Small Skipper

This year appears to have been a good one for the Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris). All around the local area at present, these energetic, golden, thimble-sized butterflies adorn roadside verges, roundabouts, parkland and wasteland: livening up walks in the city as they flit from bloom to bloom. Appearing to particularly favour the pale-purple flowers of Continue reading “Small Skipper”

Broad-bodied Chaser

A quick visit to Gosforth  Park Nature Reserve today came up trumps with my first ever Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa). Now, this is a relatively common species, doubtless familiar to many of you, but as someone only just beginning their journey into the frustrating, complicated but altogether fun realm of dragonflies, this individual gave causeContinue reading “Broad-bodied Chaser”

The beauty of Bee Orchids

For me, the Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) has always been somewhat of an enigma: a species I frequently encounter on TV, social media and the blogs of other naturalists yet never in the flesh. This petite yet flamboyant bloom, famed for its status as one of nature’s great mimics, eluding me at every turn. TheContinue reading “The beauty of Bee Orchids”

Staying sane in the heart of the city

Growing up in semi-rural Northumberland, I have long been accustomed to residing in scenic and ecologically diverse areas. I am used to the presence of bustling nature reserves a mere stones throw from my front door and green-fringed streets ringing with the chirrup of Tree Sparrows; I am accustomed to having a garden, complete withContinue reading “Staying sane in the heart of the city”

An update from the birdtable

It won’t have escaped your attention – at least if you follow me on Twitter – that, just over a month ago now, myself and my partner erected a new feeding station in the front ‘garden’ of his home in the centre of Heaton, Newcastle. Big woop, you might say; though please bare in mindContinue reading “An update from the birdtable”

The eye of the beast

I dislike our tendency to name storms and weather fronts almost as much as I dislike our habit of blowing such things entirely out of proportion in this country. Often panicking without justification when snowflakes fall and temperatures decline ever so slightly. That said, the Beast from the East, as it has been labelled byContinue reading “The eye of the beast”

The jewel in the crown

The ‘Newcastle Diaries’ are intended as a new series of blog posts brought to life by a recent move to the city; inspired by a growing frustration at not being able to visit my regular, rural haunts half as often as I would like. While I assumed a move here would greatly decrease the timeContinue reading “The jewel in the crown”

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 aContinue reading “RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – My Results”

An Ode to the City

I’ve dedicated much of my time to urban wildlife watching of late, specifically in and around the city of Newcastle – my home patch for the foreseeable future due to a recent change of circumstances. While previously I possessed only a modicum of interest for the nature here, amid the hustle and bustle, perpetual lightContinue reading “An Ode to the City”