This little fella by Andy Hay looks how I felt when the alarm went off this morning:
I was lucky enough to see this tawny owl for myself - he popped up at The Lodge nature reserve one lunch time, and lots of lucky staff were able to go and take a peek.
He might look grumpy but I think he's gorgeous!
Yes, it's finally here!
This weekend you can be part of the world's biggest birdwatch - Big Garden Birdwatch.
Anyone can take part. Just spend one hour counting the birds in your local park or garden, then let us know.
Loads of you have already told us you're taking part, which is great to hear. Thanks guys, and have fun this weekend.
Well I hope that this week you'll all be talking about Big Garden Birdwatch. It is this weekend, afterall!
But what do you think these two chaps are talking about? Do leave me a comment below. I look forward to reading your wonderful and witty suggestions.....
And don't forget you can see this photo and loads of other fantastic wildlife and nature images in our image library.
January is a quiet month in most gardens, so it’s a great time to take advantage of the lull in time-consuming jobs like mowing lawns and tending veggie plots, by planning for the year ahead.
Gardens are a vital resource for Britain’s wildlife, and it’s not just the big gardens that count - small gardens make up much of the green space in the UK and so they’re really important too. So whether you have a country acre or an urban balcony, there will be something you can do to help wildlife in your area.
It could be something as simple as using pots and hanging baskets to introduce plants to a bare balcony or patio, or something more elaborate like creating a water feature. The key is to aim for a mosaic of different habitats – the greater the variety you can provide, the more likely you are to attract wildlife.
And if the thought of having an untidy garden is putting you off, fear not! It’s a myth that wildlife gardens have to look a mess – just leaving a pile of discarded twigs and leaves tucked at the back of a flowerbed could be enough to attract pest-munching insects and hedgehogs to your garden.
Whether you want to make the most of what you already have, or want to create brand new habitat from scratch, the RSPB can help. Take part in our 'Homes for Wildlife' project and we'll give you all the advice you need on how to transform your garden, be it large or small, into a wildlife haven.
Our handy wildlife garden calendar also provides lots of ideas for what to do in your garden each month.
So this weekend, why not have a wander around your garden and think about how you can make it more wildlife-friendly. With just a little bit of effort, you could soon be welcoming butterflies, bees, frogs and finches as neighbours.
If everyone did their bit, just think what we could achieve for wildlife!
We'd love to hear your plans!
This weekend I went along to a bird ringing demonstration and got the chance to ring my very first bird – a goldcrest.
So in honour of this little bird, who so obligingly sat still for me, I thought I’d share this photo, by Chris Knights, with you.
Goldcrests are Britain’s smallest bird, and the little female I ringed weighed just 5.1 grams – that’s equivalent to about 5 paper clips!
It’s simply astonishing to think that something so tiny could manage to migrate here across the North Sea from Scandinavia and Russia, as continental goldcrests do each winter. In fact, in the past, ornithologists found this so hard to believe that it was thought that goldcrests hitched a ride on the back of woodcocks – and so they became known as ‘woodcock pilots’!
Nowadays, thanks to ringing studies, we know that these amazing little birds can, and do, make this epic journey unaided. A truly impressive feat!
If you’d like to see one of these birds for yourself, you could try your luck at one of our reserves.
Whether you need a good ‘Ahh…’ moment to get you through the first day of the working week, or prefer a spectacular landscape photo to whisk you off into daydreams of long country walks, you can find a great selection at RSPB Images.