Minsmere’s old retainer

The early morning at Minsmere is warm and humid under a blue sky. The view from the Island Mere Hide is a huge reedbed enclosing a long shallow waterbody where mute swans and great crested grebes idle on the water and cormorants and common terns […]

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Summer days at Bois Jarzeau

The heat of the past few days brings dark thunderstorms that travel up from the south over the wooded hills to the west, then switch direction, run up the Vallée de la Tude, and deluge the ground. The humidity immediately drops and the cool, clear air is cleaned […]

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Pech Bely in late May

The land is dry, the barley fields are high and field margins and fallows full of colourful plants. The vines are putting on their light green leaf. A distant woodlark sings its fluting song in the cloudless dawn, later joined by a weeping tree pipit, […]

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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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