• Photo of the week: battle of the bath

    This week, Susanna O'Neill from the RSPB Bempton Cliffs office picks her photo of the week from the Nature's Home inbox.

    Thanks to our Nature’s Home reader Janice Thompson, from Manchester, who snapped this delightful image of a flutter of fluffed up sparrows having a splash. Water is an amazingly important feature in any garden and birds use it not just for drinking, but also to dampen their feathers to…

    • 19 Apr 2019
  • Photo of the week: who's for dinner?

    This week, Susanna O'Neill from the RSPB Bempton Cliffs office picks her photo of the week from the Nature's Home inbox.

    This fabulous photo was taken by Nature’s Home reader Ron Cooper while he was taking a walk in his local park in Cheltenham. Denying the unfortunate perch chance to even enjoy its last meal, the heron has a bonus two for one in this lucky shot, its dagger-like beak and beady eye highlighted…

    • 11 Apr 2019
  • Photo of the week: here's looking at you

    This fabulous toad was snapped by Nature's Home reader Roger Cope.

    "This toad popped out of the undergrowth as I was gardening; I had time for one snap at eye level before it hopped off!"

    And what a snap it is. An opportunity well and truly seized to capture the character of this warty wetland wonder in our photo of the week.

    • 5 Apr 2019
  • What happens inside a pupa?

    Dangling from a leaf on a fine silk thread, a chrysalis sways and spins in the warm morning breeze. Inside, a butterfly is about to emerge. It has spent the last few days metamorphosing from a caterpillar – hidden from our gaze, its whole body restructuring itself for a new phase of life. But what actually happens inside a chrysalis?
    • 3 Apr 2019
  • All about blanket bogs: how peatland is key in the fight against climate change

    Around 12% of the world's blanket bog is found in the UK. These special wetlands are valuable carbon sinks, holding as much carbon as half of the Earth's atmospheric levels. Blanket bogs are a vital resource in the fight against climate change, and yet they're becoming increasingly rare. So what is blanket bog exactly, why is it so crucial in the fight against climate change and what can we do to save i
    • 2 Apr 2019
  • Photo of the week: who's the grebest dancer

    Famed for their elaborate courtship "dance", great crested grebes are one of the most striking and recognisable waterbirds in the UK. From their piercing eyes to their elaborate head plumage, enhanced during courtship, you can't fail to be impressed by these birds.

    While this pair, snapped by Nature's Home reader, Mark Sweeney, at RSPB Loch Leven, are not fully immersed in their courtship ritual just…

    • 29 Mar 2019
  • Photo of the week: spring butterflies

    Over recent weeks we have seen an emergence of some wonderful butterfly species. From the brimstone to the red admiral, UK butterflies had an early start this year. Now we enter late March we'll see even more of our fluttery friends. 

    Jackie Hillen managed to get this brilliant shot of a somewhat tatty comma butterfly on some holly leaves. 

    It had been a tough year for Colin the comma, and his wings told the tale of…

    • 22 Mar 2019
  • Photo of the week: feeding for breeding

    Whilst it may not be the most numerous bird in your garden, the robin is undoubtedly one of the nation's most loved. Voted Britain's first 'national bird' back in 2015, they are popular all year round, their friendly demeanour and loud, cheery song meaning they are seen and heard in gardens and beyond, up and down the country.

    So what could be better than seeing a young robin 'couple' nesting, feeding and…

    • 15 Mar 2019
  • Nature's Home photo of the week: shrike flight

    This great grey shrike by reader Colin Mayes really caught my eye when it arrived in the Nature's Home inbox.These scarce winter visitors to the UK, famed for impaling their small mammal and bird prey on thorns, are often distant, mobile and can be surprisingly elusive (for a bird that the books tell you sit in full view on the tops of trees and bushes). I was intrigued how he got such a stunning shot. Here's how…

    • 8 Mar 2019
  • Photo of the week: robin reliable

    As the shorter, colder days of January become a distant memory during an unseasonably warm February, the snowy verges and frost covered branches make way for daffodils and other shoots of life. Some birds are even starting to nest now, remarkably early and perhaps a sign that our seasonal "norms" are shifting.

    Maybe that is where this robin is off to in such a hurry, beginning its nest-building preparations…

    • 1 Mar 2019
  • Photo of the week: The return of the swallow

    The strangely warm weather for February has brought swallows, sand martins and house martins to our shores far sooner than usual. In fact their arrival in 2018 was nearly a month later than this year. As we question why these passerine birds have rocked up to the party early, we should also consider the long journey they have taken. All the way from South Africa to the UK these visitors travel around 200 miles a day! 

    • 22 Feb 2019
  • Changing diets

    As the winter begins to thaw and new life breaks through, life for our wildlife becomes easier. Birds will be off the meagre diets of seeds and nuts that has lasted them through the winter and back on to juicy insects, fruit and, later in summer, berries. Eating a mixed and varied diet might seem normal for us, but for wildlife it can often require some pretty major changes. Did you know that some birds even undergo…
    • 21 Feb 2019
  • Photo of the week: A choughing good snap

    This coastline crow with it's bright red bill is, in my opinion, the most striking of the corvid family. The chough is often known for it's Cornish roots, standing proud on the counties coat of arms. But in 1947 a pair of these handsome birds nested for the last time for many decades to come. It wasn't until 1960 that a pair of choughs took to the Cornish cliffs once more. But sadly in 1967, one of the pair…

    • 15 Feb 2019
  • All about lichens

    You may not have noticed lichens and mosses. They seep into a landscape, growing on walls, trees, even gravestones, but these amazing organisms are actually extremely complex, and hugely beneficial to our environment. Nature’s Home columnist Nicola Chester tells us all about lichens.
    • 14 Feb 2019
  • The ballad of the dawn chorus

    This morning I was stirred by the chirping, chirruping and tweeting of birds around the estate. It was not the alarm clock I was expecting on a Monday morning but I spent 5 minutes enjoying the dawn chorus before hitting the snooze button on my brain and returning to my slumber.

    With Valentine's day a few weeks behind me, the dawn chorus reminded me of the reason we celebrate the day with the theme of love.

    An origin…

    • 11 Feb 2019
  • Photo of the week: hang in there

    For many birds, winter can be a tough time. Big or small, countryside or urban dwellers, finding food, warmth and shelter can be hard work during the colder, shorter days of winter.  But that doesn't seem to bother this little blue tit, who looks pretty relaxed hanging out on this branch.

    Hey guys, do you like my impression of a bat? (photo courtesy of Nature's Home reader Mark Glenister)

    We've got some tips on…

    • 8 Feb 2019
  • Show your love for nature this Valentine's Day – how to reduce your carbon footprint

    It’s Valentine’s Day this week and love is all around… But this year, can you spare a little bit of love for our wonderful natural world? Show your love for nature, where a green heart and cut down your carbon footprint with these four easy steps.
    • 7 Feb 2019
  • Find February's finest wild sights

    I like to practice what I preach, so I checked back in on the current issue of Nature’s Home to see what species I’d picked out for the Wild about month-by-month pages as “must-sees”. You must remember that when Anna and the rest of the team ask me to supply these, it is back in the autumn, so there's a little bit of forward-thinking required.


    Keep your Nature's Home handy for wildlife-watching…

    • 4 Feb 2019
  • Photo of the week: The wind beneath your wings

    Big Garden Birdwatch, as quickly as it was here, it was gone again. Much like the wind beneath our photo of the week's feathers.

    This amusing shot of a windswept nuthatch was taken during Barry Thomas' Big Garden Birdwatch last weekend. 

    Batten down the (nut)hatches! (Photo courtesy of Nature's Home reader Barry Thomas)

    Did you see any nuthatches on your Big Garden Birdwatch? Let us know in the comments below…

    • 1 Feb 2019
  • Big Garden Birdwatch – what next?

    The Big Garden Birdwatch is over, but there’s still plenty more you can do to help your local wildlife this winter! Follow our step-by-step guide on what to do now that the Birdwatch has finished.

    1. Submit your results

    Don’t forget to submit your results to the RSPB. You have until 17 February to do this online. Even if you saw nothing, your results will help the RSPB build a picture of the current state of the…

    • 31 Jan 2019
  • How was your Big Garden Birdwatch?

    The conversation soon turned to “What did you see then?” here at The Lodge this morning.

    I certainly saw less than I expected and I couldn't help thinking this was linked to the garden bird declines I spoke about on BBC Look East on Friday when the crew came to The Lodge to film. I was very pleased that the birds were performing for them though on the feeders at the shop. The cameraman got some brilliant…

    • 28 Jan 2019
  • Photo of the week: Share the love

    As a month, February is all about love. From the commercial romance of Valentines Day to the RSPB supported 'Show the Love' campaign from the Climate Coalition, caring, sharing and heart-wearing is the theme of the year's second month. And when it comes to sharing, the bird world doesn't come much more social than the long-tailed tit.

    Often seen in large family groups, these lot are not only displaying…

    • 25 Jan 2019
  • What you could see on the Big Garden Birdwatch

    The Big Garden Birdwatch is this weekend! Take part for one hour from 26th–28th January and let the RSPB know what wildlife you can see in your garden. As well as being a vital way for the RSPB to keep track of our garden wildlife, the world’s largest garden wildlife survey is also a great way to get to know the species in your garden. Here are just a few of the species you could see.
    • 24 Jan 2019
  • Bird of the month: the crane

    This magnificent bird is a true conservation success story and the fabulous flocks they form are one of winter’s finest sights.

    Cranes returned to the UK in 1979, following hundreds of years of extinction as a breeding bird here, when three pioneering birds spent winter in the Norfolk Broads. I've always been fascinated by cranes and I wonder if the fact they they returned to the UK in the year I was born has something…

    • 21 Jan 2019
  • Photo of the week: bustling blackbird

    This week’s photo celebrates my favourite garden bird, the blackbird. A charming species that hops joyfully sweeping the garden for grubs and berries.

    Blackbirds are often the first to start singing in the year and they have a repertoire of songs to choose from so make sure you listen out for their early morning song in the coming weeks.

    Forget fight or flight, this blackbird's all about food or flight (Photo courtesy…

    • 18 Jan 2019