I’ve just finished Richard Dawkins’s self-narrated audiobook of An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, where, introducing a task given to him by his research supervisor Niko Tinbergen, related to nature versus nurture aspects of animal behaviour, he makes special mention of the White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli). As it happens, earlier this
Quite a cold afternoon’s walk today; but the sun was up, the golfers were out, and so too were our local herons. I snapped this one just before sunset. He’s a Grey Heron (Aredea cinerea) and common in the UK. (I keep an eye out for the Blue Heron and super-rare Purple Heron, that
Tonight I joined the 2011 Darwin Lecture, with Sir David Attenborough speaking on ‘Alfred Russel Wallace and the Birds of Paradise’, organised and hosted by the Royal Society of Medicine in association with the Linnean Society of London. Fresh back from a trip to Borneo – no less, the spritely 85-year-old was introduced by Professor
When I lived in the Midlands of the UK, away from the bussle of London’s controlled airspace, one of my pleasures on an evening was to hire a light aircraft at my local airfield and tootle off for an hour or so practicing maneoveurs and generally enjoying the sunset – all very peaceful. Except, one
Meet the new arrivals. At a pool close to where I live in the south of England, I’ve been following the progress of these cygnets since their birth five weeks ago; the picture and the video were taken about a week after hatching. The same breeding pair has built a nest in the same spot
The Royal Society for the Protection of birds (RSPB) says: “the normal clutch size for mallard is 12 eggs, laid at one to two day intervals.” Which makes the mother of this 16 strong brood paddling past our appartment yesterday something of a dynamic duck. I’ve heard the record is 21 – so she still
Through a combination of photography and a creeping fascination with avian behaviour and taxonomy (thanks to my wife giving me Colin Tudge’s The Secret Life of Birds for my birthday) I think I’m turning into some sort of accidental ornithologist. Point being, you can expect the occasional photo-flavoured birdy post; and today – it’s woodpeckers!