So here we are, the last wildlife enquiries blog for 2013, we thought we would use this blog to think back to what has been a dramatic year for wildlife in the UK and to look forward to next year. 2013 has flown by so here is a quick recap on some of the wildlife stories.

The year started with one of the best 'waxwing winters' that we have seen in the UK for some time, numbering in the several thousands (not repeated so far this winter unfortunately!). The cold weather and poor natural food availability piled on the pressure for our wintering birds and the cold snap came back with a vengeance as we entered into spring playing havoc with many early nesting attempts and migratory birds.

What happened next was quite a surprise, we actually had a proper summer! Late spring and the summer months provided ideal conditions for wildlife of all kinds. Flowers were plentiful along the hedgerows, bees, moths and butterflies were able to breed and that made for a productive summer for many of our bird species who are still taking advantage of the bounty created by the good early summer weather with lots of berries and fruit still to find in the trees and shrubs. Acorns also bounced back after an almost total fail last year much to the joy of our resident jays! 

A few big things happened in 'RSPB world' - the state of nature report was published in a joint operation across lots of conservation groups, we launched our Giving Nature a Home campaign, the hen harrier failed to breed in England, cranes bred in Scotland...there are so many stories, what conservation story sticks out most in your mind from 2013?

Despite a few storms this autumn the weather has been fairly mild which has meant many gardens being pretty quiet in terms of birdlife, they are still finding plenty of shelter and food in the hedges and woodland edges. And here we are again, on the back of some of the worst storms for decades picking up the pieces, what could happen next year? Well my prediction is that things may get a little colder over the next month or so and gardens will once again bustle with birdlife around the feeders. With a few nights of clear sky lately i've been keeping a look out for shooting stars, there have been a few corkers, I have been using my wishes wisely, I'm hoping for a mild spring which may help the fortunes of our migrant visitors, but the one thing I really do wish for next year is a year of success for hen harriers!

What would be your wish for 2014 regarding wildlife in the UK?

This will also be my last blog so farewell, thanks for following, I hope you have found my wafflings interesting or useful!

Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

Anonymous
  • Well !! totally enjoyed that Ian. The one that sticks out in my mind you've already mentioned and that's the Cranes!....WOW!. I too was so relieved that the acorns bounced back, I've an oak tree in my garden, it just appeared and planted it's self in the most appropriate place! It means a lot to me, I view it as a wonderful present from the birds and/or Squirrels ! It's quite high now and I always have the thrill of thinking that I'm the only person on earth to have ever stood with my feet on the ground and to have touched the top of it at the same time !

    I think I wish for quite a lot as far as nature is concerned,I can't list them all ! but amongst them are the end of the persecution of Raptors and  that a Green Woodpecker would return to my garden :)

    I wish you well on your travels Ian, you will be greatly missed. And I wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year :)

  • Thanks for summary of the year. I missed the blog about the Cranes breeding in Scotland. That's good news.

    Merry Christmas and best wishes for your new venture in NZ.

  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Ian and i wish you well in your travels