Tag Archives: urban nature

The coot improvises

Saturday 5th September 2020, 11.35am (day 3,299)

Improvising coot, 5/9/20

The Leeds and Liverpool canal takes a very roundabout route to link its titular cities. Here it is going through Burnley, a stretch which is a nice bit of greenery in the middle of that what is, otherwise, a workaday town.  But it also feels very neglected, becoming swamped in places by algae (a sign that there are too many nitrates in the water) and litter (a sign that some people shouldn’t be let out of doors). This coot takes advantage of examples of both.

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Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven

Monday 24th August 2020, 6.10pm (day 3,287)

Spontaneous city, 24/8/20

The slightly overblown title of this post is not mine. As explained on a notice board beneath this tree, ‘Spontaneous City has been designed for the Tree of Heaven in Duncan Terrace Gardens [in London]… The design of the bird boxes is inspired by the architecture of the Georgian houses and 1960s flats that surround Duncan Terrace.’  So there you have it.  I didn’t see any birds using this bijou residency, but maybe they can’t afford the rent on an Islington property.

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Mancunian squirrel

Thursday 21st November 2019, 12.20pm (day 3,010)

Manchester squirrel, 21/11/19

This squirrel and I were both out for a lunch break on campus today. He (or she) was busy gathering materials for the winter — I was trying to avoid work as much as possible. (But only for that 20 minutes.)

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Crossing Acomb Street

Monday 30th September 2019, 11.20am (day 2,958)

Acomb Street, 30/9/19

I go one way, the bird goes its way, the cat goes that. None of us necessarily find out about what the “NO” is so keen to dissuade us.

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Bath time

Monday 20th May 2019, 2.45pm (day 2,825)

Bathing pigeons, 20/5/19

“You know, Pamela, there’s nothing like a nice cool bath to smooth out the ruffles after a hard day’s scavenging.”

“Ooooo, I know, duck. Let me just….. ahhh, that’s better.”

“Love the eye-shadow too. Grey’s your colour.”

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Watching me watching him

Friday 19th April 2019, 6.35am (day 2,794)

Deer, Mayroyd Lane, 19/4/19

Was up early to catch a train for a Good Friday walk in the Lake District. Had stupendous weather and lots of nice photos from that will eventually appear on my other blog. But today’s picture isn’t from among them, because this one needs to be seen…. A deer, a very young stag (going on those first brave attempts at antlers), on the side road that parallels the canal for a little while, by the railway station. Astonishing sight so close to town, 6.35 in the morning or not. We both stood stock still for a while staring at each other and he decided he would let me get the camera out. Then he trotted off back down the road — I hope to safety.

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Rodent in Tavistock Square

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 3.05pm (day 2,401)

Tavistock squirrel, 22/3/18I could have picked a photo to epitomise my day in London, which was spent entirely in one meeting room in the Friends’ Meeting House near Euston. A productive meeting generally, but not photographically.

So instead let’s go with the cute rodent…. Squirrel!

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Terminal D, Sheremetyevo

Wednesday 25th October 2017, 2.10pm (day 2,253)

Sheremetyevo pigeons, 25/10/17

And so, after two days of photographing monuments — and, y’know, doing a bit of work — I head home again. My colleague and I were wondering how these pigeons got into the Sheremetyevo airport buildings, but maybe they don’t even bother leaving; I should imagine there is more than enough here to feed and shelter them, rather like that Tom Hanks character in The Terminal. Warmer than a Moscow winter, anyway.

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Don’t mess with the cygnets

Monday 15th May 2017, 11.30am (day 2,090)

Swan and cygnets, 15/5/17

This swan ain’t having anyone mess with its brood of cygnets this year. The coot high-tails it out of there under the frosty stare of the big white mother with the orange beak. Well, I probably would too.

This is full-on urban nature — taken in the centre of London, Hyde Park specifically.

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Out for a walk, Central London

Saturday 30th April 2016, 12.15pm (day 1,710)

Goose in London, 30/4/16

This was an urban animal if ever I’ve seen one, striding out wholly purposefully this lunchtime along a busy street. I know the composition of this shot could be better — getting rid of the post behind the goose would have improved it for a start — but some shots you only really get one chance to capture.

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