Taurus Mountains Bird Surveys

After the lowlands, we head south east to a 50-km square in the Taurus mountains near Darboğaz and race to get two more transects completed in the evening, because the weather the next day (20th May) is predicted to be cloudy and wet. The mountain […]

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Karapinar and Ereğli Bird Surveys

The ongoing Turkey Breeding Bird Atlas project involves two visits, one in spring and a second in summer, to a chequer board sample of 50km-squares across the country within which records are kept of all bird species observed or heard during the course of a day. Within […]

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Changing Hartnips Wood

In two weeks, the delicate, green and white, wood anemone carpet of early April has given way to a swathes of deep blue bluebells under a high shade of hornbeam. By mid-May the bluebells are fading; there is no further colourful succession, just the shade and silence of […]

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Whimbrels on the Alde Estuary

The north east wind drives in off the ugly, mud brown sea; Aldeburgh huddles on the coast. South from the town, a long gravel spit runs for miles to Orfordness and beyond. The track bumps past the sailing club, full of small craft but empty of […]

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Rye Harbour and Camber Castle

The sun shines all day with lines of puffy clouds to the north; the wind blows steadily from the south. Walkers and an assortment of dogs crowd the tarmac path that runs from the car park by the small harbour along the straight channel that […]

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Postcard from the Suffolk Coast

On a fine day, the narrow, shingle edge that shelters the great reed bed in the wide valley between the villages of Dunwich and Walberswick is one of the great coastal walks. There is a distant view of Southwold to the north across the bay. To […]

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Fackenden Views

The cold air of mid April sweeps the down but the sun warms the sheltered pockets behind dense thickets of dogwood, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn, bramble and whitebeam topped by fresh strands of clematis and honeysuckle. The whitebeam is coming into leaf and trees are lit with […]

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Sissinghurst’s Rite of Spring

The gardeners continue to create colour wheel harmonies; bright and gaudy; cool and relaxed; the garden compartments have diverse compositions.  The spring bulbs, like brass, shout the loudest with purple and red fanfares everywhere. More muted arrangements in spring greens and whites are often simpler tunes in […]

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Warming Denge Woods

The great swathe of woodland south of Chilham in East Kent is coming alive in the unseasonal Mediterranean warmth of early April. Birch, hazel and hornbeam are in early leaf, whitebeams too, but the stolid oak, ash and beech remain in bud. Chiffhcaffs are everywhere, shouting their […]

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Chalkhurst and Hartnips Woods

Above the village of Eynsford across a wide fallow field freshly sprayed with herbicide, sits a long strip of broadleaved woodland.  Under a blue sky, a single swallow flies across the field calling. A slow worm rests under an old piece of matting and brimstones […]

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Soğuksu Millî Parkı

The winding road from the spa town of Kizilcahamam leads to Soğuksu Millî Parkı, literally translated as Cold Water National Park, a remnant patch of old pine forest that covers the steep hills. The protection may have been to safeguard the precious water, but the forest also holds petrified trees as […]

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Early Spring Days

At the bottom of the slope in Hilly Wood, the cyclamen-flowered daffodils are specks of mustard yellow above avocado green leaves; the carpet spreads between the bare, silver birch coppice under a dull pearl sky. Below, the streamside alders are knobbly, like varicosed legs, and two trunks enjoy a […]

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