Talk a walk on the wild side

eclipse male red-breasted merganser

The red-breasted merganser is something of a boogie bird for me. One of those species that I’ve tried to see, but only glimpsed. Which is a shame, because it’s a fascinating creature. To begin with, there is something about its name: ‘Merganser’. I have no idea why, but to me it feels like something out of Tolkien, or RR Martin, a creature of fable, the kind illustrated in medieval bestiaries by assembling parts of different animals and topping them with

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The corpse in the copse.

dead shrew

The topsy-turvy weather of late is reflected all around me. In some places the blackthorn is still flowering, in others drift of soft pink petals look like the late snowfalls that keep happening. Yesterday I took my coat off, put my coat on, took my coat off in a regular cycle as we veered from warm and sunny, to frigid winds and sleety showers. At one point hail lay sparkling on roads turned to sugar. Today feels like more of

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Today’s episode is brought to you by the letter G

Garganey duck

Sometimes I set out to see things, and sometimes things just turn up. Today was a bit of both. The thing I’d set out to see was a Garganey. A what? A Garganey. Which despite sounding like something you’d do at the dentist is actually a type of duck. We’re all familiar with the ubiquitous mallard, a bird that doesn’t get the credit it deserves for its brilliant, iridescent colouring¬† simply because it is so well-known. But Britain has (whisper

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