January, 2014

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!
  • How do you do your Big Garden Birdwatch?

    Tradition.

    For me, some things in life are sacrosanct – turkey at Christmas, a barbeque on cup final day and bacon sarnies over the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend.

    I’ll sit down on Sunday with my bacon sarnies and stare out of a window for just one hour counting the birds. It’s long been my tradition – for me Big Garden Birdwatch without bacon sarnies just isn’t complete!

    What does the Big Garden Birdwatch mean to you?

    A cuppa and biscuit? Perhaps a Coffee and sandwich? Or maybe even a full fry up?

    I’m not sure what to expect birdwise for this year. I’ll be back at my parent’s bungalow in rural Suffolk over the weekend (due to the unfortunate affliction that requires me watching 11 men kick a bag of air about). I’m hoping for a few more birds than I’d get in Bedfordshire – a collared dove or two and, if I’m really lucky, the UK’s smallest bird, a goldcrest.

    How do you do yours?

    I’ve asked my colleagues how they’ll be spending their Big Garden Birdwatch hour:

    House sparrow. Photo by Ray Kennedy (www.rspb-mages.com)

    When our Intranet Co-ordinator Ross MacDonald isn’t busy helping the RSPB’s staff out, or writing music reviews on his website, he’ll be keeping an eye out for Oxford’s birds.

    That’s dedication to the Birdwatch cause, as he’s actually just visiting Oxford this weekend. He’s hoping for a pigeon or two, or perhaps even a sparrow.

    Bullfinch - photo by John Bridges (www.rspb-images.com)Unfortunately for us it’s Web Editor Lucinda King’s last day at the RSPB today. But that won't stop her counting the birds in her Hitchin garden over the weekend!

    She’s after a bumper haul of birds as a thank you for 10 years of dedicated service to the RSPB! A bullfinch is the one bird she’d really like to see though.

    Long-tailed tit. Photo by Nigel Blake (www.rspb-images.com)Then we have Maurice Tse-Laurence, our Web Editorial Assistant. He’s just moved to Fen Drayton, so he’s looking forward to seeing which birds visit his garden.

    It’s an exciting time exploring a new garden, but he’ll make sure he doesn’t count the birds on our nearby reserve! He’s seen lots of long-tailed tits around the area, but none in his garden as yet.

    So that’s how we’ll be doing it, so how about you?

    Leave a comment below and let us know how you’ll be doing your Birdwatch. Do you have any tips for attracting birds? What are you hoping to see? Are you trying anything different this year. 

    However you do your Birdwatch this weekend, join in the fun and enjoy being part of the world’s largest wildlife survey!

  • Monday's magic moment: winter fishing

    Winter has struggled to turn up so far but today, as an icy fog hangs over the fields, it fells like it's finally arrived.

    While lots of mammals take the sensible strategy of hibernating through these cold months, there's no rest for most of us including this industrious kingfisher.   

    I hope there's no ice between this chap and his fish!

    Mike Lane caught this one in the Midlands. See more from him and our other photographers at www.rspb-images.com 

  • Monday's magic moment: gulls just wanna have fun...

    How can I follow Lucinda's bumper selection of moments from last week? Toughie, isn't it?

    I've plumped for a slightly different view of a familiar bird - a black-headed gull. In winter, all that's left of the black head is two little smudges on either side of the head. Looks a bit like they're wearing earphones, doesn't it?

    Black-headed gulls in Regent's park. Image by Nick Upton (www.rspb-images.com)

    This image is one of thousands from RSPB Images - our online photo library. Why not have a browse and look at your favourite bird, bug or beast in a different light.