• "Aren't they big and lovely?" - A tale of earwigging for nature

    The following is a genuine experience I had earlier this week. I was busy in the garden, minding my own business, when I heard a woman's voice, loud and clear, the other side of the hedge.

    "Aren't they big and lovely?!" she said.

    "Huge!" said a man's voice.

    "It's because they're in a sunny position."

    Ah. Now I twigged. They were talking about my sunflowers!

    I've…

    • 31 Jul 2015
  • Back in the garden boudoir, part II

    Back in May, I revealed my garden boudoir, the place where the birds come to wash and brush up and make themselves beautiful. We don't admit that it is made out of an upturned dustbin lid because the birds think it is a bijou washroom.

    Only a couple of metres away is something that has become another hit with those birds wanting to look their best. Let's call it The Powder Room, but between you and me it's just a…

    • 24 Jul 2015
  • Screaming pleasures

    Let’s start with a photo of a garden bird…or at least it is if you’re a warden or lighthouse keeper on a remote island!

    Yes, I’ve been on my holidays, following the yearning to go and see Puffins and Gannets and all the other wonderful wildlife of Northumberland and Lothian (my Gannet above was on Bass Rock).

    But right up there in the list of experiences (for which I admit a touching-distance…

    • 17 Jul 2015
  • The glories of the cornfield

    Last week I mentioned that my bats were enjoying circling over my cornfield wildflower glade, so I thought it was nigh time to show you how the glade is looking.

    It was rotavated and sown in February on an area that had been under a dense thicket of half-dead apple trees and damson and plum suckers. I figured it had been so dark under there for years that it was worth just going for it without waiting to see if there…

    • 3 Jul 2015