Category Archives: Natural History

If I wasn’t vegetarian I’d be tempted to shoot and eat the woodpigeons in our garden

The birds in my garden cause me anxiety and, occasionally, rage. The blackbirds make their nests too near the ground and, inspite of my anguished vigilance are vulnerable to my neighbours’ predatory cats. The magpies sit in the bushes just … Continue reading

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Ex-library books. How bad do they have to be before we decide they are unsaleable?

This one is pretty bad. I’ll show you the worst bits first. Library stamps, felt-tip pricing, folded corners, foxing, staining, ink-written Dewey and accession numbers, manilla library card pockets and a hole where library documentation has been removed. Oh dear! … Continue reading

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Have you ever seen your own halo – or anyone else’s?

According to Walter Kilner BA,MB Cantab., you, like the saints, have a halo; in fact we all have a ‘whole body’ halo, which he calls an “Aura”. Now, before you dismiss Mr Kilner as a charlatan, coming from the world … Continue reading

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Do your ears prick up and does your heart beat faster when you hear the words ‘New Naturalist’?

If the answer is ‘yes’, that’s a sure sign that you are either a book volunteer, should be a book volunteer or else you are one of the many collectors of this lovely series of books on natural history. There … Continue reading

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Should this book go on sale or should it be pulped?

Here is a problem that often confronts me as a  book volunteer. I open a box in the Oxfam sorting room to find an old reference book, with no pictures. It used to belong to a library so has disfiguring … Continue reading

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A Double Osprey, A Sunrise of Owl and A Stud Cockerel Hunted in a Desert by Leonard Baskin

This is the second time I am posting about these pictures and if you suspect I’m getting obsessional about them, you may be right. This is one of four wonderful prints by Leonard Baskin currently on sale at Oxfam Wilmslow … Continue reading

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Corvus: A Life with Birds by Esther Woolfson

‘The story of an accidental pet that came into a human life and turned it upside down … richly observed and finely written’, said the Guardian. This memoir of a life with birds,  Chicken-the-rook and Spike-the-Magpie in particular, tells the reader a lot about the extraordinary author, … Continue reading

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