Author: timh

Dunnock_eggs 0

Nesting birds

Three dunnocks flirting in the topmost branches of the oak with much tail and wing flicking, two grey squirrels playing Catch-me around its trunk, tails quivering and claws scrabbling for purchase: it was 15th...

mole 0

Winter moles

It’s surprising what you can see in the dead of winter, even on the short drive from Ilkley to Keighley. The first delight came on the Addingham bypass: a couple of hazel bushes festooned...

Barn owl 0

Owl hunting

A flying start to New Year’s Day was provided at Staveley Nature Reserve near Knaresborough by a barn owl hunting in daylight beneath a blue sky. It kept my son and myself entertained for...

Fox 0

Winter life

The Winter Solstice is past and we have to believe that the days are lengthening, though I can’t usually detect much difference until well into January. I can, therefore, understand why, since primitive times,...

magpie & kites 0

The vicious side of magpies

Below our bird feeders is a wire cage, bought to keep squirrels and pigeons from devouring the seeds falling from above. It works with the pigeons but is totally useless against squirrels which easily...

Devil's Coach-horse 0

Beetles

Horrified, I read in the press recently that some tidy person had hoovered up a collection of hibernating ladybirds. I guess she assumed they were dead. Ladybirds can escape the cold, prey-less months in...

Corsica Nuthatch 0

Nuthatches home and away

I refilled the bird feeders at the start of October, having left them empty over the summer when I reckoned the nearby woods were overflowing with natural food. I had thought that the feeders...

Autumn colours 0

Lively autumn

We’ve now had our first frost – quite a heavy one – though I was relieved to see that our garden remained unaffected. Even the last few blackberries were surprisingly delicious: I was brought...

Spider's web by Rob Dixon 0

Arachnophilia

The equinox has slid past and the horse chestnut tree beside the Ilkley Health Centre is already changing colour so I guess Autumn is here. The garden birds are quiet and subdued but I...

Banded demoiselle 0

Dragon- and damselflies

I’m very lucky in that my stepson, Rob, is also interested in natural history and, more importantly, is a very good and keen photographer. Because he and his wife love canoeing, they get to...