Posts tagged with ‘mammals’

Bird of the Year 2009: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant Provence in May was just a great place for flowers. I claimed on Twitter to have seen nine or ten species of orchid, although it’s entirely possibly I over-claimed, since there tend to be lots of very similar species, some of them are quite variable, and I didn’t have a book with me. […]

Napowrimo #22: the baboon

One night a belligerent young baboon decided he wanted to challenge the moon. So he pointed his colourful arse at the sky defying the moon until, bye and bye, just as his legs were starting to ache and his vertical bottom beginning to shake, along came some clouds and the moon went in; which he […]

Napowrimo #21: The Seal Voice Choir

If you stand on the beach on Holyhead and listen attentively, you may hear, above the sound of surf, an unearthly harmony. Upon a tiny rocky islet out of sight of land the world’s one and only seal voice choir are sprawled on a patch of sand; and sometimes, when the waves are still and […]

Napowrimo #20: Iceweasels

Deep in the forests of Finland where humans rarely go are sometimes found unusual tracks curving across the snow; they’re rather like those of the stoat but each is twelve inches by nine And often nearby there’s a tuft of blue hair caught in the bark of a pine. If you spend a few years […]

Napowrimo #18: the Buffalo

A buffalo can make a quite delightful pet, as long as you can find an easy-going vet who doesn’t mind an animal that’s really very boring, apart from the occasional trampling and goring. ~~~ A buffalo will often make a charming household pet, but just in case, make sure you have an easy-going vet who […]

Napowrimo #15: The Platypus

Privately, the platypus feels it’s only rotten luck that people don’t refer instead to the platypus-billed duck.

Napowrimo #12: Giraffe

The usual way to spot giraffe is by their penetrating laugh; so those which are a bit dejected frequently go undetected.


Exciting sighting: I saw a bat in the park today. It’s not completely unusual to see bats around here: I see a few in the summer, because it’s when I’m most likely to be outside at night. But not many. And to see one flying around over the park pond in daylight is most unusual. […]

Moby Dick

I thought I ought to reread some of those Great Novels which are sitting on my shelves and I haven’t read for years. I’m not sure why I picked up Moby Dick in particular, but after a few pages I was thinking oh, man, I’d forgotten how funny this book is, and so brilliantly written. […]

What a Walrus

Found while browsing the British Museum archive of 2D art, a walrus head drawn by Albrecht Dürer: It looks even better viewed large. I think that deserves to be as famous as his equally marvellous rhinoceros.

All the better to eat you with

If you particularly want to see this bigger, I’ve posted it to Flickr.

New camera, same old clichés

I’ve got a new camera, so I thought I’d celebrate it in the approved internet fashion: catblogging. You can click through to Flickr to see larger versions. This is Boris: And this is Posy, who is a difficult cat to photograph, because she’s so black and shiny:

bird of the year 2006: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant All those rainforest plants were nice, and I enjoyed taking wildflower photos while I was in Spain. But, not least because it’s nice to pick a winner that I can actually identify, I’m going for the Galapagos Prickly Pear, Opuntia echios. On islands where there are giant tortoises and land iguanas, they’ve evolved […]

In the Galapagos

I´ve got a couple of hours in Puerto Ayora (on Santa Cruz, in the Galapagos), so I thought I´d post a quick note. I can recommend the Galapagos. For a start, the landscape is more varied and more beautiful than I expected; somehow in my head it was all rocks, but from island to island […]

Fox cubs

The foxes have cubs at the moment. The foxes are pretty tame in London, since no-one hunts them, and once or twice I’ve seen the cubs playing on the lawn. Mainly you just hear them; squawking, screeching and making a high-pitched twittering like angry plovers. The foxes and cats seem to co-exist in a state […]

Separated At Birth?


A picture from my brother: See the whole set here. And see also this story.

Whales watched.

The whales behaved very prettily – a group of Long-finned Pilot Whales came over and swam around the boat so we could see them. Also Common Dolphin and Striped Dolphin. They saw the first Sperm Whale of the season yesterday, apparently, but no such luck for us. Also saw what I’m pretty sure must have […]


I’ve booked a whale-watching trip for tomorrow. I suspect this means a few dolphins and a pilot whale if you’re lucky, rather than enormous skeins of sperm whales stretching as far as the eye can see. But I figure it will also be a good way to see some pelagic birds – skuas, shearwaters, petrels […]

Top ten animals – #2, Snow Leopard

What actually got me started thinking about this top ten animals list was a documentary about the Snow Leopard, Uncia uncia. Two film-makers had spent three years in Kashmir and managed to get about two minutes of what of the kind of action footage you’d normally expect from a wildlife programme – the cats hunting, […]

Top ten animals – #8, Narwhal

I was surprised by how many cetaceans made it into my longlist. Part of it, perhaps, is that the difficulty of seeing marine animals adds to their desirability. And of course a lot of whales are *big*. Anyway, I considered Blue Whale, Killer Whale, Beluga, and Sperm Whale, and though Sperm Whale came closest (Moby […]

Top ten animals – #9, Chimpanzee

To see any of the apes in the wild would be a big deal. In some ways, the others are more appealing; the huge but (relatively) gentle gorilla, the mournful-looking orange Orang*, and the currently trendy pan-sexual bonobo all have a glamour to them which the chimp has rather lost, with the PG Tips ads […]

wireless networks, bunnies

I’ve spent most of the afternoon browsing around the web looking for the best way to fix the wireless network* so that it works everywhere it needs to. I’ve now officially lost the will to live. Here’s a calming picture of some bunnies: *The problem is that the current router (a Belkin F5D7630, since you […]