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  • Blog Post: Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live on a nature reserve? (by Luke Wake)

    If so, I can tell you that it is an awesome experience. I am currently one quarter of the way through my residential volunteering placement at RSPB Strumpshaw fen, and would definitely recommend it. Every morning I take my coffee outside and am serenaded by the sound of blue tits, great tits, bullfinches...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: among the blossom

    As Kevin mentioned last week , spring is just about here - or very close. Yesterday I saw my first blackthorn blossom of the year. It was a cold, windy day, but seeing a few buds bursting reminded me of what's to come. I've read some reports of long-tailed tits starting to build their nests...
  • Blog Post: Spring is on its' way!

    Hello all Spring is definitely in the air today, a beautiful frosty morning with blue skies and sunshine! The last few weeks have seen plenty of spring signs emerging with the arrival of the pure and pristine snowdrops, buds bursting on the sallows revealing the pussy willow inside, leaves emerging...
  • Blog Post: Spring, and the Birds and Bees

    It certainly felt as if spring was coming on Saturday - then back to winter. On the reserve there are signs of spring with the Skylarks singing on warm days, Reed Buntings looking smart in their best plumage and courtship behaviour being seen everywhere. In the Wildlife Garden the bulbs are flowering...
  • Blog Post: Aren't birds brilliant!

    One thing I like about working at Middleton, is that you are never far away from a wildlife encounter. While I am writing today, I can hear a pair of kingfishers on the moat by the office. They have been a great thing to watch this week as they zoom up and down chasing each other, perching in the over...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 20.02.2015

    A bit of a mixed week at Ham Wall this week with some glorious weather for a couple days and a miserable day yesterday. It's been busy though with lots of visitors, including families, over the half term break. There's been plenty for people to enjoy, with the increase in birdsong of particular...
  • Blog Post: Hungry Hawfinches

    February and March are by far the best months to look for Hawfinches at Nagshead . This large, but elusive finch holds almost legendary status amongst keen birders. Despite their size (approaching the size of a Redwing ), Hawfinches can be surprisingly difficult to locate, even when you can hear one...
  • Blog Post: A sunny spring half-term day- perfect!

    After yesterday's deluge, there were times today when it almost felt like summer. The reserve has been full of families, many doing the woodpecker trail, and several groups have come back from their walk to sit outside on the picnic tables eating ice-creams! A few early bees were also out in the...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 13.02.2015

    It may still be February but I'm thinking about the arrival of Spring - one of my favourite times of year. There seems to have been an increase in bird song in the past week, showing I'm not the only one with spring on his mind. Blackbirds, Dunnock, Blue Tits & Great Tits and a multitude...
  • Blog Post: Welcome sound of bird song.

    With the weather a little milder and winter slowly heading towards spring, it's noticeable that the birds are singing again. On just a short walk this morning, song thrush, mistle thrush, great tit and dunnock were all in song and making everything seem cheerier in the slightly gloomy conditions...
  • Blog Post: One avocet doesn't make a summer

    No sooner had the first avocet returned to the Scrape, signalling the imminent arrival of spring, then the temperature dropped and the snow showers arrived. It's still bitterly cold today, with both the Scrape and Island Mere largely frozen this morning, but at least the sun is shining and the days...
  • Blog Post: Nesting and warbling: recent sightings

    The balcony feeding station came down on Monday as we bid goodbye to Big Garden Birdwatch for the year. Some of the regular birds returned for a few days and looked a little bereft that their dinner had gone missing, but they’ve grown used to the feeders being down in the Wildlife Garden again...
  • Blog Post: Spring is round the corner

    Next Sunday, 1 February, we switch to summer opening at Minsmere. This means that the visitor centre remains open until 5 pm, and the cafe hours switch to 9.30 am to 4.45 pm. To help us to get ready for spring, the cafe will be closing early on Monday, at 2.30 pm, for a deep clean, so if you're planning...
  • Blog Post: Signs of spring?

    Snowdrops flowered in the Discovery Trail this week and catkins have started appearing on the alder trees. Cormorants and herons have begun nest building, and woodpeckers have started drumming. So while it may be grey, and it may or not be snowing, it’s time to start looking forward to spring!...
  • Blog Post: A small taste of winter

    It's not quite up to the standards of the bad weather recently seen in America, but at least we've had a touch of winter over the last couple of days. It's been lovely to see the sun giving a golden haze over the reserve after a frosty morning- and with some cracking sunsets as well. Numbers...
  • Blog Post: Working with hen harriers - the highs and the lows

    I am pleased to present a guest blog from Mick Demain, the RSPB's seasonal assistant warden in Bowland for the last few years, reflecting on his last few years monitoring harriers Being the seasonal warden for the RSPB in Bowland means I am privileged to be working with raptors every day and undoubtedly...
  • Blog Post: A glimmer of hope as hen harriers return to Bowland

    Hen harriers, hope and heartbreak – three things that go hand in hand each year. The simultaneous sense of nervous excitement and intense trepidation kills me every breeding season, and suffice it to say, the emotional rollercoaster that is 2014 has been no different. At one point this year...
  • Blog Post: A helping hand to keep your feeders full

    It's a busy time of year in gardens - plants are bursting into leaf and flower, butterflies are emerging and looking for places to lay their eggs, hedgehogs are waking up after a long winter's slumber, and birds are busy raising their families. We've definitely seen two young blackbirds and...
  • Forum Thread: Through the Year @ Rainham Marshes - Spring

    If you are thinking of visiting RSPB Rainham, take a look at this 10min intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVz6nsTMTVs
  • Blog Post: Nature’s ‘Cathedral In The Woods’

    In another guest blog, Stephen Morse talks about looking at landscapes in a different way, and using one's imagination: Since I retired, five years ago, one of my favourite pastimes has been to get out into the country, especially of course when the weather is favourable, to enjoy the fresh air and...
  • Blog Post: Eyes to the skies

    With spring migration in full swing at the moment, now's one of the best times of year to keep your eyes on the skies. Here's what some of the team here at RSPB HQ have seen this week... Mark It's a really exciting time of year, with plenty of birds on the move. I'm regularly checking...
  • Blog Post: Twice as much for your money !

    Stephen Morse has been one of the earlybirds when it comes to walking our new extended Woodcock trail here at Coombes Valley. In a guest blog, he tells us what he made of the exciting new woodland walk: I had to get away last Saturday afternoon (3 rd May). My team, Fulham, whom (for no logical reason...
  • Blog Post: April 2014

    This past month has seen our species list grow with the summer migrants arriving in the UK. It’s a great time of year to get out and about and listen to these birds singing as they arrive after their long journeys from Africa. Willow warblers were one of the first summer visitors to arrive at the...
  • Blog Post: Migrants galore!

    With spring migration now at its peak , The Lodge is alive with the calls and songs of many warblers. As I walked along the Firs Trail from the shop yesterday, willow warblers, chiffchaff along with garden warblers whitethroats and large numbers of blackcaps,were all loudly announcing their arrival....
  • Blog Post: What's the Point?

    Did you know that the team at Coombes Valley are also responsible for a large part of the Churnet Valley woodlands? To the south of Coombes and literally a minute ‘as the crow flies’, there are woodlands with strange names. Crowgutter, Rough Knipe, Booths and Chase woods. Some of them tell...