Author Archives: Amanda Tuke

Thirty-minute-birder series: Holiday romance – BIRD WATCHING MAGAZINE

In which I squeeze in some birdwatching on a family holiday and chat to impressive teenage birder, Zach Pannifer, about gull identification…

So what do nature writers when they’re taking time off?

If you thought this was going to be the results from an extensive survey of nature writers, I’m sorry but I’m going to disappoint you. Starting today with a solstice celebration, I’m looking forward to putting my pen down, or rather keyboard away, for a week. So what do nature writers do when they’re not […]

Do birders have it easy? and other tales: Out There – an anthology of nature and travel writing

It’s so lovely to see my writing alongside pieces by such a fabulously talented set of students. These are the inspiring folk I’ve had the pleasure to get to know over the last couple of years at Bath Spa Uni.

Thirty-minute birder series: there yesterday, gone today – Bird Watching Magazine

It’s so much fun writing these articles for Bird Watching Magazine and I meet such interesting birders out there. In this one in the January 2022 issue, I have some success with what I like to call mini-twitching.

Tales from the suburban wild – feasts and jamming

I arrive at the community orchard with my guitar, and find the Apple Day activities well underway. Kids are making bird feeders by sticking seeds into apples, and there’s free apple juice made using the apples visitors were encouraged to bring along from their gardens. The promised cider hasn’t materialised but for me that’s probably […]

Tales from the suburban wild – food for fairies and a hunger for nature learning

A woman is walking in front of me on Peckham Rye with a four-year-old. He’s looking at something in his hand, a conker in its prickly case. “Perhaps it’s food for fairies and elves?” mum says. The boy frowns at the conker. “No, Mummy, they’re for animals”.  Busted. Sarah opens the heavy Victorian door and […]

Thirty-minute birder series: Trainspotting – Bird Watching Magazine

Here’s my latest article in the December 2021 issue of the very lovely Bird Watching Magazine. It was a great excuse for a chat with inspirational birder and conservationist, Ruth Tingay, and good to hear from others about the experiences they’d had spotting birds while travelling. Thanks to all the contributors – I couldn’t do […]

Tales from the suburban wild – woman on the verge

I’m standing in the middle of the road which runs alongside Sydenham Hill wood. To be fair this is a pretty quiet road looping off the main road along Sydenham Hill ridge, so it isn’t quite as daring as it might sound. In front of me is a curving triangular verge of about ten square […]

Tales of the suburban wild – from urbs to burbs

I’m standing in the middle of Southwark Bridge. It’s just after ten in the morning on a chilly but bright autumn day.  Facing west I can see a train pulling into Blackfriars station. To the north is the City of London, not quite a square mile, where neoclassical pillars jostle and jar with stripped down […]

A moment to think about feathers… just wow.

Finding a blue feather from a jay’s wing is like finding treasure – I’ve had one in my wallet for a couple of months now. If the feather’s gorgeous blue wasn’t enough, then looking at the structure through a hand lens is extraordinary. Tiny hooklets, on barbules, on barbs, on a quill, rachis or shaft […]