Posts by: Ray

Living on the edge

Any day in Africa is a good one.  African skies are big and beautiful.  Sunrises are amazing and only surpassed by sunsets.  Living in the bush is as far as you can get from noise, pollution and the everyday concerns of life in the fast lane.  The sounds, smells and…

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No strings attached

About five years ago on a lovely Sunday morning, I was sitting in my neighbour’s Kirkheaton garden when a beautiful bird glided along the field just below us and then disappeared just as fast as it had appeared.  It took me completely by surprise because this was the first and…

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A heart for a head

It’s moulting season for birds and everything has gone quiet, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve had a little project with some birds that are still raising their young – barn owls.  These are the ones that look white when you see them at night. They’re the ‘farmer’s…

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Inquisitive cubs and raucous chicks

Well, it finally got me.   After 27 months keeping my head down, I succumbed to covid!  Fortunately, my symptoms are not bad but I’m still confined to barracks and my camera hasn’t been out for well over a week.  But, just before my confinement, I was feeding my tawny…

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Gorgeous gannets, persecuted puffins and tern-ed heads

Arctic tern Every wildlife watcher should pay a summer visit to Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire to view the UK’s biggest seabird, the northern gannet, followed quickly by a trip up the coast to the Northumbrian Farne Islands where the star attractions are nesting Arctic terns and Atlantic puffins.  You can…

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Doing words

My favourite subject at school was English language and I soon learned that verbs were necessary to every sentence.  Verbs express what we do and a sentence is incomplete without at least one lurking in there, explaining what we are about. Kirkheaton’s 20% for Wildlife group exists, largely, to encourage…

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The cost of living

Long-tailed tit The long-tailed tit with a mouth full of caterpillars is a timely reminder that nature’s reproduction season is in full swing.  If you’re up during the night feeding a demanding baby, I sympathise with you.  But you’re not the only one finding child rearing hard work.  In the…

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Whiskers galore

I’ve never grown a beard for more than two or three days before I was expressly encouraged to shave it off.  That is, until I forgot my razor when I went to the Hebridean island of Mull a couple of weeks ago.  Of course, I could have gone to the…

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I’m back!

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything new for a while. There are a number of reasons for this which I won’t bore you with. However, I’m back in action. Tomorrow, I catch a ferry from Brodick, Arran, to the Scottish mainland at the end of a two…

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Out of the deep

The snowdrops are just past their best, daffodils are springing into life, and even our first tulip has already burst into flower.  I can hear a green woodpecker’s ‘yaffle’ from the woods along Ox Field Beck and our tawnies are calling to each other up the Scrog.  It seems like…

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