Photographing Fungi

Freelance wildlife and natural history photographer Adrian Davies, author of Digital Plant Photography reminisces on the fungi of 2012! Of all botanical subjects, fungi are probably the most unpredictable in terms of numbers and species. An area brimming with specimens one year may be virtually devoid of them the following year, even though conditions are seemingly favourable. 2012 was no exception here, with a dearth of specimens during the main fungus season in September and October. I even heard of fungus forays being cancelled due to the lack of specimens. I visited… Read More

Rachel Carson Day

Conor Mark Jameson writes … f The RSPB holds its annual weekend for members at York University each spring during half-term. The students are away and the wildfowl own the campus. Members (and staff and volunteers present) are treated to a range of stimulating talks and activities, guaranteed to recharge the batteries, and remind us what multi-tentacled beast is this organisation, grappling with challenges on all sides. Most of all you leave York with the strong sense that there is hope yet for saving nature. This year I was lucky enough to… Read More


Conor Mark Jameson describes his meeting with the elusive Goshawk… Berlin. Late February. As chill, and still and drab as all the Cold War, spy thriller clichés. I am here with ‘Altenkamp!’. That’s how Rainer answers his hands-free, as we drive to the fourth and last of our destinations this afternoon, here in the east of the sprawling city. This is Rainer’s ‘precinct’. This is where he does his stake-outs, stalks his quarry, makes his notes. We aren’t looking for dissidents, however. Those days are gone. We are looking for goshawks. Improbably,… Read More

Osprey returns to snow and fog

Tim Mackrill, author of The Rutland Water Ospreys has some news… Picture the scene. It’s early March on a West African beach and 03(97) – Rutland’s most successful breeding Osprey – is tucking into a Needlefish which he has just caught. He glances up to watch a fishing boat drift past, a mixed flock of terns alights nearby and a Pied Kingfisher zips past, calling noisily. The early morning sun is warming the beach; by the middle of the day the temperature will have reached more than 30 degrees. Things couldn’t be… Read More

The big Bloomsbury bird race

Marianne Taylor shares the drama of the bird race… First light on a January morning, hot tea and bacon sandwiches in Nigel’s conservatory. There is a cheery babble of conversation around me but I’m not joining in, because I’m staring at a bird feeder. The birds come and go like lightning. I keep my binoculars up at my eyes, aimed at the feeder, it’s the only way. Then, sneaking in among the colourful Blue and Great Tits, a little mousy bird with black cap and bib. ‘Marsh Tit! On the feeder now!’… Read More

Kenyan delights

Happy New Year! To launch us in to 2013, we have a post from Steve Spawls on some of the amazing wildlife you can see in Kenya. Once in a while my wife lets me off the leash to go and look for snakes, usually in Kenya, on the strict proviso that I do some serious field work and don’t stay at any fancy lodges or hotels; which would make her jealous. So I went to Kenya at half-term, and spent a couple of days with Glenn Mathews, my co-author and long… Read More

A Turkey is not just for Christmas

  Artist and author, Celia Lewis shares her experience of hatching and keeping Turkeys.    I’m lucky enough to own a small incubator.  It’s the most fascinating piece of equipment that does the work of the hen or whatever bird’s eggs you’ve chosen to hatch.  As turkeys come into the Ducks & Geese book I thought I would hatch a few to really get to know them.    Firstly one must find someone willing to sell their eggs – google to the rescue and although September is late in the year for… Read More

Commando ornithology

Today, another in our semi-regular postings from far-flung author Hadoram Shirihai, this time from Panama …

Boid of the Day

This week, Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy give us a glimpse of everyone’s favourite flightless seabird, the Great Auk …

Silent Spring Revisited

I had the rare honour of being invited to give a talk about my first book, Silent Spring Revisited, at the Buxton Literature Festival. I have several talks lined up, but this was the first I’ve done. The journey through the Derbyshire Peaks was pierced by glorious sunshine, evening shadows spearing across a landscape by freshening rain, cut hay drying in the warm upland breezes. Buxton retains all of its Victorian spa town elegance, and crowds milled in the gardens and outdoor cafes. A particular highlight was meeting Joanna Lumley outside the… Read More