Snow Birds

1st February We had just the right amount of snow this weekend; the roads soon cleared but the fields and woods were transformed. The flock of sheep in the meadow next door had sweet scented hay in their feeder down by the gate, but they weren’t worried, they’re hardy mountain breeds whose grandmothers weathered far …

On your marks, get set… Bird Race!

Drawings by Shirley Frances (Facebook @Shirley's Studio Stuff) Despite my intentions to make 2019 a year devoted to the study of trees, the first few weeks of the year have been dominated by something far more flighty... birds. Although fascinated by all nature from the very beginning of my childhood, birds were my main interest …

Patch Watch: What a Lot of Wellie-Weather!

After a relatively dry 2017, the first month of the new year seems to be excited to have discovered rain, and has been enthusiastically demonstrating this day after day. Few bright days have punctuated the curtains of rain, but when they have, they have been glistening gems. We may complain about the wet weather, but …

A Nature ‘How To’: Feeding Garden Birds

How to: Feeding Garden Birds Do you feed the birds in your garden? In the UK, gardens cover a larger area than all the nature reserves put together, making our homes an invaluable resource for wildlife. Gardens are especially important as places of refuge during winter, particularly when food becomes increasingly hard to find in …

SFN Journal – Autumn Almanac: A Sweet Utterance

I have finally seen the bullfinches. All summer long I have heard their whistles from the long hedge that runs parallel to one of the glasshouses (of the plant nursery where I work) but they have remained elusive and disembodied. Today a movement in the bushes attracted my attention as I headed out on my …

SFN Journal – Autumn Almanac: Silence of the Birds

July 16th 2017 - Silence of the birds The weather has been hot, close and suppressive. I have taken to retreating to the cool shade of the woods when out for a lunch-break walk. Luckily the plant nursery where I work is bordered by woodland, filled with a myriad of textures and colours and illuminated …