across this nightscape we hear the ‘seep’ of calling redwing, returning for the winter. Tall buildings loom out of the black, their angular lines and features illuminated … More The Owl of Athena

Pretty in Pink

The afternoon sun was low in a blue sky with just a few wisps of white cloud. Sunbeams slanted through the trees and bushes, turning the tops of the reeds, heavy with seeds, golden yellow. It was the last weekend in September and with the final early start at our reed bed site the following … More Pretty in Pink