Gilbert White

5 results

How many must die?: a flight of young sparrows. Illustration: Michael Viney

Apart from our evening swirl of swallows, swooping for midges between the trees, the acre has fallen rather quiet. This follows an avian breeding seas(...)

Mistle thrush: first recorded in Ireland in 1808. Illustration: Michael Viney

Plucking the latest thatch of silver threads from my hairbrush, I open the bedroom window and leave the little wisp to shiver on the sill. It quickly (...)

Higher and spire: David Lack studied swifts in Oxford. Illustration: Michael Viney

I miss the coming of city swifts – the change in the sky from one day to the next. In my rooftop bachelor pad in Ballsbridge, circa 1965, I enjoyed th(...)

Deception: the cuckoo lays its eggs in another bird’s nest. Illustration: Michael Viney

A farmer friend once showed me how to summon a cuckoo from the sky. As its call chimed tirelessly from beyond the trees around his house he spa(...)

After celebrating the beauties of his twin subjects (the “quiet, pale” ash and the beech’s “voluptuous grace”), Mabey gets stuck into the virulent spe(...)