The first croak is the sweetest

I think I was eleven or twelve, back when summer days lasted forever and the future was full of promise and sunshine, that with the help of my dad I taught myself to water-ski. We holidayed in Portscatho on the Roseland Peninsula in a little cottage in the heart of the village.…

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Dusk at St. David’s

When you dip down below the centre of St. David’s in Pembrokeshire, Britain’s smallest city and the final resting place of Wales’ patron saint, you enter a valley of peace and tranquility. Ivy-clad trees line the pre-medieval lane that leads steeply down to cross The River Alun at the valley bottom. The…

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stormwind buzzards

Storm Doris was passing through. An unlikely epithet branded by the meteorological office onto the low pressure system sweeping across the waistline of Britain, the storm brought high winds and disruption to many. In this part of Hertfordshire though, with the branches and trees of Plashes Wood thrashing below them, a pair…

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On the birthing grounds

The chill of a pre-dawn December morning nipped at uncovered faces as our small group padded quietly out of the village. Gentle whispers of snatched conversation and the soft call of a winter robin licked the ears above the deep rhythms of distant breaking waves. Out onto the dunes, muscles finding…

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Clifftop dawn

I pulled open the bivy bag cover and light flooded my consciousness. Sunlight, sound and birds battered the senses. No more the gentle calls of midnight, that crept through the dark to whisper in straining ears. This was full on, in your face, high volume cacophony. Gulls, gannets, puffins, and…

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A night on the cliffs at Bempton

Equipment set and bedded down in my bivy by midnight, I hit the record button and settled in. Cocooned in my sleeping bag, I clamped headphones tight to my ears and slipped away into the sounds of the night. I had travelled up from Hertfordshire during the afternoon, arriving in…

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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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