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BIRDWATCHING DAYS The pall of a global pandemic hangs over us. Should humankind emerge from it the message is clear; things must change. Some might say that we shouldn’t have needed such a traumatic wake up call but it is imperative that a new global connectiveness must now come into being, one which values all […] Continue reading →


MAY DAY(S) “Generations have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell; the soil  Is bare now, nor foot can feel, being shod.”(1) These words by G. M Hopkins were written between 1876 and 1889. Perhaps he had been dipping into his […] Continue reading →


April 2nd saw the first swallow arrive: early. Too early for its own good in fact as it was greeted the following day by an inch of snow. By the 5th, however, there had been a melt and a bright and breezy day appeared which was just right for a cycle run over to Hethpool […] Continue reading →


CUTHBERT’S WAY and BEYOND Beth was home for a few days in November. Unbelievable weather, still and sunny, saw us out walking along the ridge to Wideopen and Grubbit. The rolling hills stretched away to the horizon left and right. Below, the Bowmont and Kale valleys slowly filled with mist. A kestrel flew by and […] Continue reading →

Sweet Successes

SWEET SUCCESSES In a recent book review, Alex Preston made this observation of the work:(1) “here there’s a rigorous honesty about the disappointment that so often lies at the heart of nature watching (and makes all the sweeter our fleeting successes.”) There is a lot of truth in this remark as I’ve discovered during some […] Continue reading →

New Horizons TWO

NEW HORIZONS TWO “I got my new horizons out to see” With the Moodies already in the back of my mind, it was no surprise that this lyric from a classic Hayward track hummed away as we drove down the M50 to mid Wales.There we were to spend a few days at Garddfady Farm home […] Continue reading →


WATERLINES December 2016 1. The year’s shortest day saw me at Budle Bay just north of Bamburgh in Northumberland . It is a favourite place. The small estuary with its inlets and mud flats can be scanned from the adjacent layby so, depending on the tide, mud or water and the bird life these attract […] Continue reading →