July, 2012


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: Trees are awesome

    Woodland in the morning by Richard Revels

    This picture epitomises what I love about nature, it was taken just a stones throw from where I’m sitting at the RSPB’s HQ.

    Amazing scenes in nature are nearby wherever you are. This oak woodland has been captured with morning light getting caught in the haze of moisture rising under the canopy. The current lighting conditions are making for great photo opportunities so here’s a call to action for budding photographers.

    This cracking shot was taken by Richard Revels and can be found in our photo library at RSPB Images.

  • This weekend...no training, stadiums or lycra required!

    As the Olympics swing into action, another big event is on the final straight. And this one doesn’t require years of training, a specially built arena or donning lycra!

    Pick a spot, any spot

    Our friends over at Butterfly Conservation are running their Big Butterfly Count. Everything you need to know is on their website.

    It lasts just another week, until 5 August. It’s pretty straightforward, you need to pick a spot (anywhere) and then see how many butterflies and moths you can see in just 15 minutes. See, I said you didn’t need anywhere special, or any training! Surely you can spend just a quarter of an hour this weekend counting butterflies? It’ll be fun!

    I’ll be giving it a go, there probably won’t be too many butterflies in my small garden, but it is slightly overgrown and I have planted a few butterfly-attracting flowers.

    And because it lasts just 15 minutes, it’s perfect to fit in during a break in the Olympics!

    Red admiral. Photo by Andy Hay (www.rspb-images.com)


    Our reserves are also great for butterflies. I’m told by those in the know that they’re home to 57 of the 59 resident UK species. So they’ll be a great place to try the count too. But any open space will be perfect.

    Once you’ve done your count you need to submit your results to Butterfly Conservation. But, leave a comment and let me know how you get on as well.

    Go on, give it a go!

  • Monday's magic moment: how many swallows make a summer?

    As I cycled into work this morning, with the blazing sun warming my back, the countryside somehow seemed more alive. The dog walkers, normally bleary-eyed and seemingly unimpressed that their pampered pooch has got them out of bed, were chirpier and only too happy to say 'morning'. Seems like a little bit of sun has the UK happy!

    swallow swooped past, using those long tail streamers to aerobatically chase the myriad of insects that hovered, buzzed and fluttered above the wild flowers. It got me thinking about that old saying about swallows and summer.

    Was it a sign that the perhaps the summer is really here? Or that maybe it'll last more than just a few days? Maybe the swallow knows, perhaps I'll see if it can take time out from munching insects to tell me on the way home!

    So, in honour of the bringer of summer, I've found this image of one of our fork-tailed friends feeding it's newly fledged young. I love this image, it's a great shot and it looks hard work for the parent to feed its large offspring without landing! There's three chicks there and with the adult, perhaps four swallows makes a summer?

    Swallow feeding young. Photo by Ray Kennedy (www.rspb-images.com)

    This great image was taken by Ray Kennnedy, and is from RSPB Images. There's photos from some top wildlife photographers on there, take a look and be inspired!