In a roar of silence, they ascend

Golden plover rising

I was at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s Slimbridge reserve recently.  It was near high tide on the river Severn, and the whole landscape (which had been bone-dry in the summer) was saturated from torrential rain over several days. As a result, the fields of the reserve are teeming with wildlife. Imagine those films you’ve seen on the BBC of the plains of Africa, full of wildebeest. Now turn them into vast, uncountable numbers of birds. Sitting in one of

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It’s all kicking off…

singing corn bunting

It is definitely supposed to be winter. Christmas is only just past. A couple of years back we were knee-deep in snow on this same week. But the current high temperatures here in the South of the UK mean that some of our wildlife thinks that spring is on the way.  And that can cause some serious problems if the predicted cold snap arrives. I recently visited Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire. You’ve probably heard of it as a military training

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My photo of the year, 2022

the nightingale in song

At the start of every year, I like to look back over my wildlife highlights of the year just gone. With the final release of Covid restrictions, it’s been a year in which I’ve achieved several personal wildlife goals. I’ve seen and photographed every British butterfly, damselfly, and dragonfly, as well as a third of the British list of birds.  I’ve taken 33,000 photographs, travelled uncounted miles, and seen 65 species that I’ve never seen before. So what should be

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For the girl on the bridge

Kingfisher on the bridge

Recently I was in the Wiltshire riverside town of Bradford-on-Avon. It’s a pleasant place to visit, and I can recommend it, but I was there not the see the town’s attractions, but rather a rare visitor to our shores, a bird called a ‘dusky warbler’. Despite breeding in the Taiga of Eastern Russia and the palearctic, this diminutive little bird – smaller than a sparrow, bigger than a wren – migrates substantial distances south to overwinter in South and Southeast

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The cop nobody has heard of

Beavers- engineering for free

A few weeks ago, COP27, the international conference on climate change, rolled to a close and barely anyone noticed. It didn’t start well, being billed as the cop that would make people keep the promises they had made at the last one,  and then failing in any meaningful way to achieve even that. As a writer I can admire fine-sounding words, but our planet needs a lot more. It needs action, and lots of it. So if that is the

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What can you do with the children on wet weekend?

harvest mouse nest search

Well, it was nice while it lasted, but Summer has definitely gone now, and the perennial challenge of entertaining bored children on a wet weekend has returned. But what if I said you could have an exciting day out with them that costs nothing? And how much better would that get if I said that you could do some science – some actual, honest-to-goodness science – while you were at it? Well, you can.    October 24th-30th is National Mammal

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