Sarah Courtauld (London Pigeon) and Zanna Davidson (Wood Warbler) are writers who met a long time ago at a children’s publishing firm where they were working on books about birdwatching, kings and queens, and unicorns. They now live slightly further apart – Sarah in north London, just by the New River Walk, and Zanna in a village in the Surrey Hills, just on the edge of the Hurtwood.

These blogs are written because both love nature and sometimes we need an excuse to take the ‘time to stand and stare’, even if it’s just at a passing squirrel, a fat pigeon or a rare glimpse of a wood warbler, trilling with gusto in the green trees.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies