April, 2012

Wildlife

Wildlife
We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).

Notes on nature

We love nature... from every little bug on a blade of grass to birds, butterflies, otters and oaks!
  • Monday's Magic Moment: a break in the clouds

    The rain was pretty relentless round my way this weekend, so I spent most of it cooped up inside. But today, the skies are blue and the sun is shining.

    I'm just hoping that unlike the very atmospheric image below, this break in the clouds is a little more permanent.

    Glenfinnan viaduct in stormy light with loch shiel in the distance.

    Find your break in the clouds on RSPB Images.

  • This weekend:...make the most of the rain

    Hands up if you’ve ever spent a rainy weekend trawling round the DIY stores? I know I have! So this weekend why not pick up a water butt? It’s an easy way to save water, giving gardeners a ready supply of water for plants during summer. They’re easy to get hold of, all the large DIY chains and garden centres stock them.Rain, photo by mfhiatt

    Precious water

    With the hosepipe ban covering southern and eastern England it can only help when it starts to dry out again soon. I mean, it’s got to hasn’t it?

    Even if you don’t live in an area affected by the hosepipe ban it’s a still a good way of greening your garden and helping to conserve out precious water reserves.

    All you need for your water butt is a gutter and down pipe coming off your house or any garden buildings.

    You’ll probably then need a hacksaw to cut the pipe so that the water flows into the butt, but that should be the limit of the tools required. Simple!

    Even someone as unpractical round the house as myself can manage that!

    I found a useful guide on the BBC’s website on how to fit and install them with a handy video, have a look for yourself and give it a go.

    What to do with your water

    When you’ve collected enough water then you can water your plants guilt free! Alternatively, you use it to top up your pond or even create a container pond. They’re easy too!
    So make the most of the rain that is due to sluice down from the skies this weekend and get yourself a water butt installed. Your garden will thank you!

    More tips

    If you want more tips on gardening for wildlife, see our Homes for Wildlife project. Once you’ve registered for free and answered some simple questions, you’ll get tailored advice for your garden.

  • Monday's Magic Moment: dragon slaying

    Happy St. George's Day!

    In honour of England's (amongst others) Patron saint, I've trawled RSPB Images in search of images of dragon slaying. Amongst the thousands of stunning wildlife shots I couldn't find any actual dragons, but I did find something that I think is way cooler.

    Take a look at Mike Lane's superb image of a hobby eating a dragonfly in mid-air! The skill involved to hold its foot up to its bill and munch on the dragonfly, all whilst keeping itself from falling out of the sky simply astounds me. Eat your heart out St George! It's also a tough shot to capture whilst the hobby is zooming through the sky.Hobby eating dragonfly. Photo by Mike Lane (www.rspb-images.com)Hobbies are another one of our spring migrants that ought to be gracing our presence soon. They're perfectly evolved for catching insects on the wing, as this image clearly shows!

    One of the best places I know to see both hobbies and their dragonfly prey is Lakenheath Fen in Suffolk. Why not go and find out for yourself?