Merlin and the Kumquat

MUCH OF the bedrock that I’ve seen in rocks on the shore or in roadside cuttings is like this; it’s full of fragments of limestone, strongly bound in a cement of pulverised and powdered rock.

The 1 to 2 millimetre deep indentations on this pebble (right) are in rows too regular, I think, to be part of any geological erosion process. But I can’t imagine why any marine creature would go to the trouble of pitting out patterns in this way so my guess is that it is some kind of a fossil.

I’m not sure what species this large thistle was but it looked different to our Spear and Creeping Thistles.


The Kumquat was introduced to Corfu by an English botanist called Merlin. The fruits are turned into marmalade and also distilled to make a fruity liqueur. A Merlin variety of orange is still grown on the island.

This Spotted Flycatcher was perching on aerial, veranda and wire, darting off and hovering below the balcony of an empty villa.

This White Wagtail is the same species as our British Pied Wagtail but a different race. The continental male has a grey back, as shown in my sketch, while our Pied has a black back. The continental variety is Moticilla abla alba and the British race Moticilla abla yarellii.


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