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beech twig

Birds on the run

goosander on the run

Although I spend much of my time doing natural history illustration, botanical drawing, science art, and natural science illustration I also do my best to try and keep fit.

This is made a great deal easier thanks to the beautiful town where I live, Hay on Wye in the Welsh borders.

One of my favourite jogs is down to the warren; a shingly beach on the banks of the river Wye, and back up through town.  Invariably, I see a wide array of animals, but this week the bird count was absurdly high!

So, jogging across the common grazing land I spotted a buzzard overhead, doing its’ cat-like mew.

run buzzard

Buzzard Buteo buteo

By the beach I spied a pair of goosander, then a mute swan

goosander on the run

Goosander Mergus merganser

Swan Cygnus olor

Into the beech woodland to be met by a tiny wren, then four fluffed up long tailed tits.

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes

Long tailed tit Aegithalos caudatus

As I came out from under Hay bridge, I heard then saw a pair of glorious bullfinch, bickering.

Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Blackbirds and robins sang their territorial songs amongst the horse chestnuts.

Blackbird, seen on my run

Blackbird Turdus merula

Robin Erithacus rubecula

Finally, turning up by the car park to come into town again, I saw a couple of blue tits, in all their finery.

Blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus

I know this blog sounds more like a gloat or a list than anything else, but I really was overcome with joy at all these beautiful animals on my doorstep.  It almost made going for a run an enjoyable experience.  Almost….

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Lizzie Harper