A Mighty Kisser

Greenfinch by Brian Fuller Flickr CC
Don’t sing with your mouth full. Greenfinch, by Brian Fuller, Flickr CC

Watching the birds on my bird table, I am always impressed by the dexterity of their manoeuvres in dealing with food. Their bills might seem crude Read more

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The Angry Coot

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Don’t call me Baldy. Coot by Red Janunsen, Flickr Creative Commons

Whenever I pass between the two little ponds that adjoin the road to my house I see a small flock of coots grazing on the grass. They look like fluffy black commas, rather comic birds, from which character its name perhaps derives. The white shield above its beak has given rise to the phrase, ‘bald as a coot’; and to be ‘queer as a coot’ is to be somewhat Read more

A Fortunate Pheasant

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“I think this is my best side, don’t you..?” Pheasant by Tony Smith, Flickr Creative Commons

Undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous creatures to be found within these isles is the male cock pheasant. For once, the term is not an exaggeration. Should the sunlight catch its iridescent green and indigo head with its pure white ruff or the subtle bronze, grey, blue and vermilion shading of its rather ample body, you will see a bird that would not be out of place in a tropical rain forest. Among the rich reds and golds of an English autumn it is simply splendid. Read more