Thursday 5 January 2017

Gower Cameos

A new year-long blog about wildlife on Gower started on 1st January. There will be about 20 short 'cameos' each month concentrating mainly on birds and other wildlife, and also expressing what it feels like to live on Gower. These short  'cameos' were not written in a given year, rather they illustrate typical monthly events. You may wish to take a look, and click the blue 'Follow' button.

Monday 7 July 2014

Birds of a Feather, Seasonal Change on Both Sides of the Atlantic

New book just published. Written as a series of small essays, it describes seasonal changes in birds and other wildlife from both the US and UK. It is available online at Amazon ( ( and most other online book retailers.

All proceeds go to wildlife conservation.

Please see below for a published review.

This is a lovely book - written by two ornithologists about the changing seasons on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. It's a simple idea but it works very well.

Isn't Robert Gillmor's cover both clever and lovely all at once - like the artist himself?

The book consists of accounts, from either side of the Atlantic through the year, of birds seen and places visited. Each month has about 20 short, blog-length, essays. And the observations carry you through the changing seasons and make you reflect on the time of year seen through naturalists' eyes, in the same hemisphere but in different continents. So, both authors are waiting for the spring migrants to arrive and are delighted when they do - whether they are Wood Warblers or Yellow-throated Warblers.

But there is much more than just birds in here. The writers are educated men who are aware of the world around them, and care for it, and worry about its future. Current events are wrapped into the accounts with skill and without any forcing. So we read about oiled Brown Pelicans, the Third Global Biodiversity Outlook, the Big Butterfly Count and the Wildlife Trusts' Living Landscapes projects.

The writing styles of the two authors are similar - they go well together. There's a very attractive visual clue to which writer is which, which changes through the seasons - buy the book and see what I mean (it's rather clever and very fitting I think).

Some of these accounts were written several years ago, back in 2010, but all are timeless in their subjects. I hope the authors have kept going and might give us another volume sometime not too far away - I would definitely want to buy and read it. But, if not, then this copy will get thumbed again each year so that I can dip into the time of year in the USA and Wales and vicariously enjoy nature and the authors' thoughts and musings on the changing seasons.

All profits from the sale of this book will go to The Wildlife Trusts and to a 'yet to be decided' US conservation cause.

Birds of a Feather: seasonal changes on both sides of the Atlantic by Colin Rees and Derek Thomas is published by Troubador and is available on Amazon.

Thursday 5 June 2014

American Robin

"As I start for the office, I’m heralded by a northern cardinal singing from the telephone pole at the top of our drive. For the past few months it’s been a faithful sentinel bringing cheer every day, but now competes with an American robin singing in the style of a European blackbird....."

A passage from our newly published book 'Birds of a Feather: Seasonal Changes on Both sides of the Atlantic' by Colin Rees and Derek Thomas.

All proceeds go to wildlife conservation.

Published in both paperback and ebook format, the book is available at most Internet book selling sites, e.g. ( ( 

Sunday 18 May 2014

Semi-wild Ponies

It's the time of year when semi-wild ponies produce foals on our local saltmarsh.

Marsh Fritillary

Lots of these scarce butterflies are out on one of our local common at present.