TROGON

Another bird post? You betcha. Apologies for the taxonomic bias, but when in the Tandayapa Bird Valley, one must make allowances. I recently watched the Andes episode of the NHU’s Mountains series (should still be on iPlayer), which spent a few minutes with the hummingbirds I talked about in the last post. They were utterly … More TROGON

BELLAVISTA

Let us leave the anoles of Pahuma behind and carry on to the field course’s next stop- the Andean cloud forest. Or, rather, a small part of it on the eastern slopes of the mountains in Pichincha, that captures the imagination in a way that few other habitats can. The first five days or so … More BELLAVISTA

PAHUMA

Well, as Samwise Gamgee would say, I’m back. As I explained in my last post- way back at the beginning of July- these past few months have involved a lot of time away travelling and working in Ecuador and Colombia. I’ve been over high paramo, to steaming jungles, to remote islands, and to the heady … More PAHUMA

LIFE, LATELY

Heavens- it’s been a while, hasn’t it? As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I’ve had to put my blog on the back-burner for the past couple of months. May, June and July featured both my PhD thesis deadline and the opportunity to demonstrate on Manchester’s Tropical Ecology field course; a double-whammy that has seen most … More LIFE, LATELY

MALLIMACK

Discovering new places is awesome. Discovering new places that unexpectedly host some of your favourite seabirds is more awesome still. A couple of weekends ago we broke the long drive from Norwich to Manchester with a quick detour to Hunstanton beach. A quick online search had informed me that the famous red and white cliffs were a … More MALLIMACK

RHYTHMS

These pictures were taken during the Easter weekend, on stroll over to Mousehold Heath on Saturday, and a meander through Strumpshaw Fen on Sunday. The sun was feeble but it was warm enough to be out without a coat, and the flowering garlic mustard was attracting in delicate little hoverflies. I saw my first orange tip and speckled … More RHYTHMS

BURROWERS

More than any other season, Spring is defined by firsts. First swallow, first cuckoo, first snowdrop, first frog spawn, first bumblebee queen. For me though, the arrival of Spring these past few years has been heralded by something a little smaller, hidden beside a very ordinary bench at Strumpshaw Fen. It would be excessively easy to … More BURROWERS

THE DEAD ZOO

What is it about old museums? Me and Ye Olde Zoology are continuing our love affair, which recently lead me to dig out my copy of In the Heart of the Amazon Forest, but also to revisit a much-loved gem of a museum in the middle of Dublin. There are a few natural history museums that … More THE DEAD ZOO

BEACH

Has anyone been watching Wild Ireland? Colin Stafford-Johnson’s trip up the west coast of Ireland in a currach was an enthralling masterpiece- and it resonated particularly closely as I was still going through pictures from our brief trip to Connemara at the beginning of March. Like him, we wandered from forest to mountain to coast, and while … More BEACH

CONNEMARA

Aside from, you know, the time I spent studying for an MSc, the year I spent living in Dublin was full of awesome side trips to the far extremities of the country. We went camping on Inis Mór, surfing in the Atlantic in December, and on fruitless sea eagle searches in Killarney National Park. Despite this, the list … More CONNEMARA