Tag Archives: nature

Birds on the Kent estuary

Tuesday 13th August 2019, 8.50am (day 2,910)

Kent estuary, 13/8/19

Whatever the reason for the journey, travelling on the Cumbrian Coast rail line is always an aesthetic pleasure. If the windows of the carriage are clean, that’s even better.

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Duck paddling party

Sunday 11th August 2019, 3.35pm (day 2,908)

Duck cleaning party, 11/8/19

The recent rains have made the river frisky, and though the ducks’ usual mid-stream gathering place, this little island, is under water at the moment this just seems to give them an excuse to enjoy a paddle. They seem quite sociable about it.

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The jackdaw poses

Monday 15th July 2019, 2.40pm (day 2,881)

Jackdaw poser, 15/7/19

There is something statuesque about this jackdaw, I think. Like he’s posing and ready to launch a discus like an ancient Greek athlete. Perhaps that is why I have gone monochrome for the day.

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The meerkat watches (the anniversary celebrations)

Saturday 29th June 2019, 11.40am (day 2,865)

Meerkat, 29/6/19

On 2nd July 1999 Clare and I were married at the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster, and today we were back there with some friends and family for a 20th anniversary reunion, which was small-scale, informal and a great deal of fun. It was excellent to just hang out with the people we’re still in touch with and see how things have changed — or not — across those two decades. “20 years eh? Blimey” was the general conversational tone of the day, but that was fine.

But although I do try to make these blog pix more-or-less representative of the day… Look! it’s a meerkat watching us! And meerkats are not the usual fauna you expect to see, not in Lancaster on a Saturday morning anyway. But there it was, in the small zoo that is up on the top of the hill by the Memorial. So though I agonised briefly about this choice, sorry, but the meerkat wins. Too cute by half.

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Not a spider

Thursday 20th June 2019, 10.40am (day 2,856)

Long leg insect, 20/6/19

Working at home this morning, this thing starts crawling up the wall with its extraordinarily long legs. Imagine translating those legs to human size, they’d be thirty feet tall, you’d be one of the tripods from War of the Worlds. But seeing as it only has six of them — a spider this is not….

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Muscovy duck

Wednesday 12th June 2019, 5.25pm (day 2,848)

Muscovy duck, 12/6/19

Another of Hebden Bridge’s resident birds makes a reappearance on the blog — 8/11/15 was the same Muscovy duck, for instance. Not that it looks very happy about it today. Perhaps it’s just glum about the gloomy weather, the same as the rest of us.

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The return of Humph

Monday 10th June 2019, 8.50am (day 2,846)

Humph again, 10/6/19

It’s always good when one of the local heron population is posing in the morning on an otherwise photographically inert day.

Who knows for sure whether this is the same specific bird I’ve pictured before but (allowing for the foreshortening effect of me having taken today’s shot from about 30 feet above the heron’s head) the markings certainly look indistinguishable from those of our old friend Humph, as seen on 25/5/16 for example. How long do herons live, I wonder?

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Dragonfly

Thursday 6th June 2019, 11.50am (day 2,842)

Blue dragonfly, 6/6/19

There are over 3,000 species of dragonfly in the world, and they’re probably all a bugger to photograph. But this one sat still just for long enough, in the woods of Agii Deka (‘Ten Saints’), somewhere in the middle of Corfu. They are voracious predators, and this one does seem to have a ‘what are you looking at, asshole’ kind of stance. And yet, so beautiful.

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This year’s apple crop (so far)

Saturday 25th May 2019, 11.55am (day 2,830)

Baby apples, 25/5/19

After last year’s glut, our plums are going to have one of their years off, this is obvious already. But there are dozens of these little babies on the branches of the apple tree. Come back to us in September for the harvest.

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Ready to fly

Friday 17th May 2019, 3.30pm (day 2,822)

Dandelion head, 17/5/19

These seeds are ready to fly; the next windy day, they’ll be gone. You have to admire the simple efficiency of the pattern. The seeds remain individual and can all escape, but no space is wasted, no more could be fitted on. Like so many other things in nature, the perfect match of form and function.

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