Douglas Robertson discusses Herring Tales, fishy record labels, and The Net Mender

Over the past eight years or so, working in collaboration with Donald S. Murray has taken me, and my work on a series of wild, wet and often wind-blown journeys, both real and imaginary! The journey for Donald’s forthcoming book, Herring Tales, began with a discussion on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, relaxing after a busy reading of The Guga Stone at the National Library of Scotland. Talk turned to the new book, and particularly to Donald’s correspondence with renowned neuroscientist, Oliver Sacks. Sacks had included a copy of an article he had written… Read More

David Lindo Crowns the Robin the UK’s National Bird

Today the robin was crowned Britain’s National bird and author David Lindo a.k.a the Urban Birder has been fronting the campaign. A nationwide ballot saw more than 200,000 people elect the robin as Britain’s national bird, after it swooped away with 34 per cent of the vote. It beat competition from the barn owl, which came second with 12 per cent, and the blackbird in third with 11 per cent. It’s time now to give our national feathered friend it’s time to bask in the limelight. This month, we launch the next… Read More

Discover Britain’s Rarest Animals with Charlie

It’s not often one enjoys a refreshing saltwater facial courtesy of an eight-metre long shark – but that’s what happens if you sneak up and try to rub its back. There are few creatures in our oceans quite as awesome as the basking shark, and a close encounter was one of the highlights of a year I spent travelling around Britain in search of our rarest and most endangered animals for my book Few And Far Between. I was fortunate in being able to join licensed researchers from Manx Basking Shark Watch… Read More

Developing Conservation-Wise Nations – The Power of the Book

(Guest edited by Richard Porter, author of Birds of the Middle East) When I was eight my next door neighbor in London, Miss Walcott, gave me a book: Birds’ Alphabet, a mixture of strange poems and even stranger illustrations! Over sixty years later I still have it and can recite, almost word-for-word. It started me watching birds – just a simple book that inspired. We all have our own examples, for most birdwatchers in Britain it will surely be that wonderful Observers Book of British Birds or maybe I Spy Birds? Yes,… Read More

Take Part in the 2015 Big Garden Birdwatch!

30% OFF ALL BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH BOOKS It’s January, which means one thing to us nature lovers – The Big Garden Birdwatch. Bird populations are a great indicator of environmental health. That’s why it’s so important to take part in surveys like this to keep an eye on the wildlife wherever we live. All you need to do is spend an hour over the weekend of 24-25th counting the birds in your garden. And to support Big Garden Birdwatch, Bloomsbury have selected some of their top guide books, including the RSPB Handbook… Read More

12 Birds to look out for this Christmas

If you’re not on kitchen duty over Christmas, forget slumping in front of The Sound of Music – instead, pull on your thermals, grab your binoculars and go out for a bit of birding. Winter is an exciting time for birdwatchers, especially in the lowlands and around the coasts, as there’ll be visitors from the uplands and from countries far north and east of us. Wild swans and geese, Scandinavian finches, moorland raptors and roaming seabirds could all turn up. Here are a selection fo species to look out for – some… Read More

Antpittas – A Call for Photos and information!

This week we’re hearing from Harold Greeney, author of the forthcoming Helm Identification Guide, Antpittas who is offering you the chance to contribute to his book, published by Bloomsbury Wildlife. In recent years the nesting behavior of antpittas has become fairly well known. Concurrently, the development of feeding stations has made antpittas go from one of the least photographed to one of the best photographed group of birds out there. This latter change now provides us with the perfect opportunity to learn something about what happens to baby antpittas AFTER they leave the nest…. Read More

A passing otter

Nicola Chester invites you on a trip to see that well-loved British mammal, the otter. I am obsessed with all manner of British wildlife, but particularly so at the moment with otters – having just spent the past year writing about them. I read about otters, track them and, very occasionally, see them.  But this winter’s flooding has meant my usual riverine haunts are off limits – changed and overwhelmed. So I dream about them more, think I see them in unlikely places: I have an otter curled up wetly in my… 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