• A Birding Big Year on a Budget

    This year I have decided to try and see 300+ species of bird in the UK in the same calendar year. Right, before we go any further let’s get one thing straight, seeing 300 species in the UK in a year isn’t as difficult as it sounds, it just takes time, money and effort. Anyone with enough time and plenty of money can do it, you don’t even need to know what you are looking at - you can even pay guides like me to identify the birds for you and point them out to you so in essence, the... read more

  • News: Barn Owl and Kestrel Boxes for National Nest Box Week 2015

    Today is an important day. Today is 14th February, which as I am sure you all know is the beginning of the BTO’s National Nest Box Week, during which we are encouraged to clean out our existing nest boxes, put up new ones where possible and then monitor them during the breeding season.  To that end I have been working with Pastures Vineyard in South Nottinghamshire to make two kestrel boxes and a barn owl box. We found, scavenged and re-purposed bits of wood, felt, bark chip, nails and screws to make the boxes to keep the costs down (as... read more

  • Review: Birds and Bird Books Christmas 2014

    Each year we review and recommend our favourite bird-related books. Hope you like our choices for Christmas 2014, let us know. Andrew A Message from Martha: The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and Its Relevance Today (Natural History Narratives) by Mark Avery When Martha the Passenger Pigeon died on September 1st 1914 in Cincinnati Zoo, the last of her species was gone forever. What is so remarkable about her species' extinction is that this wasn't a bird that had always struggled to exist, but was once the most abundant bird on Earth. That the pigeon had numbered in the billions... read more

  • Review: Nature Writing Christmas 2014

    There is a long history of brilliant nature writing and in this post we review our favourites for Christmas 2014. Hope you like them. Andrew H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald Critically acclaimed, this has deservedly just won this year's Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction writing. Macdonald had become obsessed with becoming a falconer as a child but it is her father's death in later life that leads her into making this a reality. She attempts to deal with her grief through the training of a Goshawk she buys in Scotland, learning as much about herself... read more

  • Advice: Children's Christmas Nature Gifts 2014

    It's that time of year again where we recommend our favourite nature-related books and gifts. This post highlights our favourite children's wildlife gifts for Christmas 2014. Hope you like it. Andrew Animalium (Welcome to the Museum) by Jenny Broom and Katie Scott This huge book is a beautiful introduction to all the different branches of the tree of life, from invertebrates to mammals, leading you through each section as though you were in a fascinating museum. The bonus is that this particular museum can be visited at any time of any day. Beautiful illustrations complement the informative text and although... read more

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