The Hobby And The Peewit: Dedicated To Derrick Bailey

I shouldn't really have been surprised to see them this morning; yet I was. It was my wife, Cheryl, who first saw them and pointed skyward with a query. "They look like Kestrels, but they're not?" I watched the three birds for a while as they coursed the azure sky on the first morning of … Continue reading The Hobby And The Peewit: Dedicated To Derrick Bailey

Wearing Two Hats – Shooting and Conservation

I've had a strange weekend. For a shooting writer and journalist I seem to have, quite accidentally, attracted a large number of 'birder' Twitter friends due the above photo. It is a turtle dove; the photo taken at Pensthorpe Wildlife Park, near where I live. I was quite explicit in stating this. The bird is … Continue reading Wearing Two Hats – Shooting and Conservation

The View Through A Leaf-Net

They say the devil makes work for idle hands; so on a Bank Holiday weekend where all my domestic duties were fully discharged, I happily accepted my pass-out. When will 'her loveliness' ever learn that instructing a 'clear-out' will result in me unearthing all manner of toys and contraptions that have lain in dark corners, … Continue reading The View Through A Leaf-Net

Rooks and Cuckoos

Another frustrating day comes to a close and my head is already in the field and wood. If it weren’t, I’d go insane. Being semi-retired, I work just three days a week now. The role, as Housing Officer for a social housing provider, involves engagement with tenants who are either vulnerable (mental health, disability) or … Continue reading Rooks and Cuckoos

Shadow Dancing; A Woodland Stalk

Shuffling along the track toward the wood, the nightcap port and cheese hanging heavy in my head, a repetitive bird call lifted my spirits. The obstinate song of a chiffchaff confirming that spring was snapping at the tail-feathers of a bland winter. Underlining the sudden (perhaps premature) change, a brimstone butterfly danced amongst the primroses. Yellow … Continue reading Shadow Dancing; A Woodland Stalk

Hunting … Keeping The Fire Blazing

Occasionally I find that my writing comes under attack from anti-hunting protagonists who claim that there is no place for hunting wild creatures in the twenty-first century. Recently Chris Packham (mercenary natural history presenter and BBC-subsidised bigot) made a similar statement. He was attacking (via Twitter) the chairman of the Kent Wildlife Trust, Mike Bax, … Continue reading Hunting … Keeping The Fire Blazing

FAC Air Rifles … a waste of money?

In the UK, the legal power limit for air rifles is less than 12 ft/lbs though you can own a higher power air rifle if it is registered on your Firearms Certificate (FAC). I’ve held an FAC for ten years, purely for air rifle use. There is a limited use for an ‘on-ticket’ air rifle … Continue reading FAC Air Rifles … a waste of money?

Jaguar: The Black Angel … a synopsis.

  A juvenile big-cat is washed up on the Pembrokeshire coast following a shipwreck and manages to survive in the Welsh hills undiscovered. As it matures, the cat is driven by a natural urge to head East. Its journey leaves behind it a trail of chaos and death, none at the claws of the beast. A female … Continue reading Jaguar: The Black Angel … a synopsis.

The Air Rifle And The Law

(Reprinted from Airgun Fieldcraft, 2016 and updated, Feb 2017. Excludes Scotland.) The air rifle is a hugely maligned tool where the press and general public are concerned ... and quite wrongly so. There are a reputed four million airgun owners in the UK. In the past it was a relatively unregulated gun so no-one really … Continue reading The Air Rifle And The Law