Anagach Woods

After one day of the Grant Arms Wildlife Book Festival, I had already ticked off 27 species. The morning started off gloomy so I wrapped up knowing that the Highland air would bite without a little sunshine. After a delicious breakfast I met my guide Sue and we set off. Our destination was Anagach Woods, […]

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Checking in

I arrived in Grantown-on-Spey at night, so couldn’t see much of the Cairngorms wilderness that pressed heavily on both sides of the winding road. I glimpsed darting rabbits and the elegant form of a pair of deer, but there must have been dozens of other creatures concealed by the dense evergreens. My accommodation, the Grant […]

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The Wildlife Hotel

On The Wing has been quiet recently, not for lack of inspiration but for lack of time. Over the past few months I’ve been busy with a few different projects. I’m close to finishing an annual report for SEZARC, outlining the highlights of their work in 2018. I’ve also moved part-time into the library where […]

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An Unscheduled Spring

It seems as if spring has come early, and I’m certainly not complaining. For the past few days I’ve been stuck indoors trying (and mostly failing) to write through an infuriating case of The Block. Multiple times I’ve caught myself gazing outside at the gorgeous sunshine, listening to the spring sounds of birds and bees […]

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Farewell to Scilly

For my last full day on Scilly I was back on St Agnes again, joining a group led by Will Wagstaff on a full day of exploring. Although the weather was still far from bad, today was the murkiest I’d had so far. The sun was well and truly concealed behind thick cloud, and without […]

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Around St Mary’s

Today was slightly less eventful but still productive. I went for a walk to the Lower Moors of St Mary’s to find elm trees. Being so isolated, the elms on Scilly have successfully avoided Dutch elm disease, which has claimed all living elms on the British mainland. When I arrived at the spot on the […]

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A Day at Sea

Like almost every other visitor to the Isles of Scilly, I had my sights set on puffins during my stay, not to mention razorbill, guillemot and perhaps a seal or two. I’d planned on joining the afternoon Sea Safari around Annet, known as the bird sanctuary island, and the Western Rocks. I wandered down to […]

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Success!

I was back on Bryher today, having another go at finding the elusive dwarf pansy. As was becoming a daily ritual, I engaged in friendly conversation with my fellow passengers on the Seahorse as it made its leisurely way out of St Mary’s Quay. “That’s a fancy bit of kit you’ve got there,” one man […]

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The Spirit of St Agnes

As soon as we docked at St Agnes’ Quay I asked a nearby guide when it was safe to cross over to Gugh, the neighbouring island linked to St Agnes by a sand bridge that disappeared when the tide came in. Getting stranded on an island with two houses and no facilities would be less […]

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Exploring Bryher

When I arrived on Bryher I was reminded of how scarcely populated the 1½-mile long island was. After an initial buzz of human activity at the quay, tourists and locals dispersed and I suddenly found myself completely alone, except for the ever-present wrens of course. One was perched high against the skyline only a few […]

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