Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Tag: fauna

  • A Little Bit of Bread and no Cheese

    A Little Bit of Bread and no Cheese

    The song of the yellowhammer resonates with a quaint charm, often likened to ‘a little bit of bread and no cheese,’ a delightful call immortalised by Enid Blyton in her tales and verses. Males serenade the countryside with their melodies during spring and summer, adorning our open spaces. Resembling a canary in appearance, the males…

  • The Silent Standoff — An Unexpected Thrill of a Roe Deer Encounter

    The Silent Standoff — An Unexpected Thrill of a Roe Deer Encounter

    I lack the patience for birding or hiding for hours in wait of a fleeting glimpse of wildlife. However, stumbling upon the sight of a bird or creature feels like a rare privilege. Such was the case this morning when I spotted a yearling roe buck. Or rather, he spotted me. We engaged in a…

  • Cuckoos on the Move as Cyclists Battle Up Saltburn Bank

    Cuckoos on the Move as Cyclists Battle Up Saltburn Bank

    In the women’s race of the Cleveland Classic, competitors ascend the formidable Saltburn Bank at the first of the event’s four laps. Cycling here, my ears were tuned keenly for that distinctive call of the first cuckoo of the year. Today marks Cuckoo Day, also known as St. Tiburtius’ Day, traditionally the day when the…

  • No wheeple from this whaup

    No wheeple from this whaup

    No plaintive cry echoed through the air. It was the silhouette that gave it away: that lengthy and slender bill that bent downward. I casually approached at an oblique angle, yearning for a better shot. Amidst the heather, its speckled brown feathers made spotting it quite a challenge. Alas, my audacious closeness prompted it to…

  • Roseberry Topped Reflection

    Roseberry Topped Reflection

    I recently read an article about the ecology of puddles, revealing their significance as habitats for certain invertebrate species. These small, transient pools offer a refuge from larger predators and competitors due to their isolated and short-lived nature. Many of these puddles hold high conservation value, housing rare specialist creatures. Noteworthy examples include the fairy shrimps…

  • Reeves’s pheasant

    Reeves’s pheasant

    After a disruptive morning, which is best left without further elaboration, my daily exercise took place in the dwindling daylight. So here is a photo of an unusual pheasant we came across earlier in the week. According to Google, it is a Reeves’s pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii). The bird was introduced on these shores in the…

  • Gazing down on Fingal’s Pinnacles

    Gazing down on Fingal’s Pinnacles

    Amidst Nature’s tranquil canvas, the distinctive call of the cuckoo shattered the silence once more. From the treeless shores to the lofty mountains, that feathered harbinger has seemed to tail us relentlessly, from the westernmost reaches of Skye to the farthest point north. In June, so the old rhyme says, he changes his tune. Yet,…

  • Shig-shags

    Shig-shags

    While cutting back the bracken in Newton Wood today, I was taken by surprise when I stumbled upon what seemed to be miniature apples. Of course, these were not genuine apples, but rather galls created by insects as excrescences. And as it dawned on me that they were attached to a small oak sapling instead…

  • The graceful and capricious roe deer

    The graceful and capricious roe deer

    I’ve had many close encounters with roe deer over the years. Many times have I disturbed them on my woodland runs and walks, just catching a glimpse as their bouncing white rumps quickly disappeared through the trees. Occasionally I’ve been lucky to get a closer look when the breeze has been in the right direction…

  • The frogs have woken up

    The frogs have woken up

    About five days earlier than last year. Yesterday, there were none, today about fifteen. At the peak last year there were about forty frogs. Perhaps these were those that spent the winter in a state of torpor in the mud at the bottom of our little pond. Getting a head start on those that made…