September 10, 2020

Am making the most of watching and listening to our swallows before they depart for South Africa. I shall miss having them around.

August 14, 2020

Was awake in the night due to the heat. Heard a curious sound outside. A repeated wheezing call. A bit of research and discovered it was the begging call of juvenile tawny owls. I think there must have been two of them. Good to know ‘our’ tawny’s have successfully reared young this year.

June 7, 2020

These 4 young blackbirds in a nest in our garden are not far off leaving. Am sitting outside enjoying a beer, and can hear the noise they all make when a parent brings them food.

May 19, 2020

Heard my first cuckoo of the year. Which presupposes that I will hear more. Quite likely not.

May 17, 2020

A family walk this morning. Took a trip out to the Somerset Levels, now that we are allowed to travel a bit more. Lots of birds - but no cuckoos. Swifts, sedge warblers, curlews, reed buntings, skylarks, egrets and swans. Meadows looking lovely. Lots of flowers including orchids (Southern Marsh?). Drama in the garden when we returned. Birds giving alarm calls - turned out a great spotted woodpecker was having a crack at the box where the great tits are nesting. Read more

May 9, 2020

For a bird with a reputation for being secretive, jays make an almighty racket when the occasion calls for it. Yesterday, a walk in the woods. A jay kicks off in the trees above me. Spotted movement amongst the branches. There it was, getting in the face of a tawny owl. It would fly onto the branch next to the owl, squawk in its face and fly off again. Meanwhile, she would give a little ‘tu-whit’ in response. Read more

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2021

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