On a recent trip to the seaside, I spotted a familiar shape arrowing along above the waves - a cormorant!
These large waterbirds are supreme fishers and have an almost-reptilian look thanks to a long neck and large, bulging eyes.
The bird I spotted was flying low above the waves in picturesque Staithes harbour, North Yorkshire.
With its historic cottages and winding streets, Staithes has the air of a place lost in time and provided a perfect backdrop for this primitive-looking beast.
Spotting its dark shadow crowned a splendid sunny day by the beach with my family.
I wish I was there now instead of typing this!
Take a look at RSPB images to find more gorgeous photographs like this one. You can order a print or canvas of any that take your fancy.
It seems spider season has definitely arrived. Everywhere I turn there are webs - attached to the wing mirror of our car, on the wheelie bin, and by the side of the toilet. Our eight-legged friends will only become more obvious over the next few weeks as they move inside to keep warm.
Any wispy threads you see outside at this time of year are likely to be from baby spiders (spiderlings). They climb up high and spin fine threads to use as a sail or parachute, in the hope that a breeze will take them to pastures new. Sometimes this thread gets caught on branches or the spiderling falls promptly to earth rather than flying, but if it's lucky, the wind will carry it off to a new home.
Check out more spider and web images at RSPB Images. The one above is of a garden spider with a shieldbug in its web, and was taken by Roger Tidman.
Yes, it's that time of year again... when swallows and martins (these are house martins) gather into flocks to prepare for the return journey back to Africa. Photographer Chris Knights captured the moment of take-off.
Where do they go? We've known for a long time that swallows go right down into southern Africa, but we're still not sure where our house martins go! They have feathery legs and feet, which makes us suspect that they might circle around high in the sky at night - like swifts do.