Setting up an outdoor aquarium

This spring an outdoor aquarium has provided quite literally hours of entertainment as we have been able to watch the development and metamorphosis of pond-life right in front of our noses.The experiment began with the purchase of a tank. Almost anything will do. In the end I bought a small…

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Tawnies in the treetops

An adult Tawny Owl Strix aluco perches on a telegraph pole.  Over the last few nights we have been visited by a family group of Tawny Owls, made up of three fledged owlets and at least one adult. They have taken to perching in our tall garden Ash tree or call in…

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The breast is yet to come

This fledgling robin, like many of the young birds in the garden, is more tolerant of human curiosity than its adult counterparts. Perched less than two feet away in the apple tree it posed for some time before hopping off into the branches.

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Hawkmoth on the Honeysuckle

Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum  This Hawkmoth is the closest thing we get to a hummingbird in the UK. When we have seen them in the past it has usually been later in the summer, feeding on phlox nectar on still evenings in the garden. Their delicate proboscis extends further than…

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Feline Mullein

The markings on the head of a Mullein Moth caterpillar seem to have a feline quality to them. I found this one on the leaf of a buddlea – a common host shrub. It spends the longest part of its life cycle in an underground pupal stage before emerging as…

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Grey wagtails at the Ford

Male Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea A pair of grey wagtails annually take up residence at Barwick Ford and this year has been no exception. In previous seasons, nests have been attempted unsuccessfully on the footbridge, but this year the nest location is well hidden and away from the bridge. Last week the parents…

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A D-Day Dakota travels home

Magical things sometimes happen when you are painting.I spent a blissful couple of hours late yesterday afternoon, sat in the long grass by the riverside, painting a watercolour of the view down the Rib Valley.The time had been special.Out of time in fact.A scene largely unchanged in decades, eye and…

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