Filed under urban wildlife

On Badgers

I used to cycle along the bike path between Bristol and Bath, and one evening I almost ran over a badger. It was a magical moment once I had recovered from suddenly slamming on the brakes, to be so close to such a secretive animal. A few weeks back, I met a woman whose family … Continue reading

Penguins in Lavender

Penguins in Lavender

This is a rather strange and sad story from London zoo – over the past sumer some 6 penguins have died of malaria. It’s strange because penguins are from a cold climate, and malaria is from the tropics. Or that is what I thought. But malaria is spread by mosquitoes who breed in swamps, and … Continue reading

Cuckoo Treatment for A Cuckoo?

I love wild animals, and full points for the various charities that support them, but I do wonder if the Leatherhead Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) have gone a little too far. It doesn’t help that the director of this charity is called Simon Cowell. An injured, parasite infested cuckoo was found in a garden in … Continue reading

Singing Solo

Singing Solo

A few years ago I heard of an albatross on one of the Scottish Islands that arrives every year, builds a nest along with all the other birds, then waits. And waits. The other birds mate and lay eggs and then hatch them, but this bird eventually kicks its nest to pieces in frustration. It … Continue reading

Cats Up Trees

Cats Up Trees

The London Fire Brigade has asked the public not to call emergency services to rescue pets – they had 620 callouts for them last year. The following are some of the calls they made : An iguana stuck on a roof A parrot trapped in its cage A dog stuck in a wheelchair A puppy … Continue reading

Pandas On Parade

Pandas On Parade

One of the things that I love about living or visiting cities is the occasional strange act or sighting. These pandas were wandering round Trafalgar Square the other day, attracting tourists wanting to pose, and generally seem ing a bit disoriented, as their handlers had to keep pointing them on their way. I think they … Continue reading

Kangaroos and Washing Lines

Kangaroos and Washing Lines

Our access to news these days is truly awesome, but once in a while I wish there was a way of following up stories. Last year there were two that still haunt me, because they are just too ridiculous. The first was of a 90 year old woman somewhere in Australia being attacked by a … Continue reading

Urban Parks, Urban Myths

Urban Parks, Urban Myths

I have just walked through a park at night. Consider the equation, a mantra repeatedly chanted to us from childhood by adults who know. A woman + alone + darkness = things that go bump/scary monsters/criminals = DO NO EVER DO THIS. I passed a woman walking in the opposite direction. We smiled like conspirators. … Continue reading

Deeds Not Words

Deeds Not Words

This was my primary school motto, and I guess having it on my breast pocket has haunted me ever since. I have no time for people moaning about how bad things are. Either do something about it or shut up. I have known many activists in my time. I have baked cakes, argued, danced, signed … Continue reading

TransAtlantic Planes

TransAtlantic Planes

This is a bit of a diversion, into botany. During the Victorian era, the air of Britain’s towns and cities were heavily polluted, killing many of the street trees. One tree seemed to be resistant to smog, a hybrid of North American and European varieties of the family Plantanaceae. I am writing about the London … Continue reading