House Sparrows – an aid to time travel

The cheerfully chirping cacophony of a community of house sparrows is a sound that takes me immediately back in time to the streets of suburban London and to my Grandma’s house in Kingsbury in the early 1970’s in particular. Some of my earliest memories are of watching sparrows taking dust baths in the grey dry soil of my Grandad’s flowerbeds, below his carefully tended roses and dahlias.

The house sparrows I recorded today are a flock that have come to use our honeysuckle as a daytime base and roost, from which to patrol the gardens and feeders in our row of cottages. My mum visited just before Christmas and the sparrows had the same powerful effect – transporting her back to her childhood home and unexpected memories triggered by the lively chatter and sudden silences of the humble, but altogether charming house sparrow flock

Friends of the river

Back in the autumn of 2018 I was asked by a fellow recordist at a Wildlife Sound Recording Society meeting whether I would be interested in becoming a river champion for the River Rib, a chalk river in North-East Hertfordshire that we have had the privilege of living close to…


Watching the Water bats

It has been our privilege this summer to takeover a Bat Conservation Trust waterway survey route. We learned of the opportunity when we met Anne and Chris at an early meeting of Friends of the River Rib back in May who for a number of years have conducted the Standon…


In the beginning

It was ten years ago to the day that The Badger’s Eye first made an appearance on the internet, triggered by an encounter with a young badger and the photograph that I managed to take. Sitting in the dappled light of a July evening, downwind of a badger sett no…


Marbled White & Bandied Blue

Time on the riverbank is always a pleasure and on an evening stroll through the meadows and paths that follow the River Rib last evening we were accompanied by clouds of butterflies – Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlets and the occasional Cinnabar Moth to add a flash of red to…


An evening visitor

It is last light on Monday evening and we are sitting in the garden drinking a cup of coffee. A faint snuffling catches the ear coming from below the bird feeders. It’s no surprise to find it is a hedgehog and I guess it is not beyond the bounds of…


A night in Plashes Wood

The full moon was heading towards the west yet still bathing the valley with it’s silvery light from a cloudless sky as I crept passed the last houses in our hamlet and headed north. Trying to avoid the crunching gravel that accumulates in the centre of the lane, I walked…