© 2014 by Barbara Copperthwaite.

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All change!

Change is everywhere I look now. Areas of the park are now covered in crocuses, joining the last of the snowdrops and the occasional winter aconite (see the feature Britain’s Bravest Blooms for more information), along with the daffodils, the blades of which have been showing for some time but which haven’t yet flowered. I can’t wait to see them as they always herald spring proper for me, and were a firm favourite of my late nan. The Canada Geese have arrived back at Highbury too; two pairs instead of one this time. I wonder if it is the pair who successfully bred here last year and their off-spring. The Heron has also made a re-appearance, flying over my head just last evening to land in th

Four seasons in five minutes

The weather the last few days has been changeable to say the least! I went out with Scamp in sunshine, which suddenly disappeared as if someone had switched the light off, as it began to rain…then snow…then hail. In two minutes the grass was white over, while Scamp jumped up happily, snapping at the air trying to catch hailstones. She must have thought they were tiny tennis balls. But once the sun came out again, so did nature. The Parakeets were side by side on a branch, a Blackbird zoomed in front of me, flying so low that leaves were disturbed and fluttered up in its wake; and Long-tailed Tits chased each other. The Magpies were particularly vocal too, chattering away to one another in th

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside!

I’ve enjoyed a wonderful trip back to my hometown of Skegness. The first place I visited on arrival was, of course, the beach. Black-headed gulls wheeled, and along with black-backed and herring gulls, and the odd kittiwake. There seemed to be no sign of the dunlins I see over-wintering; they must already have moved on, sadly. But the seagulls were having a great time feasting on starfish they were picking up from the shallow sandpools. That’s unusual for Skegness beach, because starfish are not a particularly common sight there. I was actually visiting because I was doing research for my latest crime novel – and I was able to get lots of inspiration whilst watching. Nature is influencing th

The sounds of Spring

You can hear it in the air. It’s not anywhere near full song yet but there is definitely a more vibrant sound across gardens and park, as more birds are giving song. They’re on the look-out for mates, defending territories, and generally saying: “Look at me!”. Yesterday morning, I was standing beside a tree and was nearly deafened by the incredibly loud, high-pitched, tsk-tsk-tsk call of a Goldcrest. Whilst I stood, my cheeks tingling with cold (they were the only part of me not swathed in layers of clothing) I heard another sound echoing across Highbury Park – the distinctive call of the Woodpecker. As I searched for it, looking eagerly at the tree tops, I noticed how the Crows seem to be e