• Bank holiday at RSPB Titchwell Marsh

    I can’t remember a bank holiday weekend where I’ve seen more species of bird in finer weather. Heading to the North Norfolk coast was a superb last minute decision. It’s a part of the world I remember fondly from many childhood visits and holidays, and Titchwell – well, the beach if I’m honest – was a regular feature as my mum was an RSPB member.

    It’s that time of year when you’re…

    • 31 Aug 2017
  • 10 steps to a September to remember

    It’s all go in September, no matter where you live, or where you look. Migration is in full swing and millions of birds are heading your way from all corners of the globe. There are fabulous insects to seek in the September sunshine and fungi are popping up everywhere following the late summer rain. There’s not a minute to waste, so to get you in the mood for a September to remember, and 30 days of nature’s finest, here…

    • 29 Aug 2017
  • Amphibian bingo - 6 to find

    I reckon this has been the wettest school summer holidays I can remember. 

    Not too chilly, and with bits of sunshine – I particularly enjoyed seeing a small ‘bite’ missing from the bottom of the golden sun as it set over Bath on Monday night; the tail end of the Great American Eclipse. But certainly, there’s been plenty of rain around here. 

    I’ve given up trying to deter the local slug armies from…

    • 25 Aug 2017
  • Beak or bill?

    It’s an age-old question. Is that bird’s facey-lip bit a beak or a bill? When should you call a bill a beak, and a beak a bill? What even is a “facey-lip bit”? Why should you even care? All these questions and more will be answered here, in this blog, by me and some mates I asked at lunch.

    Firstly, what’s a “facey-lip bit”? Well we’ve established that it’s either a beak or a bill, but what’s it…

    • 24 Aug 2017
  • An Islay adventure

    Islay is a place with a lot to offer, but two things really put it on the map: wild geese and whisky. I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy both these things on this beautiful Hebridean island (with geese considerably outnumbering drams of whisky I’d like to add...). My visits have been in "goose season" of late winter and early spring though, so it was a real treat to spend a couple of days there in late July.…

    • 21 Aug 2017
  • Heather heaven

    We’re all about the wildflowers this week on the Nature’s Home team, as you’ll see from Mark’s blog on rare machair meadows, and Emma’s on sunflowers, lavender and other wildlife-friendly garden favourites

    Last week, I was down on the Dorset coast again, wandering amid the sunlit heath at RSPB Arne with my family, and was enjoying the heather being in full bloom. The entire landscape was…

    • 18 Aug 2017
  • Food for thought

    This week, Direct Marketing Officer: Publications Emma Lacy guest blogs about what you can do in your garden to help pollinators, and yourself, get the most out flowers and the food they provide.

    With summer drawing to a close we enter the height of pollinator season. But our bee, hoverfly and butterfly friends don’t stop feeding over autumn. As novice beekeepers, my partner and I have been working hard to make our garden…

    • 17 Aug 2017
  • Machair magic

    I’ve seen quite a few spectacular colours in the UK this year, but a couple of weeks ago they were all blown away by the magic machair. The year's floral bonanza started in March with the white snow of blackthorn blossom covering hedgerows. It was more white in May with verges dressed in cow parsley and hawthorn took over in the hedgerows. Summer fields of red common poppies were next, followed by downland painted purple…

    • 14 Aug 2017
  • Behind the scenes on our kids mags: illustrations

    This week's blog is guest written by Deputy Editor Emma.

    You might be surprised to learn that a lot of complex work goes into making our RSPB children’s magazines simple, clear and engaging.

    When it comes to communicating with our youngest age group – wild times readers aged 0–8 – it’s all in the pictures. The artwork we use needs to be bright and enticing, clear and simple, but also informative and…

    • 11 Aug 2017
  • Jack's top birds

    You’re reading this because, like me, you love a good bird. Even though we all say we appreciate every bird no matter how common, everyone has their favourites. Some people pick favourites based on how they look or their behaviour. Some people pick a favourite because it marks a special occasion or reminds them of a special place. My favourites are carefully selected for a variety of reasons. Here’s five of my favourites…

    • 10 Aug 2017
  • A swift departure

    A month ago I was spending balmy evenings watching the swift colony swirl around the rear of our terrace. One particularly joyful evening saw half a dozen swifts using my guttering as a launch pad, shrieking with cacophonous glee as they dropped from the high eaves, wheeled above the backyards and returned to the guttering in a noisy, ungainly flap that betrayed the strength and bulk beneath that plumage. They’d then…

    • 5 Aug 2017
  • That stone-curlew stare

    Few birds look as characterful as a stone-curlew. That big yellow eye immediately draws your attention, their plumage is beautiful and practical, and their thick and knobbly legs round off a bird I never get tired of looking at on a magazine page. I’ve been enamoured with them since, but I’d never actually seen one in real life before. Just a couple of weeks ago I decided that the prospect of seeing them and their chicks…

    • 3 Aug 2017