Friday, 20 January 2017


It’s still cold and there’s snow just a little to the north of us, but an early morning walk down to the woods brings early signs of spring.  Great tits, with their bold ‘teacher, teacher’ song are already making claim to territories, and the thin winter song of robins is beginning to turn richer.  Dunnocks too are beginning to emit their tinkling song a little, and I’ve heard mistle thrushes on and off for the last week.  The first snowdrops are in flower a little early this year, and a surprise after the long cold snap; the woodland trees are laden with tight new buds, much to the delight of bullfinches, happily working their way through the sycamores.

I return and head for the lighthouse to have lunch in the car.  A pod of three harbour porpoises deals easily with the tidal race between the islands.  Perhaps a sign of climate change, in the past they were reported mostly in summer, but are now with us all year round.  Little else but gulls sends me round into the bay, where I meet an old colleague from the university, who tells me the disturbing news that Swansea Bay has been chosen as a site for exploratory drilling for gasified coal deposits.  Surely this is madness; how can this be green technology, when whatever they find will end up in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide?

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