This is my first full blog, hopefully the first of many and as you can see from my picture I am one of the “grey” generation. I live in the UK; I’m a writer, photographer, painter and sometime broadcaster specialising in wildlife and the countryside. I’ve written a number of books and thousands of articles for newspapers and magazines, illustrated with my own photographs and artwork…. Since childhood I’ve been fascinated by our fantastic and beautiful world; by the myriad creatures, plants and landscapes with which we share the planet.
As a working naturalist I’ve had the good fortune to pass on my interest in the natural world to readers, listeners and viewers… And through this blog, I hope to be able to continue to share some of the things I come across, be they exotic or every-day wildlife happenings.
In the UK spring is making itself felt. Native birds like robins, blackbirds hedge-sparrows and titmice are setting up nesting territories and singing. We are an incredibly fortunate species, we hear birdsong as beautiful natural music and the many different landscapes that we delight is where the majority of wildlife lives. The beautiful dawn chorus is actually a message to birds of the same species either to keep out because this particular territory is taken, or an invitation to a female that the singer will make a good provider and has a territory with food and shelter for the family they can raise together. Spring birdsong in Britain is nearly always sung by male birds, mostly the females simply issue contact calls.
Nature holds is breath as the vanguard of spring migrants sweep up from the continents of Africa and Asia. The first sand martins and swallows have arrived on the east coast. These small, seemingly delicate birds have travelled thousands of miles and will search out the sandy cliffs that provide easy tunnelling for their nests. The RSPB reserve at Minsmere is often a good place to see them. Unfortunately for many bird migrants their mind-blowing journey will end on one of the islands in the Mediterranean prey to trappers and shooters who kill them for sport and for the table as they are considered to be culinary delicacies.
As I write the sun is making patterns on the hillside outside my window and spring is in the air – what better time to begin a blog on nature.