Author Archives: Debra

Rambling around Hale, Part 1

Preamble (pun intended) This shortish (approx. 2 miles) walk takes in a range of habitats – hedgerows, farmland including wheat and vegetable fields, estuary and mud flats, shore and scrub – and a lighthouse, and can be extended into Hale … Continue reading

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Sitting with Sparrowhawks, Part 4

Although the three young sparrowhawks have fledged, the whole family still visits the area around the nest site, so I do, too. It’s also a lovely spot for a quiet, mindful sit – as Claire Thompson describes in her beautifully … Continue reading

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A Morning’s Birding at Speke-Garston Coastal Reserve

This morning, the hedgerows around Speke-Garston Coastal Reserve are bouncing with life, with adult goldfinches being chased by and feeding hungry pale-faced fledglings, and whitethroats skulking amidst blackberry thorns, muttering their scratchy call.

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Sitting with Sparrowhawks, Part 3

As I walk through the wood, an adult buzzard flies off low among the trees from its perch on the large broken tree trunk that guards the way to the sparrowhawk nest. It is soon circling higher up, calling constantly. … Continue reading

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Not the Bird We Were Looking For

This post begins with a note of caution: if a friend asks you to go on a ‘twitch’ (birder term for looking for a locally scare bird that’s been reported in the area) to a woodland that neither of you … Continue reading

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A Swift Memory

Thinking about those swifts hawking around Speke Hall meadow in June reminded me of my first swift encounter this year, in mid-May. Continue reading

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Sitting with Sparrowhawks, Part 2

            (Photos taken at a distance using a very long lens.) This evening, there is activity in the nest: one juvenile is pulling at a small corpse held in its powerful yellow talons, tearing off … Continue reading

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Sitting with Sparrowhawks, Part 1

Half a mile from ‘civilisation’ and yet one could be in the middle of a huge forest. I have learned to find my own way to a ‘sit spot’ at a respectful distance from this nest site,

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June Tunes on the Plot

It’s noisy on the allotment: there’s a charm of goldfinch tinkling away, some from my plot and some from next door’s. I’m having a siesta at the back of the plot, and I’m surrounded by liquid runs of notes; the … Continue reading

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Scimitars of Hope

It’s mid-June and the birds are thin on the ground: migrants have arrived, set up territories and found mates, getting down to the serious business of breeding; and the resident birds are also quiet – run off their feet feeding … Continue reading

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