Cuddy ducks, clowns and stench of guano

Cuddy ducks, clowns and stench of guano

Britain's seabird colonies represent a spectacle like no other: bustling, raucous municipalities where a multitude of species congregate to form a single, far larger, living being. An avian city, cramped and lively, which moves and reacts as one when presented with danger, or opportunity - similar in many ways to the concrete jungles so many [...]

Advice from a not so Expert Birder, a guest post by Liam Thompson

Advice from a not so Expert Birder, a guest post by Liam Thompson

I don’t know about you, but whenever I talk to a birder with decades of experience I leave the conversation with two feelings. First: admiration, for their ability to confidently identify any species by call or the slightest glimpse. This feeling is surpassed, however, by the disappointment at realising I may never reach their level [...]

Catering for Garden Birds: A how-to guide

Catering for Garden Birds: A how-to guide

Given the state of the wider countryside and the impact of habitat loss, development and changes in land-use upon bird communities never has it been more important to take proper care of the populations residing in our gardens. Contrary to popular belief, it is vital that we cater for them year-round, not just in Winter, [...]

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – My Results

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – My Results

There is still time this weekend to take part in the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch - a fabulous (and fun) scheme which contributes greatly to the knowledge surrounding our garden birds. Highlighting current trends, increases, decreases and eruptions in avian populations through the power of citizen science. To take part, you only need a [...]

Great nature blogs to follow in 2018 (Part 1)

Great nature blogs to follow in 2018 (Part 1)

Thinking Country, by Ben Eagle Ben's blog is fast becoming my go-to resource for unbiased, pragmatic commentary on rural issues (particularly those associated with agriculture). Hailing from a farming background and focused on promoting dialogue and thus, bridging the gap between all facets of the environmental community, Thinking Country features opinion, personal musings and guest posts [...]

Winter walking at Bakethin

Winter walking at Bakethin

Bakethin, located a short-way upstream of Kielder Reservoir, is unique among nature reserves in Northumberland. Here, among the hulking frames of aged firs and a forest floor dominated by mossy knolls and straggly Bilberry, it is quite possible to pretend you are elsewhere: to imagine yourself strolling through the wilds of Scandinavia or Canada. The [...]

Northumberland Winter Birdrace 2018

Northumberland Winter Birdrace 2018

Another year and another early start for yet another fine Northumberland Bird Race. Our team total of 106 species observed during the event, despite being very much down from the dizzy heights of 120 achieved last year, proving enough to secure victory for the second year running. Despite some stiff competition from some of the [...]

Birding in Northumberland 2017: the highlights

Birding in Northumberland 2017: the highlights

Now, this is a post for the avian-inclined individuals out there... For those of you who didn't know, I set myself a challenge at the start of 2017. One which would see me attempt to glimpse as many bird species as possible in my home county over the course of a single year. No easy [...]

Kittiwakes join the UK Red List

Kittiwakes join the UK Red List

Recently, news broke that the Kittiwake - a small species of native gull - has been added to the list of birds considered to be facing the risk of global extinction. The latest revision of the IUCN Red List, announced by BirdLife International on behalf of the IUCN, brings the total number of UK bird species [...]

Urban birding in Benidorm (and Calpe)

Urban birding in Benidorm (and Calpe)

Another week, another adventure, this time to the tourist hotspot and renowned centre of debauchery that is Benidorm. A location I first visited on a family getaway two years ago that, much to my surprise, I found to be a rather fantastic spot for some urban wildlife watching. Well, fast forward a couple of years [...]

Enjoying this Autumn’s must see spectacle

Enjoying this Autumn’s must see spectacle

Unless you have been living under a rock, or are simply disinterested in this sort of thing, you will surely have heard by now that this Autumn has seen an unprecedented number of Hawfinch arriving in the UK. Indeed, at present, Britain appears full to bursting with these usually scarce, cherry-stone splitting finches - the invasion [...]

The country hawk and the city hawk

The country hawk and the city hawk

In a groundbreaking study on sparrowhawks, scientists have found that city birds in Scotland are more successful than their country cousins. In this study, researchers from RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Raptor Study Group examined differences between populations of the birds in Edinburgh and in the Ayrshire countryside over four years from 2009 to 2012. They [...]

Birders Behaving Badly

Birders Behaving Badly

By large, birders are a nice bunch and bad behaviour and poor etiquette among devotees is, thankfully, rather scarce - though this does not mean it does not occur. Many of those boasting a penchant for the hobby will have witnessed such behaviour, the practice of tape luring birds during the breeding season for example, [...]

Count the wildlife that’s counting on you

Count the wildlife that’s counting on you

Half a million people are expected to watch and count their garden birds for the 2018 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in January. The world’s largest garden wildlife survey, now in its 39th year, is set to take place on 27, 28 and 29th of January 2018. With the public asked to spend just one hour watching and recording [...]