On the right hand side of this blog you will see 'My blog list' which is basically a collection of other blogs that I really like and enjoy visiting. I use it to quickly access them and hopefully to also tempt visitors to North Downs and beyond to spend a little more time in other peoples cyberspace. This miscellany of sites will educate, entertain and exasperate in equal measure...
I thought that I'd do a little round-up of them, to big them up (they all deserve it) and try to tempt the casual visitor to embrace them further.
The old guard
These are the blogs that I have been following for a number of years, and some of them were kind enough to link to my own blog in its early days.In no particular order Cabinet of Curiosities is Phil Gates micro take on the natural world in the north-east. His ability to capture the minute detail of its wildlife is marvellous and his knowledge is deep. Alan Tilmouth is the most serious of my links and I do at times feel rather foolhardy when comparing myself to his grasp of the political machinations behind environmental issues and his passion for hard core bird identification.From the Notebook belongs to Stewart Sexton, somebody who I believe may have been a twin brother that I was unaware of, so closely do our thoughts and interests match. Unfortuneately I do not possess his brilliant illustrative skills which he shares now and again on his blog. Not Quite Scilly is Gavin Haig's most entertaining take on birding on the south Devon coast (when he's not cycling and eating chocolate that is). A new post from him is always a joy and never disappoints. Tony Morris's St. Margaret's at Cliff was the blog that inspired me to get started, and the fact that he lives where he does has given him more than enough material to carry on blogging for the number of years that he has. Kingsdowner (Steve Coates) is not as prolific as he once was, but he was an early connection and through this medium we have met up on a few memorable occasions - to see Stinking Hawk's-beard, Oxtongue Broomrape, quaff beer or compliment each other as being dead ringers for George Clooney! Skev's Blog and The Lyon's Den are both the work of avid pan-listers (Mark Skevington and Graeme Lyons) and any visit to their sites makes me only too aware of my identification shortcomings as both are highly knowledgable chaps - and I've had the pleasure of meeting both out in the field.
Mark Telfer has seen more species in the UK than all bar three others (and he will no doubt not stop until he gets to number one). His blog is a jamboree bag full of pan-listing facts and figures, insect keys and field reports. You can spend a day on his site alone.Flora Cantiaci is Mel Lloyd's highly detailed account of her time spent in the field - the only trouble is that her posts are not all that often at the moment, but when she does post they are virtual books full of links and information on all aspects of the natural world - more please Mel! Andrew Cunningham's Devon's Wild Things is (usually) a monthly round-up of his findings in that fair county, although recently he must be drowning under the weight of specimens to identify as he hasn't posted for a while.Wealdgirl's Nature Diary (hello Gill!) and Biodiversity Gatwick both celebrate the natural world in Kent and Sussex and will bring you anything and everything in varied posts. Jerry Blumire's The Great Outdoors is a more spiritual take on the wonders to be seen in nature, the inspiration to be taken from it, but also he's not too shy about using nature to feed and drink from!!
Both Wanstead Birder (Jono Lethbridge) and Reculver Birder (Marc Heath) are exceptional photographers whose work is of a professional standard.One blog is more laid back and opinionated (but I love that Jono) and the other more reportage from the field. Both will have you throwing away your own photographic gear in a fit of impotence.
A number of my links are to birders (some seem to have no jobs as they seem to be out in the field all the time, lucky beggars) from whom I get my vicarious thrills from - Devil birder (Surrey-based David Campbell, avid patch watcher, rabid twitcher, fledgling mother); Non-stop Birding (Peter Alfrey, Lord of Beddington and The Azores), Dodgy Birds (Beddington stalwart Roger Brown who could have made the photographer category above), Matt Eades Blog (Sussex-based), Literate herring (Alastair Forsyth, ex-Dungeness and now haunting the Scottish Islands), Plovers Blog (Paul Trodd, tramper of the shingle and Joker-tamer); Randon's Ramblings (Neil 'Factor' Randon who spends his time between Holmethorpe and Staines via Beddington and Tice's Meadow); The Cowboy Birder (Tony Brown, mostly Thames Estuary but currently in the Med); Parus - I don't think anybody reads this (Essex-based birding with a lovely dollop of jaundice); Almost Birding (Lee Dingain who cannot make his mind up whether to bird Staines Moor or the Brazilian rainforest); Limeybirder (ex-Dungeness Andy Wraithmell, now an ex-pat in Florida); Bill's Birding (Surrey based Bill Dykes, now a Fair Isle convert and moth fondler); Plodding Birder (More Dungeness-based birding thrills from the man with a camera, Martin Casemore); Gilbert White's Ghost (follow the success- or otherwise- of nesting birds in the New Forest); Poole Birds and Moths (does what it says on the tin via the keyboard of Marcus Lawson).
Get gripped off with the trap results from Essex Moths (Ben Sale's comprehensive accounts) and The Trappings of Success (moth fun from Bedfordshire). Stewart Sexton gets a sneaky second entry as he also has a moth blog called The Orthosia Enthusiast...
So, there you have a round-up of my worthy blogs. If I've missed you off, I'm sorry, let me know and I'll add you to the post. Also, if you happen to have my blog on a link and I haven't reciprocated please tell me and I will rectify it. By the way, I haven't linked all those blogs in this post, you'll have to click on the list to the right.