February, 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!
  • Monday's magic moment: otter winters

    The reserve at the end of my road reported the exciting news of an otter sighting recently.

    An undeniably charismatic species, I confess without shame to have tried (in vain) to find it in my local water bodies.

       

    This image captures what I imagine that moment would look like: a magical scene peppered with snowdrops, when me and the otter share a meaningful look into one another's eyes.

    But in reality it'll probably be a mere glimpse before they plop into the water and disappear. 

    This being the case, this shot by David Tipling for RSPB-images.com is not only stunning but impressive. Please do explore our image collection at your leisure. 

  • Monday's Magic Moment: once bittern...

    How was your weekend?

    Mine was pretty good. Made all the all the better for a small, brown, dumpy heron. Doesn't sound that great, does it? But when that heron is a bittern, you'll forgive me for getting a little excited, won't you?

    Back in 1997 there were just 11 males counted in the whole UK. 11 in the whole UK!

    Thanks to a sterling conservation effort they're back from the brink. The one I saw yesterday was happily feeding away on the edge of the reeds at Fowlmere nature reserve for around 25 minutes - the best views I've ever had. It's still a rare sight, but just the fact that 20 or so years ago this would have been nigh on impossible made me smile.

    So here's a bittern image for you. OK, there's no snow around here, but I hope it makes you smile too!

    Bittern walking on ice. Image by Jeroen Stel (www.rspb-images.com)

    This is one of thousands of images from RSPB Images, our online image library. Take a look, there's bound to be something there that makes you smile!

  • Monday's magic moment: dancing newts

    It's February and while spring is still off on the horizon, the darkest days are behind us.

    One of my favorite sights during this month (that goes on till April) is the emergence and mating display of the smooth newt.

    Male smooth newt - Ray Kennedy rspb-images 

    It takes a bit of effort to see this phenomenon and you need to know the right location, but find a pond with these amphibians in, go there at night with a powerful torch and you can observe the elegance of these creatures when under water.

    The males grow a crest for the occasion and shake their bright spotted tails to impress the females. I saw a smooth newt this weekend so the mild weather might mean the party has already started!

    They aren't distracted by the light of the torch but are sensitive to vibrations so try not to disturb the water if you visit this aquatic ballet.  

    The credit for this great picture goes to Ray Kennedy from rspb-images.com. Why not treat your eyes to a perusal of our image archive today?