May, 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: the wonder of woodcock

    Woodcock by Graham Catley

    For the next three weeks, Monday Moments will be brought to you from the BBC Springwatch presenters. To kick things off, here are some words from Chris Packham about one of his favourite birds, the woodcock.

    It's all about the anticipation. Is it dusk enough? Are you in exactly the right place? Will it follow the same route? Will it come at all?

    The blackbirds are clacking, a few crows slip silently across the deepening blue, and then... a distant cry of an owl. Surely that means it's too late, it's not going to come, you've just been feeding the midges.

    So you start to shuffle, think about sending a text, say to yourself that you'll give it another five minutes. The woods grow inky, the colours fade, a bat spins past in a manic flash.

    The it comes - its weird call - you twist and turn just in time to see its silhouette flicking between the tangled twigs and out over the ride. And in five seconds it's gone. And you feel a surge of joy. And then walk home.

    Chris Packham

  • This weekend...is that a damsel in distress?

    Damselfly at restWith the sunny weather looking like it's going to hang around all weekend, now is the perfect time to see if you can spot some pretty damsels at a pond or stream near you!

    As cold-blooded creatures, damselflies rely on the heat of the sun for energy and so are much more active and easier to see when the sun's out.

    There are about 20 species of damselfly to see in the UK,  and they are easy to tell apart from dragonflies because damselflies always rest with their wings folded along their body.

    Check out Katie's post from last year, where she tells us all about the amazing life cycle of these beautiful insects as they creep up plant stems, climb out of their skins and fly off for a few months of fighting, mating and mosquito-munching!

  • Monday's Magic Moment: peek-a-boo!

    Male red grouse peeking over a dry stone wall.

    I'm not sure if this red grouse is hiding or just being cautious in coming forward, but either way I really like this image by Tom Marshall. It certainly puts a smile on my face this Monday morning!

    You can also check out other wildlife in hiding on RSPB Images.