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David Bradley

Sciencebase - Freelance Science Writer

Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2017 20:12:09 +0000


Red kite – Milvus milvus

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 20:12:09 +0000

The beautiful red kite (Milvus milvus) was persecuted to near extinction two centuries ago because of the mistaken belief that they were a threat to livestock. A committee was formed in 1903 to protect nests and eggs from hunters and collectors. In 1986, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and NCC (now … Continue reading "Red kite – Milvus milvus"

Barn swallow – Hirundo rustica

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:12:00 +0000

The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the “British” bird with which we most commonly associate a sighting as being the arrival of summer (cuckoos are not so often seen, but heard). Of course, one swallow does not a summer make, as Aristotle (384–322 BC) had it. It is a distinctive passerine, perching, bird with glossy, … Continue reading "Barn swallow – Hirundo rustica"

Stonechat – Saxicola rubicola

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 20:03:24 +0000

Bagged a few nice shots of birds new to my British birds gallery this weekend on a short trip to Brecon (Aberhonddu) in Wales (Cymru) including several shots of stonechats (Saxicola rubicola). The stonechat is a small passerine, perching, bird that was bizarrely considered a member of the thrush family (just as was the robin … Continue reading "Stonechat – Saxicola rubicola"

Pied wagtail (Motacilla alba)

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 00:01:04 +0000

It’s a common enough bird, the pied wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii), you can spot its characteristic bobbing tail almost anywhere in the UK at almost any time of year, although they tend to leave northern Scotland in the depths of winter. We took a stroll around the outskirts of the grounds of Ickworth House in … Continue reading "Pied wagtail (Motacilla alba)"

European peacock butterfly (Aglais io)

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:01:03 +0000

Although slightly slower-moving than the orange tip I photographed and blogged recently, the European peacock (Aglais io) is just as tough to catch on a pitstop, luckily there are so many dandelions in bloom in the set aside fields and elsewhere that it’s now quite hard not to get a photo! If I remember rightly, … Continue reading "European peacock butterfly (Aglais io)"

Birdsong, flight, music, inspiration

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 15:48:50 +0000

Unless you’ve been ignoring me on here, on Facebook, Twitter, 500px and elsewhere, you probably noticed I’ve had a bit of an avian fixation recently. I’m writing about them, photographing them for a gallery of British Birds, and generally educating myself about our feathered friends. By sheer coincidence, my own book publisher (E&T) sent me … Continue reading "Birdsong, flight, music, inspiration"

Orange tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines)

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:40:33 +0000

Orange tip butterflies (Anthocharis cardamines) flutter by so quickly it’s hard to get a good snap of them in flight, but now that the dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) have bloomed occasionally they come into land to refuel and sit there long enough to photograph. There were a few out and about when I was walking the … Continue reading "Orange tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines)"

Marsh tit (Poecile palustris)

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 21:43:04 +0000

We were walking in the back woods of Ickworth House in Suffolk…hearing blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) and the almost ubiquitous blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and hoping to spot at least one of the former, which seem a lot more elusive than robins (Erithacus rubecula) despite their song being turned up to 11, although the robins were scarce too. I … Continue reading "Marsh tit (Poecile palustris)"

Toxic moth nests

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 08:09:47 +0000

As a keen pseudo-professional photographer I am always on the look out for odd and intriguing things to photograph. In the absence of birds other than skylarks and rooks along the St Ives to Cambridge guided busway I photographed what looked like a silky nest in a blackthorn/hawthorn bush. It was on the left hand side … Continue reading "Toxic moth nests"

Classic Chords #17 – Yes, Würm turns

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:10:49 +0000

The classic Yes track Starship Trooper (from 1971’s The Yes Album) comes in several parts just as any good prog rock and/or classical music should. Parts i-iii  are “Life Seeker,” “Disillusion” and “Würm.” It is that latter section that is the focus of my latest Classic Chord on The chord carries a wonderful and yet seemingly … Continue reading "Classic Chords #17 – Yes, Würm turns"

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