• From a bird in a box to the ballot box

    A call I answered in the office brought one of those stories that proves there is a deep-rooted emotional Robin singing its dear old heart outanchor that binds us with the natural world.

    A lady who'd planted some bulbs in her southeast London garden had left the box the bulbs arrived in on a garden seat. When she went to shift it a couple of weeks later she was startled when a robin shot out of the top. Carefully opening the cardboard flaps on top "I…

    • 31 Mar 2008
  • Love London? Sow some grass.

    The starling is king in London's gardens, long live the king.

    So cute, the upstart of the bird world and king of London 

    Our Big Garden Birdwatch results this year show no change in the top ten species. Starling is number one, followed by the house sparrow and woodpigeon. Fourth is the cheeky blue tit and fifth is the sonorous blackbird. Alarm bells are ringing though because the populations of our top two species are crashing around our ears. In fact, for the first time in…

    • 26 Mar 2008
  • Gone to seed

    A muffin-top waistline, greying hair and crepe skin. I'm not getting any younger but I was a bit saddened to hear my eldest daughter saying, "Dad's gone to seed." 

    She was of course on the phone to her grandmother and I had misinterpreted what she'd meant. My spin on the statement was in light of the reflection that had greeted me in the bathroom mirror that morning. Subliminally, it was loitering in my…

    • 17 Mar 2008
  • Making omelettes

    Easter's fast approaching and I swear I've got some eggs in my birdbox. The resident blue tits don't seem to mind that a mere couple of metres away, the Stansted Express thunders past northwards bound.

    A host of tits, finches and others have been criss-crossing the garden, busy carrying scraps of food and nesting material. Even the jays have been active, snatching food from the bird table.

    Great tit on a twigAnother heart-lifting…

    • 3 Mar 2008