Creeping Suspicions


We’re out of the Llobregat and back up to the Pyrenees to return to a bird which had my heart jumping to my throat. Presenting: the Eurasian Treecreeper.

Continue reading “Creeping Suspicions”

A Tit-Blue Sky


A Blue Tit peeks out from behind blossoms, a brilliant blue sky behind. Honestly – who could resist the chubby little face?

Coup d’Oeil


Car-window glimpses –

hints at something beyond

the fingerprinted glass

and constant humming

of movement and silence

in their endless dance,

because you love like this –

bittersweet heart-in-mouth.

You cannot do anything else;

no space forms for anything else

in disappearing tarmac behind

and knowledge of the gap between

possibility and reality.

In the Spanish, or possible French Pyrenees, this house up on a hill, the snow-capped mountains behind, presented an unimaginably picturesque site. It looked as if a postcard had been pasted over the car window.

You get the most peculiar sense of deja-vu sometimes when you’re travelling, especially when driving and there isn’t time to examine the feeling further – perhaps it’s a result of our constant exposure to information, so we see much more, but I’d like to think it’s just a connection to a landscape, to a place – like it’s ok to leave your heart there, half-way across the world.

These are the Sky-Peaks


here you find the

hovering fragilities,

a toppling consciousness of

breaking, of enduring

in shards of light and

twisted feathers, and

yesterday’s snowflakes

still half-sodden on the

ground – another dream

to melt for the future.

I happened upon this kestrel while hiking in the Pyrenees – or, at least, what is probably or most likely just possibly a kestrel; birds are hard to ID when they are a) far away and b) also you really don’t what anything is there? At all? It might also be a falcon (as in peregrine), which opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.

We saw two of them – one excruciatingly close, but unfortunately by the time camera was extracted, lens attached, hot chocolate drunk, etc., it became a very familiar story. So instead I watched it from afar as it watched the mountains – so small amongst the sky and so large as well, in its self-assured confidence.

And then, like so many other birds, I looked down, looked back up, and it was gone – sans wing-beat, sans form, sans movement, sans everything.

From the Lake to the Trees


Some lovely branches against the sky from the Pyrenees caught my eye. Their curling intricacies fascinated me, especially when the sun shone through – and so I photographed it.

On another note, posting will be sporadic to totally absent over the next ten days due to the fact I’m travelling and will likely have no internet, nor the time to schedule posts. But I hope to return with lots of lovely birds and other creatures to share.

Like the Wings of Birds


An as-yet-unidentified raptor (which I would very much appreciate identification of) hovers in the sky over the Pyrenees – one of the many we saw. This raptor in particular was spotted along with some four or five others, that, by the time we stopped the car and got out, had coasted on the thermals too high for any camera.

One More Sound for One More Lovely Thing


I think I am in love with the mountains, in all their forms – the breathless immediacy of Himalayan forests, the desolate rocky crags of the Great Rift Valley, the blushing greenery of Japanese hills, and now the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees. It is hard to explain what it is about them. The snaking tendrils of snow, or the contrast between the white and the dark, or the green fields, the bite of cold, the footsteps of the animals before you, the picturesque villages, bare trees – it is hard not to love it.

(The unbelievable amounts of raptors, from kestrels to booted eagles, inhabiting their peaks don’t hurt either.)

Winter Coal


Europe + birds + cold. What could be better?

This was one of the first birds I actually had the chance to photograph during our visit to the Spanish Pyrenees. Post-spotting, some dubiously legal fence-jumping took me to this pine tree where it was feeding on… something. Despite having seen the bird previously in the Himalayas (and, I may add, after much greater effort), there was something about this spotting that just screamed Europe. The bite in the air, the pine trees that were actually pine trees, the small, fluffed-up birds… perfection. (That is, until your fingers became numb. After that – not so much).

Also, pro tip: don’t ever, and I mean ever, google ‘tits europe’ or some other equivalent without adding bird at the end. Trust me. I almost learned the hard way.