Monday, 28 January 2013


Honeysuckle - Lonicera 

If only I could draw fragrance! 

magenta swallows

Swallows - Hirundo rustica

A pair of swallows return to their nest in my car port every year. According to my neighbors, we're talking about ten years. Summer doesn't officially arrive until they do, in our household. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis

One of our resident breeding birds here in the UK with over 300,000 territories. Over the last decade Goldfinches have become a more common sight in our gardens, supplementing the food sources of their more usual farmland habitat. Many migrate as far as Spain in the winter, well you would!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Avocet - Recurvirostra avosetta

With the coming of war, the great marshes of East Anglia were deliberately flooded to deter the Germans from landing. But not the Avocet, who colonised the extensive wetlands and never left.   

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Darling Starlings

Starlings - Sturnus vulgaris

Strangely these wonderful birds accompanied me throughout my academic life. Moving up north, whilst at agricultural college I studied a geology unit at Sunderland Uni and there they were, high above the city. Beguiling me with their shifting delusion or murmuration - group consciousness like schools of fish confusing predators, fascinating.

And later down south in the Eastend, studying Wildlife Conservation at UEL. Small numbers would roost in my rented back garden just off the Romford Road, imitating the constant din of police sirens, extraordinary.

Now in serious decline, a red listed species, another 'miner's canary'. 

The Corvids

Carrion Crow - Corvus corone