The Urban Countryside – Christmas in the Countryside.

by Albert Nolan For kids the days before Christmas seem to get longer and longer while for poor harassed parents there just isn’t enough hours in the day. If the stress of the festive season is getting you down try taking a short walk in your garden or park and discover some of the fascinating […]

The Urban Countryside – Berries for the birds

by Albert Nolan After the summer holidays the year seems to take on a faster pace as house routine blends in with the school week. Some birds have already returned to their wintering quarters and others like swallows are getting ready to go. Swifts have departed and for such a noisy species they leave without […]

The sweeter side of Wasps – The Urban Countryside

by Albert Nolan I have received several calls and emails form distressed people wondering why there are so many “bloody wasp” around over the last few weeks. These insects are universally unpopular because of their painful sting. But behind this successful defense their lives are very interesting and they are very important in the ecology […]

The Urban Countryside – Grasshoppers

by Albert Nolan The Tailor of the Meadows.   I was driving my car a few days ago and enjoying the countryside as it sped by and the cool breeze circling in the car. The roadside verges have recovered some of their lushness after been scorched by the heat wave and fresh flowers and grass […]

The urban countryside – The Pheasant

by Albert Nolan Every so often a reader emails me around his observations on pheasants. He had seen one recently digging a hole in the ground and sitting in it and was wondering why it was behaving in such a manner?. Like the pheasant I was left scratching my head for a few days and […]

The Urban Countryside – A brush with foxes

by Albert Nolan The silence of Sunday morning was shattered by the harsh warning call of a pair of Magpies in the back garden. Despite the lingering effects of last nights wine I decided it was worth the effort of drawing the curtains as this warning call often indicates a predator is about. As I […]

The Urban Countryside – First lessons in life

by Albert Nolan I have been watching the blackbirds in my garden for the last few weeks between washing the dishes and preparing meals for my hungry gang. Now that their first brood is raised they are taking a welcome break from the rigors of parenting. The days are stretching well into the night and […]

The Urban Countryside – The Swift

by Albert Nolan Observing birds in your own back yard can often reveal some interesting behavior. I was visiting a friend of mind that has a dog that spends most of its time indoors and in this artificial environment he sheds a lot of hair. Each morning the floor is mopped and the brush is […]

The Urban Countryside – Chaffinches and Daisies

by Albert Nolan, I was having a cup of tea with my neighbour and she was telling me about the troublesome bird that is in her garden. She couldn’t identify it but noticed it had a pinkish breast and that it wasn’t a robin.  I had a hunch it was a male chaffinch and a […]

The Urban Countryside – The Swallow

by Albert Nolan The kids were tucking into their breakfast and with a few moments to spare before the school rush started I opened the front door to listen to the morning bird song. Initially all I heard were the cats meowing but a quick handful of cat food and order was soon restored. A […]

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