The perfection of silence

female barn owl

It felt like a church service. A small group of a dozen people, strung out along a length of drystone wall, staring at a field. At first, there was talk. Hushed, low tones, respectful. The late afternoon sun came and went behind a screen of clouds, and on this mid-April day, and coats were zipped and unzipped as the temperature went from warm to cool and back again. From a small stand of hawthorns, birdsong trickled out – a charm

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One for sorrow…

turtle dove

Five years ago I was moved to tears by one of the saddest things I have ever seen. My wife and I were celebrating our silver wedding anniversary (no, that’s not why I was crying!). We’d broken the piggybank open, burnt our savings, and gone on safari in Kenya. As part of our trip our guide took us, unexpectedly, to  rhino sanctuary. And there we saw Sudan. Sudan was as that time the world’s last male Northern white rhino. Since

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The Bollywood bird

osprey #30 with catch

Even the name ‘Osprey’ sounds somehow exotic. These large, fish-eating raptors are truly unique, truly one of a kind, the sole species of their genus, and their genus is the sole one in their family. Or to put it another way, osprey sit alone at the very end of a very bare single branch of the family of life. They may look a little like eagles, they may behave a little like eagles, but they are as different to eagles

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