Category Archives: Birding

Devon Harvest Hymn

I was given a challenge last night at a Michaelmas Evensong to write a new hymn for harvest so this morning I sat down and gave it a go. Harvest in other parts of the country may differ but, having taken the dogs for a walk this morning and watched small gatherings of Meadow Pipits scurrying around, I got home and looked up whether they migrate from the UK for winter. The answer appears to be that some do and some don’t. I was then aware that the swallows and swifts have left already and that hedges were being trimmed and the lanes, once again, have become 3 feet wider. I was also cheered by the sight of both a Green Woodpecker and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker!

So that’s the explanation for this:

Devon Harvest

Michaelmas migration, swifts and swallows fly

Seeking other harvests, throng the dimming sky.

Birds Murmurating, full of hope and fear

Now Sahara crossing, southward is their steer.


Silage stored for winter, hedges cut and trimmed.

Apple harvest gathered, cider vats full, brimmed

Bounty from summer, blossom set and swelled

All God’s hedgerow gathered, not a drop withheld.


Equinox equation, balanced day and night

Triggers winter’s onset, storms the skies ignite.

Barns full of grain, now drying. Market cheer

Beckons winter’s solstice; Christmas drawing near.


Praise God for the harvest. Hidden from our sight

Spirit’s life now moving, make our hearts delight

To praise the Son, whose harvest gathers in

All creation’s longing, as we live for Him.

© Nick Shutt 2016.

11,11,10,11 (Noel Nouvelet)



Spring is in the air…well on the gorse


I am sure about the Stonechat. Not so sure about whether it is Wood Warbler or a Willow Warbler? Even more doubtful about a Meadow Pipit? Finally… I think this is a skylark…but maybe not…


Haiku for a forest

Woodpecker flatpacks-2-2

Grey Wagtails

Great to see a pair of Grey Wagtails happily at home in Walkhampton. If only they’d get still I could photograph them…

Grey Wagtail

RSPB Websites says there is on 38,000 pairs in the UK putting them on their Amber List…

Mixed Feelings

Seeing a pair of Cuckoos this morning, perched in a small bush, was rather exceptional. It gave me a buzz as I looked through my binoculars… but then I scanned and saw, completely obliviously to what was happening, a pipit wandering underneath them. I had a feeling that I knew what was likely to happen next…an unexpected visitor to her nest…

Which Beach shall we go to? How about the one next to the Oil Refinery?

It struck me as incongruous that people would want to spend a day on the beach with any Oil Refinery as backdrop…

Oil Refinery

Shame I’m not the shadow of my former self

I wish I could say I am the shadow of my former self following my holiday…but the reality is somewhat different…



Great to get out with the dog on my day off. I think I could write a book entitled “Birdwatching with a Springer Spaniel – The Ultimate Guide on how to scare off every bird for miles…” But one I did see this morning was a pair of Yellowhammers. Always good to see this little gem.


Kestrel & Spitfire: both efficient killing machines


It was one of those rare coincidences – a bird of prey on the field at Walkhampton at the same time as a replica MkV Spitfire was being shown off to the children of Lady Modiford’s School Walkhampton. A great moment.

Amber listed morning

Good to see a pair of Redstarts giving me a very vocal start to the day. Not ‘helped’ the by the over-eager intervention of one excited Springer Spaniel. “Dad” soon pushed off leaving “Mum” to deal with me.

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