The tale of the tortoise and the dictator

Hermann's tortoise

The survival of a species can sometimes involve a great deal of luck, as I found out on a recent holiday to the island of Menorca. Menorca (Minorca) is an island of around 30 miles by 10, lying off the east coast of Spain. It is a beautiful place, with clear seas, sandy beaches, and a lot of sunshine. It is also far quieter and less developed than its neighbouring island, the famous party island of Mallorca (Majorca). It turns

Continue Reading

Over-sexed and over here

wall lizard

I went on a trip to Bournemouth. It’s a long drive from home, something that I always think twice about doing these days. But I wanted to try and see a rare and exotic species of lizard for an upcoming book. It’s Bournemouth. Miles of archetypal golden sands and rolling surf. It’s even sunny. As long as you sheltered from the cool 8°C winds and ignored the typically British mix of flip-flops and goose down jackets, you could almost be

Continue Reading

Today’s episode is brought to you by the letter G

Garganey

Sometimes I set out to see things, and sometimes things just turn up. Today was a bit of both. The thing I’d set out to see was a Garganey. A what? A Garganey. Which despite sounding like something you’d do at the dentist is actually a type of duck. We’re all familiar with the ubiquitous mallard, a bird that doesn’t get the credit it deserves for its brilliant, iridescent colouring  simply because it is so well-known. But Britain has (whisper

Continue Reading

rumble in the (kinda) jungle

adders

I know how to make a sound: a groan, an “ooooh”. If I take a roomful of people and say one word, it always happens. Shall we try? Adders See? I spent last Saturday watching adders. These small-to-medium sized snakes are wrongly billed* as Britain’s only venomous snake, but are certainly the only one with a bite that can hurt humans. And “hurt” is the right word here. An adder bite can be painful – a bee sting is often

Continue Reading

Site Footer