Olympian Dreams

Conor Mark Jameson, author of Silent Spring Revisited and forthcoming Looking for the Goshawk, shares his thoughts on the Olympic opening ceremony… Having recently grappled with the challenge of squeezing a 50-year history of the environmental movement into just one book (Silent Spring Revisited), I found myself watching the Olympic opening ceremony with mounting interest. Although I’ll admit to misgivings about the whole green and pleasant land cliché, and the cost (sport has vanquished other charitable pursuits in recent times) I couldn’t help but be impressed by the scale of ambition of… Read More

Finding birds in weird weather

As the British summer continues (more rain forecast this week…) guest blogger Marianne Taylor writes on birding whatever the weather. Are you a fair-weather birder? It’s OK, you can own up, you’re among friends. Bad weather, of which we’ve seen far too much lately, isn’t just off-putting to us humans, it can also have a profound effect on bird behaviour. Some species become very difficult to see on rainy or windy days, but for others, the arrival of a low-pressure weather front is the cue to get out and start searching. Cold, rainy, windy days… Read More

Letter from Dominica

This week, another of our semi-regular posts from Bloomsbury author Hadoram Shirihai – tales of another adventure, this time in the Caribbean.

Bringing up baby – part 2

After yesterday’s cliffhanger, Conor Mark Jameson takes up the tale of Cheerrps… My foundling sparrow looks surprisingly under-developed, semi-naked, perhaps a week old and only half way to fledging, with bare patches of skin and rudimentary feathers beginning to show. Nidifugous, they call it. Its bulbous eyes are partially open, glinting between crescent lids. To rescue it from the airing cupboard I had to remove my watch and squeeze my hand through a narrow gap, using a screwdriver to manoeuvre the chick into a place from which I could pluck it, as… Read More

Bringing up baby

Guest blogger Conor Mark Jameson answers the cheerrp of nature… If you find a fledgling bird, you should leave it alone. That’s probably the most important thing to remember from what I’m about to relate. And yes I know you probably know it already, and have done ever since you first developed an interest in birds. I need to stress this point because each spring and summer the RSPB’s wildlife advisors field around 10,000 enquiries from people who have found – or, in many cases, ‘rescued’ – a ‘baby bird’. Picking it… Read More

The real nitty gritty

Time for some nit-busting and myth-busting too! Think you know your nits? Richard Jones, author and guest blogger, explodes the top ten myths about head lice … Head lice are dirty. Wrong. Head lice do just fine in clean hair thank you very much. Washing hair once a week, or once a year, makes no difference. Men don’t get head lice because of testosterone. Wrong. If men get head lice less often, it’s because they cuddle their children less. It’s a sad indictment of our aloof male stiff-upper-lip Britishness. We’d rather shake… Read More

The wonder of waders

This week a guest blog by author Don Taylor on a group of birds that provide perhaps the sternest of ID challenges …

Autumnwatch Uncoiled

This week we have a guest post from TV presenter and Bloomsbury author Maya Plass – the inside story of her latest appearance on Autumnwatch …

“A pig is a jolly companion”

“Mum, there’s a pig at the front door”

Snapping scavengers

This week a guest post from author and photographer Clive Finlayson, on an incredible encounter around a carcass in the Pyrenees …