• How nature inspires beautiful music

    From Strauss to Mahler, many composers have been inspired by the natural world. To celebrate these powerful connections, this autumn, the Philharmonia Orchestra is presenting a series of live and online concerts, talks and screenings. These live events will not only look to the composers of the past but will also ask what role music can play in tackling the climate crisis right now. And best of all, there’s a special…

    • 21 Sep 2021
  • Grazing for the greater good – how munching mammals help nature

    If you’ve visited an RSPB nature reserve, you will have seen that they’re not just home to birds. They support a plethora of fauna and flora from tiny, rare flowers like the yellow centuary, to our largest beetle, the heath tiger beetle. These wildlife havens are managed by an incredible team of staff and volunteers up and down the country, but sometimes we need a helping hand, or hoof. Kelly Thomas, RSPB Senior Ecologist…

    • 21 Sep 2021
  • Magical encounters with dippers – a bird of tumbling water and rocky stream beds

    Jos Ashpole 

    The river flows strongly and swiftly, sweeping over huge granite boulders. Low-hanging branches dip gently into the racing water. The air is filled with the smell of damp ground and moss. It is cool and calm, but the woods are full of life – grey wagtails are flying upstream; blackbirds and song thrushes are calling from the treetops above.  

    I’m scanning the riverbanks in search of a remarkable bird that…

    • 1 Sep 2021
  • Celebrating your summer wildlife

    Summer is a bit up in the air, isn’t it?! Hot, cold, raining, clear blue skies, is that thunder? But our UK wildlife has been here nonetheless keeping us smiling and wanting to head out for more. A couple of weeks ago we asked you to share some of your favourite summer pictures. Of course, you did not disappoint! Here is a selection of what you’ve been seeing, come rain or shine. 

     

    Spot the difference 

    One species…

    • 11 Aug 2021
  • Climate Change - let's pull together and change the course of history

    I’m going to talk to you about something that matters to all of us. Something that many of us have been aware of for a while. But recent events have been a wakeup call none of us wanted but our leaders needed. Images of extreme weather in Greece, California, Canada, Germany and London have filled our screens and news homepages. Then, on Monday 9 August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched their Climate Change…

    • 11 Aug 2021
  • Cows vs robots - Finding the best solutions to save capercaillie

    A large-scale trial is taking place at the RSPB’s Abernethy nature reserve to find out whether technology or livestock is the best approach to restore habitat suitable for capercaillie. The process of habitat restoration, either by machine or mammal, replicates lost natural processes like wildfire and trampling by large herbivores, such as ancient aurochs, an extinct type of cattle. The team wants to find out which method…

    • 4 Aug 2021
  • Handy hammocks - Getting creative for kittiwakes

    The power of “innovation and intervention”. As our Friends of Coquet Island and regular giving supporters will know, continuing the breeding success of kittiwakes on Coquet Island required thinking outside of the box, or rather ledge. Northumberland Coast Site Manager, Paul Morrison, explains more about this project to help these coastal birds. 

    Kittiwake pair displaying on their nest - Andy Har (rspb-images.com)
    Kittiwake pair displaying on their nest – Andy Hay (rspb-images.com) 

    • 4 Aug 2021
  • The UK welcomes an ocean wanderer - but is it raising brows for the right reasons?

    Gliding amongst the gannets and the puffins is one of the most glamorous seabirds of the southern oceans, a black-browed albatross. But we’re not here to talk about the southern oceans, in fact this black-browed albatross has found itself at the RSPB’s Bempton Cliffs nature reserve on the UK’s east coast. After a winter of exploring European waters, he’s returned to our shores and set the wildlife scene ali…

    • 28 Jul 2021
  • When the wood warblers just won’t warble

    Jenny Tweedie 

    Who’s up for a challenge? With spring behind us having dusted off the winter birdwatching blues, it might be time to see how your newfound skills are holding up – or, if you fancy a quick refresher have a look at our Beginners Guide to Warblers. RSPB’s Jenny Tweedie has been challenging herself too, recently spending an afternoon on the search for a summertime elusive warbler, the wood warbler. Jenny…

    • 21 Jul 2021
  • A Spanish dove story – One in a million

    With turtle doves experiencing one of the harshest population declines of any UK bird (98%), a ban on hunting them across Spain could not be more welcome. This was the news recently announced by Spanish authorities that they will not be authorising the hunting of turtle doves for 2021, saving almost one million birds, some of whom will be migrating to the UK. 

    Turtle dove resting on a branch – Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)
    Turtle dove resting on a branch – Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)…

    • 28 Jun 2021
  • Your June Wildlife Questions Answered: Wildlife gardening with Adrian Thomas

    In this video we answer our most common questions that we get asked at this time of year, like a jazzier FAQ. This episode Jamie Wyver is joined by Adrian Thomas, the RSPB’s inhouse gardening expert to discuss what you can do to give nature a home, at home! 

    Jamie and Adrian talk you through some top gardening tips from what to plant in June to getting the most from your compost. June and July is the perfect time of year…

    • 23 Jun 2021
  • Etta Lemon’s legacy: Hannah Lemon and the healing power of nature

    Guest blog by author and journalist, Tessa Boase 

    Etta Lemon is some ancestor to lay claim to. The woman who built the early RSPB was fierce, uncompromising, obsessive and driven. She was nicknamed ‘The Dragon’ – but also, in softer mode, she was known as ‘Mother of the Birds’. A Victorian director of the Natural History Museum once hid down a stairwell rather than face Etta Lemon over some bird…

    • 15 Jun 2021
  • The power of poetry

    Kathryn Rossati 

    How far will you go for nature? Sponsored 5km run? A cake sale? How about writing a poem every week for a year...? Well, that’s exactly what Isle of Wight author, Kathryn Roassati, decided to do. Kathryn is an author of children's and young adult books, but this challenge might be her biggest yet in which she has taken on writing a poem about nature each week for an entire year. Amazingly, she is doing…

    • 28 May 2021
  • Glorious Spoonbills

    Who has already read their RSPB members magazine, Nature’s Home, Winter/Spring issue front to back yet? We sure have, and one particular story of the heroic return of UK spoonbills is worth sharing again. After a 300-year absence, spoonbills are returning to our shores. Dominic Couzens reveals how your support of conservation work has helped them – and explains the purpose of that cutlery-shaped bill... 

     

    Back…

    • 19 May 2021
  • Is it a worm? Is it a snake?...

    Jos Ashpole  

    As we move into summer (at least according to my calendar and not the weather), it is the perfect time to look out for some remarkable reptiles. The UK has six native reptile species, three snakes and three lizards. But one of these species appears not to fit into either category... the slow worm. So how do you tell the difference between a slow worm and a snake? And if they’re not a snake, what are they?…

    • 14 May 2021
  • Making an Impact: Your land purchasing powers

    Samuel Wrobel

    Thanks to you, we’ve been able to buy more land for nature – here are some of the special new places where we’re working for wildlife. In the first Making an Impact blog, we talked about some of the small but mighty wins for our wetland speciesFrom black-tailed godwits to bitterns, your support is helping nature not only improve, but thrive. The progress doesn’t stop there, and sometimes you…

    • 5 May 2021
  • Friend or foe

    Jen Chandler 

    You may have heard of ‘boxing hares’, but have you also heard of ‘boisterous buzzards’, or brawling blue tits? Spring signifies the awakening of life from the slumber of winter. It is also the time of year that many animals enter the breeding season. You may have seen changes in how animals are behaving, with some showing signs of aggression.  

     

    Back off! 

    Do you think male hares are the…

    • 29 Apr 2021
  • Your wonderful warblers

    In our recent Notes on Nature TV episode, RSPB’s Jamie Wyver gives a run-down of 10 warblers that you might find on a spring adventureIn total there are around 15 warbler species native to the UK, during winter some of them have been keeping warm further south in southern Europe and Africa, while others have been braving the British winter. Athe darker months draw to a close, many of the migrants will be returning to spend the summer…

    • 21 Apr 2021
  • Baby boom

    As RSPB members may have already read, we’re in the midst of a ‘baby boom’! As we head towards summer, keep your eye out for more and more youngsters learning to take to the wing for the first time. Mike Unwinnature writer and enthusiast recently wrote an article for our members exclusive magazine Nature’s Home. We thought it was too good, and too cute, not to share a snapshot of Mike’s words on natures…

    • 19 Apr 2021
  • A visit to RSPB Blacktoft Sands

    Daphne Pleace 

    I remember first visiting the stunning RSPB Blacktoft Sands as a newbie member, exploring as many nature reserves as I could. It was at Blacktoft I saw my first ever displaying marsh harriers… and what a display it turned out to be.  

    Display as in birding terminology: all those wonderful courtship behaviours that birds do. But this was the display. The dancing take-away" I call it. The one where the male…

    • 15 Apr 2021
  • Make a real difference for nature as you shop

    Laura Sherwood-King

    There are so many ways to support nature! There are the conventional ways you may have thought of, like setting up bug hotels, reducing your carbon footprint and running a marathon to raise funds.  

    Did you know that you can also help by fundraising while you shop and sell online – usually at no extra cost to you? Here are six ways to save nature as you spend.


    eBay

    eBay is a sustainable way to buy and sell unwanted…

    • 6 Apr 2021
  • Watching kestrels from the kitchen, and other amazing wildlife experiences

    Guest blog by RSPB President Miranda Krestovnikoff 

    I came to birdwatching rather late in life but now my days are totally focused around the birds I see and the interactions I have with them. 

    RSPB President, Miranda Krestovnikoff - Jesper Mattias (rspb-images.com)
    RSPB President, Miranda Krestovnikoff - Jesper Mattias (rspb-images.com)

    We have a pair of kestrels nesting in our garden and they have become so used to us that we can walk around the garden and just watch them flying from tree to…

    • 1 Apr 2021
  • Making an Impact: Your Wetland Wonders

    Samuel Wrobel 

    You, our supporters, are amazing. But the cliché “we couldn’t do it without you” doesn’t seem to suit. You have been as big a part of what has been achieved through RSPB work, as we have. So much has been accomplished in recent years; you stood with us in 2019’s Youth Climate Strikes, you raised funds to help remove invasive species from Gough Island, and over 100,000…

    • 25 Mar 2021
  • Springtime crafts

    Jenny Tweedie

    Here are some craft ideas to keep you busy during the Easter bank holiday weekend and beyond. We'd love to see your clever crafty creations so please send photos of them to NotesOnNature@rspb.org.uk . We'll feature our favourites in the 17 April edition of our Notes on Nature email newsletter.

    Felted jumper chickens 

    Re-purposing old jumpers as a craft received an unexpected boost this January, after…

    • 24 Mar 2021
  • Bats awake from their long winter slumber

    Jos Ashpole 

    The days are getting longer, daffodils are blooming out in the garden and I’ve been marvelling at the queen bees that are noisily buzzing around the crocuses. At dawn and dusk, the blackbird’s melodic song right outside my window is a powerful reminder that, for nature, spring is very much here.  

    As we say goodbye to winter, we can start to say hello to many of the creatures that spent the long, cold days hibernating…

    • 22 Mar 2021