I was out for a routine tramp around the patch about a month ago when something dropped out of a big clump of ivy in the top of a hawthorn tree. It hit the ground with a thud and, curiosity piqued, I headed over to investigate. As I approached the tree a rustling in the ivy caused me to look up. I was fully expecting to see a woodpigeon. When ivy rustles there’s generally a … [Read more...] about Barn owl encounter
Life these days is a bit of a dizzy whirlwind. With work pressures, children, ever-present household chores and sundry other demands on our finite sliver of attention, it can be hard to find time for nature. But I find taking even a little “time out” to connect with the natural world around me, even if its just outside my back door, helps put the world in perspective, improves … [Read more...] about A natural remedy for a hectic lifestyle
It was a glorious morning on Toe Head in West Cork. The sun was shining, and the April breeze, while still a bit keen, wasn’t at all uncomfortable. At my feet was a stunning vista spanning from Galley Head to the east all the way around to the Fastnet Rock to the West. But I wasn’t here to admire the view... not this morning... this morning I was on a mission. I scoured the … [Read more...] about West Cork humpback adventure
I still remember the sense of wonder I felt when, as a little boy, I used to turn over boulders in the rockery. My Dad -- a keen gardener -- was far less keen on my impromptu re-arrangement of his hard-landscaping, but I was more interested in the fascinating world unearthed beneath the hastily relocated rock. Beetles, millipedes, woodlice, earwigs, spiders, and if I hit the … [Read more...] about Awesome minibeasts
“Look up!” is the catch phrase coined by celebrity UK birder David Lindo, the self-styled “Urban Birder”, and it is, by and large, pretty sound advice. If you find yourself wandering the city streets with time to kill, glancing periodically above your head can reveal some truly remarkable things. David gained prominence on the BBC’s flagship early evening TV programme “The … [Read more...] about Don’t just look up: look everywhere!