July, 2012


We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).

A date with nature

The latest news from our Date With Nature projects around the UK.
  • End of an era

    Guest blogger: Ella Dixon - People Engagement Officer, Lake District Osprey Project

    After months of scanning the skies above Bassenthwaite, the team here on the ground have finally given up hope of the original male osprey ever returning. The male, known affectionately as "No Ring", is thought to have bred at Bassenthwaite every year since 2001 and has been the proud father of 25 chicks.

    When the returning female started mating with a new male earlier in the season, we thought that "No Ring" might turn up to scare the youngster off, but as he hasn't returned yet, it's clear that he won't. There's no way of telling what's happened to him, but migration is a dangerous business and the ospreys' West African wintering grounds are fraught with danger.

    He'll be sadly missed, especially his spectacular fishing skills - it usually takes an osprey at least five attempts to catch a fish, but he often managed it first time!

    On the bright side, at least the new pairing has been successful and hopefully they'll be back again next year.

  • Keeping an eye on things

    As Caledonia and Alba get used to their new found freedom and get ready for their first migration to Africa in a few weeks time, the Loch Garten team have been keeping track of what the young ospreys are up to, even when they can't actually see them. To find out more, check out the latest post on the Loch Garten osprey diary blog.

  • Bumbling along

    Our Date with Nature events often ask you to look to the skies to see some of Britain's best wildlife spectacles, but starting this weekend we're suggesting you to direct your gaze downwards instead.

    Starting tomorrow, friendly experts from the RSPB and the Short-haired Bumblebee Reintroduction Project will be on hand at RSPB Dungeness to show you all the brilliant bees that can be seen buzzing round the wildflowers at this time of year. There's the chance to get up close (though not too close!) and personal with the short-haired bumblebees that were reintroduced to the UK on the reserve back in May and the beautiful flower meadows have also attracted another of the UK's rarest bumblebees, the shrill carder bee.

    There's activities on offer for all the family including trails, drafts, guided walks and bee house making so why not come down and see what all the buzz is about.

    Short-haired bumblebee by Jesper Mattias (rspb-images.com)