News The steller sea eagle can be 8ft in wing-span

Sea eagle, which has an 8ft wingspan, disappeared on Saturday

Foraging may be all the rage, but can you live for a whole year on squirrels, weeds mushrooms – and garden snails?

It's remarkable how the threat of poverty can focus the mind. It had all started with such promise. After years working in London as a writer, I decided to follow in my grandparents' agricultural footsteps and get back into farming. They had grown hops in Herefordshire, where my family has lived for more than 500 years. My wife, Emma, is a city girl so it took me a long time to persuade her, but eventually she agreed. We found a farmhouse with some land and moved with our children.

Eric Simms: Ornithologist who presented 'The Countryside Programme' on the BBC for nearly 40 years

Eric Simms was for nearly 40 years a familiar voice as the presenter of BBC radio's The Countryside Programme. He produced or presented more than 7,000 radio programmes and made about 700 appearances on television. Simms was above all a devoted field ornithologist and a noted amateur authority on bird migration. He championed the familiar birds of town and street, especially the blackbird (whose song he chose for his appearance on Desert Island Discs), and was also an apologist for that much reviled bird, the street pigeon, whose canniness and adaptability he much admired.

Urban peregrines lay first egg of the year

Urban peregrine falcons are poised to capture the hearts of city dwellers once again this spring after a female laid the first city peregrine egg of 2009 in a Birmingham factory.

Darwin's Sacred Cause, By Adrian Desmond and James Moore

Did Darwin develop his theory of evolution for use as a weapon in the fight against slavery?

No one cooks pheasant, grouse and pigeon like Richard Corrigan. And now he's got a place of his own to prove it

Corrigan's Mayfair, 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, London W1, tel: 020 7499 9943

Official: the Houses of Parliament really are full of vermin

Records obtained by <i>The Independent</i> reveal scale of infestation

Steamy stuff: Sophie Conran reveals her favourite soup and stew recipes

The nights may be drawing in, but the food writer Sophie Conran is on hand to supply warmth and comfort &ndash; in the shape of her favourite soup and stew recipes

Stars in his eyes: Restaurant Tristan, Horsham

Does everybody in the restaurant business think they deserve a Michelin star? The Tristan of this new eaterie is Tristan Mason, who used to cook at the Hare in Lambourn and picked up a star for his labours. He moved to the Orrery in London, which had a Michelin star when he joined but lost it on his watch, whatever that may mean. No sooner had he put his name over the door of what used to be Stan's, in Horsham's dinky, narrow East Street, than he was telling local papers: "I want to get my star and I want my three AA rosettes. I want to make it one of the best restaurants in England." Well, I dare say you do, Tris, but in what sense is it "your" star and "your" rosettes? Do you hear actors demanding, "I want to get my Oscar and my Baftas"? Do you hear me saying, "It's about time I had my Nobel and several Pulitzers"? I don't think so. Not out loud, anyway.

Children's Books Special: The best picture books

Nicola Smyth tests the latest crop of picture books on her giggly four year old

Observations: Weaving a new thread

Tapestry often seems banished to a no man's land between art, craft and design. But with the opening of a stunning new creative centre and a home for Dovecot – which houses Scotland's Dovecot Studios of tapestry weavers and rug tufters – this ancient art is coming out of the shadows. The premises, which opened last week, combine a centre for craft and design allied to a working studio making it the world's top place for tapestry. This gallery and workspace, created out of the shell of Edinburgh's Infirmary Street Baths, looks set to create quite a splash.

Origin of the thesis: At the bottom of Darwin's garden

His Galapagos voyages are legendary, but Charles Darwin made many of his greatest breakthroughs at the bottom of his own garden. By Simon Usborne

Songbirds develop super muscles for dawn chorus

Mozart is said to have been inspired by the repertoire of musical notes produced by his pet starling. Now scientists can explain how the songbird is able to control such a varied voice.

Wimbledon Diary: Forget the pigeons, take aim at the car park charity pests

The Diary was once shot in the ankle with an airgun pellet, and while it did sting a bit, it wasn't serious. Now is not the time to go into the details of the incident but the situation involved a Catholic priest, a big dog with scary teeth and the front yard of a presbytery in Kisumu in western Kenya, at night.

Letters: Big Brother Britain

State security machine reaches over the bank counter
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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
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Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
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Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
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Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum