Emily and the Aigrettes

little egret in breeding colours

Emily and the Aigrettes sounds like the name of a pub-level rock group, but actually it’s the foundation of one of the most effective conservation organisation in the world. And it all started with a bird I was watching slowly stalk and catch a fish on a reed-edged pond recently. Except that this wasn’t your normal grey heron; this was one of Britain’s growing army of white herons. If you haven’t seen one already, you will soon, as white herons

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the Superhero you’ve never heard of

two-coloured mason bee

This week I watched one of Britain’s unsung superheroes, a miniature marvel: the two-coloured mason bee. A sunny weekend in May is the best time to see these bees. But you will have to look closely, as mason bees are tiny things, smaller than your little fingernail, topping out at a fraction over a centimetre from nose to tail. The two-coloured mason bee is, as its name subtly implies, two-coloured, with a black head and thorax (front end) and a

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