All posts by Richard Carter

Dipping out

Six months without an update. The truth is, I've been busy with other projects, so this natural history journal has suffered. I've still been going out and enjoying the British countryside, but I just haven't made sufficient time to write up what I saw. Not even this lovely dipper that I photographed last week:

Dipper, Colden Water
A dipper on Colden Water last Friday.


So I think it's about time I made it official and placed this website in indefinite hiatus. Life's Grandeur is a cool domain name, so I might well return to it one day with some exciting new project, but, in the meantime, if you want to follow my latest exploits in the natural world, you could do worse than follow my Nature photography set on Flickr, or my writing on Oh, and if you enjoy the natural world, you'll probably enjoy my Nature Writing Flipboard magazine (and/or the corresponding Nature Writing Facebook page). But feel free to follow any or all of my other web presences.

Thank you for appreciating Life's Grandeur.

Boxing day

After 11 successful years out of 11, we have had to retire our trusty blue tit nest box. It was stating to fall to pieces.

I was going to make a new one, but my dad was already making one for my sister, so he made me one as an early birthday present while he was at it. I hung it in our Scots pine this afternoon:

Me hanging new nest box
Me hanging our new nest box.

I know, from the photo, it looks as if I've hung it too close to the ground, but I'm actually standing on the very top of a rather tall set of stepladders. Hence the look of intense concentration on my face.

(Yes, that's what I look like when I'm concentrating.)

Catching up (January 2014)

I haven't posted any updates here for a couple of months, but I have been visiting Burton Marshes pretty much every week. During this time, two storm-surges have flooded the marshes, introducing new temporary lakes—much to the delight of the local wildfowl. I've also managed to get quite close to a pair of stonechats on a number of occasions, and taken some pretty nice photos.

Anyhow, without further commentary, here is a selection of photographs from Burton Marshes over the last couple of months (in chronological order):

Flock of teal, Burton Marshes.

Continue reading Catching up (January 2014)


A car makes a pretty good bird hide at times:


More photos »

Jinx bird finally sighted!

I was back at RSPB Burton Mere on Tuesday afternoon. The weather was abysmal, but that didn't matter, because I FINALLY saw my jinx bird!

Ladies and gentlemen, after 48 years on this planet, I saw my first water rail:

Water rail.

That's not all. I also managed to get some fairly close-up shots of a little egret and some snipe:

Little egret.

On the whole, I took some pretty good photos—especially of the little egret.

View (lots) more photos »

Starlings and lapwings

Not to be outdone by the kestrel, the lapwings and starlings were also putting on a pretty decent display at Burton Marshes on Tuesday:

Starlings and lapwings.


I took another trip to Burton Marshes on Tuesday, and was rewarded with a prolonged hunting display from one of the local kestrels. The light conditions weren't ideal, but I managed to take some pretty nice photos (if I do say so myself):


Continue reading Kestrel