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  • Blog Post: Ruth Lawton- Super Ranger! RSPB Sandwell Valley's Volunteers

    This blog is one in a series we are running about the fabulous volunteers that keep RSPB Sandwell Valley alive and thriving. We want to show off the amazing mix of people who come here from all walks of life helping save nature and inspiring others about wildlife on our reserve, and we want to encourage...
  • Blog Post: Spring and Artist's Fair June 12 10 am 5 pm

    Take some inspiration from art and nature this weekend Annual ‘Spring and Artists Fair’ returns to The Lodge 10 am – 4.30 pm, Sunday 12 June The RSPB is inviting people to take some inspiration from the artworks on display at The Lodge nature reserve this weekend, as the...
  • Blog Post: Last day of May

    I left The Lodge a month ago to do my RSPB Sabbatical in the West Country, surveying cirl buntings in South Devon and monitoring breeding choughs on the Cornish coast. I had a superb experience and enjoyed every minute. On my return there's a vast difference in the way the reserve looks; the bluebells...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: nature's tiny jewels

    Now's the time to head down to a river, stream or pond near you and watch out for tiny, delicate jewels. Spring is the time when many of our damselflies and dragonflies can be seen. How do you tell the difference between the two? Well, dragonflies are larger than damselflies, and rest with their...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at Radipole Lake and Lodmoor

    Spring has been slow starting this year but we are now getting reports of cygnets and ducklings on both reserves. The Cetti's and Reed Warblers are continuing to be noisy in the reedbeds and butterflies are starting to be seen more frequently. Today's sightings include the Common Blue, Holly...
  • Blog Post: Spring scents and sounds

    On arrival at Minsmere this morning I was greeted to a veritable feast of birdsong - nightingale, garden warbler, blackcap, Cetti's warbler and whitethroat were all singing in the scrub between the car park entrance and the Discovery Centre. Add in blackbird, robin, dunnock, chaffinch, blue tit and...
  • Blog Post: A confusion of Seasons!

    As I write this up it is on a day when we have seen everything from hail, snow and now sunshine, truly a mixed bag of weather for the end of April. It is also an interesting time for the birds, we now have all the expected summer migrants here (including pied flycatchers, redstarts, wood warblers, willow...
  • Blog Post: A Dawn Chorus Experience

    Well well well! This May's Dawn chorus got off to a flying start with 56 different species seen and heard throughout the reserve. For those bold enough to brave the early start, the walk was a fantastic opportunity for people such as myself to brush up on their bird song! The walk began with some...
  • Blog Post: Expect the unexpected!

    Remember the question I asked in my blog three weeks ago – Has Spring arrived ? Well, if it had, we seem to have had summer and autumn in the last couple of weeks and already arrived back in winter! A couple more early mornings this week to look for grouse were cold and crisp with the weather turning...
  • Blog Post: It seems our birds needed a good wash

    Our nesting Lapwings are rather shy birds and leave the nest before we can get anywhere near them. This means we need to be sat in a vehicle to undertake nest monitoring. Birds are remarkably tolerant of people in a vehicle, which is in stark contrast to what happens when you open the car door. On our...
  • Blog Post: Recent sightings: well that was swift!

    Snow? At the end of April! There has been every imaginable type of weather at Fairburn this week; rain, hail, sleet, snow, high winds, and a few rays of sunshine. There have also been some pretty nifty sightings, which is why we’re all here! Swift, Mike Langman (rspb-images.com) First...
  • Blog Post: Notes on nature: Snuggle up, it's nesting season...

    Spring has sprung and life’s all aflutter as wildlife gets busy preparing for the breeding season. You may have spotted birds in your garden flitting to and fro with nest material as they prepare for family life. Some opt for a traditional-style home, weaving twigs and moss into a neat cup...
  • Blog Post: Monday's magic moment: our woods are exploding!

    Some people get all excited about bluebells (which are purple, for the record). For me, fresh, tender green leaves are the real beauties of spring. They're everywhere you look... I can't get enough of that bright lime green that newly-sprouting leaves have (I think hazel leaves are my favourite...
  • Blog Post: What's been about?

    Hello all Thought you might appreciate a small update on unusual and less unusual sightings we've had lately on the reserve. First and arguably foremost.. Kingfishers! Our pair settled down to incubate their first clutch on the 8th April, and have been spotted changing over at roughly 2 hourly...
  • Blog Post: “Why are you here?”

    When the above question was put to me last Saturday night over a particularly tricky jigsaw, I had just finished explaining to my companions that my background is not in ornithology, zoology, conservation, or indeed any of the scientific disciplines one might expect of a PhD student volunteering on an...
  • Blog Post: How to do the dawn chorus (when you'd rather be in bed)

    Does anyone else keep getting woken up at 5am by the birds at the moment? When that feathered alarm clock goes off, it's tempting just to reach for the earplugs and try and snatch back a bit more sleep until the real one goes off. But somewhere deep down we know we're missing one of nature's...
  • Blog Post: Hello to Rachel, our new visitor intern!

    Hello all! This is my first blog as the new visitor experience intern at Fairburn Ings. My name is Rachel and I have committed to volunteering here for the next six months. I am looking forward to getting stuck in and sharing my experiences with you over this period. I am originally from Essex and...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings at RSPB Ham Wall - 14.04.2016

    If there was any lingering doubt that spring had sprung last week - there can be no doubt now. It's been a week teeming with new arrivals and great wildlife sightings. It's hard to know where to start, so lets start with some spring arrivals. Tuesday saw the first report of Cuckoo on the reserve...
  • Blog Post: A good fall!

    Wednesday (13 April) turned out to be a glorious day and lucky for some people. This year we are carrying out Common Bird Censuses (CBC’s) of all the broad-leaved woodland under our management, which totals around 170ha. The method requires 6 visits to each wood throughout the breeding season from...
  • Blog Post: Come and join in all the fun on Funday - this Saturday!

  • Blog Post: Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

    It's been a superb spring day at Minsmere, with migrants galore a few notable surprises. The wet start clearly grounded a few migrants, and it didn't seem to put visitors off either. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was a cuckoo heard calling a couple of times beyond Island Mere late...
  • Blog Post: I'll be CBC-ing you

    For the last couple of weeks at Otmoor we’ve been carrying out the five yearly Common Bird Census surveys. We have carried on doing this particular survey on Otmoor to continue adding to the data that we have built up over the years that this survey was previously done. So, half an hour after...
  • Blog Post: Spring Funday and spring on the reserve!

    Blogs are like buses.. there's none for ages and then they all come along at once! Anyway, just realised we have a few things to tell you about so here we go: First and foremost.. Next Saturday (16th April) is our Big Spring Funday! The day runs from 10 am - 4 pm and there will be plenty to see...
  • Blog Post: Has Spring arrived?

    It may be early April but there is still a touch of winter lingering on. April showers consist of hail and snow which isn’t much of a surprise given the temperatures, with the dam in full flow after a night of heavy rain. Despite the cold, signs of Spring have certainly arrived with frogs spawn...
  • Blog Post: Recent sightings: Ouzel a pretty boy then?

    More migrants have been arriving this week and the air is beginning to fill with a greater variety of song. Up on the Coal Tips trail it is impossible to miss the erratic ascent of skylarks and their high, trilling song. Willow warbler, John Bridges (rspb-images.com) Across the reserve there...