• Pigeons and wigeons

    Given the surprised reaction we get when we tell concerned members of the public that it is normal to find baby pigeons at this time of year it would seem that many people expect all bird breeding to be done and dusted by now! Not so, the pigeon family especially capitalise on the abundance of seed at this time of year to raise young at a time of natural plenty. From personal observations it looks like woodpigeons and collared…

    • 30 Sep 2013
  • What to do on a wet September weekend?

    So it looks like a bit of a washout for much of the UK this weekend, at least part of it. So what to do when it's raining, stay in and watch the football, read a book or brave the threatening showers to get out in the garden or venture out to spot some critters? I plan to be doing the latter but from a slightly different perspective than normal, i'll be floating about on a surfboard, which can be a good way to see…

    • 13 Sep 2013
  • What lies ahead

    In between blogging and moderating forums i'm in the thick of answering all of the emails, calls and letters that come to the RSPB. We're a small team here in wildlife enquiries and we are generally busy all year round. However we have peak busy times and quiet spells just like any other job and we usually look forward to a chance to take stock, catch up and prepare for the next big effort as summer turns to autumn…

    • 3 Sep 2013
  • It's oh so quiet...

    ...it's oh so still!

    Or is it? We've been having a pretty varied array of enquiries recently regarding garden birds and their activity. Whilst there are many people out there who are calling to say they are filling their feeders many times a day to feed bands of species, often sparrows, we are also speaking to many people for whom bids are hard to come by, even the ever presents species have done disappearing acts…

    • 21 Aug 2013
  • Sleeping out with the moths and hogs!

    This year sees the first RSPB Big Wild Sleep Out! Basically this weekend we are holding loads of events and encouraging as many people as possible to spend a night out under the stars (or cloudy skies which may be more apt!). Spending the night outside is a great way to connect with nature, you hear and see things which just don't notice at other times. Tempted to join in? Have a look at the sleep out site here for…

    • 9 Aug 2013
  • Jumplings, droughts and flutterings

    This July has been great for wildlife watching and we have been really busy talking about where to go to see various spectacles as well as the usual July gull fledging shenanigans. Earlier this month my colleague and I went up to Scotland to deliver some training to our teams in Scotland, we managed to fit in a trip to Fowlsheugh before the long trip back. This was a good call, the cliffs were jampacked with kittiwakes…

    • 25 Jul 2013
  • Summer grass patch challenge

    I hope you have all been able to get outside and enjoy this proper summer weather most of us are having! If not it looks like you have still got time as the sun looks like its staying with us for a while yet!

    July is a time for sitting back and enjoying what is around you, many flowering plants are at their peak blooming period, the trees and shrubs are dense and green and fruit and berries are starting to form. With…

    • 9 Jul 2013
  • June fledge fest!

    It's that time of year again when it seems like everywhere you go there are baby birds calling or bouncing around in hot pursuit of parents with beaks full of tasty morsels. I love this time of year and one of the best ways to soak in all of the action is to get to a local woodland and just sit and listen to the constant chattering. It won't last that long as June is the peak month for all of this activity, by July, woodlands…

    • 18 Jun 2013
  • Quiz time - What's brown, noisy and coming to a garden near you soon?

    Have you got it yet? At this time of year many of the queries we get about identification have a similar theme, brown, often in flocks, lots of noise sometimes described as looking like plain brown woodpeckers... What could they possibly be seeing?

    Well in most cases the birds turn out to be recently fledged starlings and given their sizeable beaks you can see why many people come to this conclusion. These urban birds…

    • 20 May 2013
  • Hare Heaven at Havergate

    As a member of the wildlife enquiries team you often get some great opportunities to find out about some excellent places to see wildlife and we are also incredibly lucky to be able to work with various other departments and staff members to further our knowledge and increase our experiences.

    In my spare time I enjoy wildlife photography and are always looking for new and interesting locations and subjects to photograph…

    • 25 Apr 2013
  • Hot topics - April 2013

    April is always a manic month for us in the wildlife enquiries team, as it is in the natural world here in the UK! Now we have some spring like conditions, out there in the wild things are waking, nesting and generally more active! Here are 5 of the most frequently talked about topics for us so far this April!

    1. Ducks and ducklings - From the number of queries we are getting it looks like the cold weather didn't pose…
    • 15 Apr 2013
  • Some do’s and don’ts on feeding our feathered friends

    It’s been a tough winter and spring for the wildlife in our gardens. In Wildlife Enquiries, we get a number of calls and emails asking for advice on feeding the birds, the right type of feeders, what to feed and when.

    Some people think that they should only feed the birds through the winter months when there is less natural food available. It’s actually OK to feed birds all year round as supplementary feeding only…

    • 3 Apr 2013
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and the drunken waxwings...

    So spring is keeping us waiting and here in the wildlife enquiries team we have been getting some of our usual and not so usual queries.

    Lots of window collisions have been reported, it is a sad fact that even masters of ambush can fall foul of colliding with large solid surfaces such as windows and patio doors. At least two were as a result of a heated chase, with birds trying to avoid the snatches of a Sparrowhawk…

    • 27 Mar 2013
  • Blog 100 from the wildlife team!

    What better way to fill blog 100 than a pictorial demonstration of three of the things to get out and see during March...oh and a rodent quiz! Apologies for my dodgy pictures but they illustrate the points if nothing else!!!

    Top spectacle to see must be starling roost! They are still together in huge numbers and the murmurations are something special. Whilst some people who live near to the locations might not appreciate…

    • 13 Mar 2013
  • RSPB at Ecobuild

    Earlier this week I joined some of my colleagues down at the Excel centre in London for the huge Ecobuild event. As interesting as it was to see the wide range of technology and types of eco-home that are available, our main role was to promote biodiversity in the built environment. Our little stand was in the Biodiversity Pavillion which we shared with a number of other conservation groups such as Swift Conservation

    • 8 Mar 2013
  • Migration, spawning and buds bursting

    Now that march is in full swing, many of us are turning our thoughts to the start of bird migration and the arrival of some of the trail blazers such as sand martin and wheatear. Having a look at the average arrival dates for some of the more common species on the Birdtrack site (here) gives you a idea about when to expect the influx. I try to keep track with the Portland Bird Observatory updates as they are in prime position…

    • 4 Mar 2013
  • Tips for February

    Before the next wave of snow comes in this weekend you might be able to get outside to do a few bits and bobs around the garden, there are certainly a few things to start looking out for!

    A key task for the month of February is to finish off any hedge trimming, cut back any ivy that needs a bit of attention and if you are planning on filling any gaps with bare rooted whips, get them in soon. I've been looking at ivy…

    • 7 Feb 2013
  • Likely visitors in the snow - a quick guide!

    We've been inundated with enquiries about unusual birds venturing into gardens since the snow hit. Here is a quick picture guide (illustrations by Mike Langman (rspb-images.com) ) to some of the birds that are likely to have been causing some of the confusion. Before diving into it I wanted to point out that anyone spotting any of these birds would be helping out the monitoring work by ourselves, the BTO and our other partners…

    • 24 Jan 2013
  • More winter tips from the wildlife team

    Cold out isn't it!!!

    We're getting a flurry of queries from all over the UK about how best to help our feathered friends in these harsh conditions so here are few more tips on what you can do to help them out!

    • Feed little and often - the cold and damp conditions can mean food gets frozen or feeders get clogged, check them regularly and give them a clean when you can.
    • Top up your bird bath - birds need to…
    • 18 Jan 2013
  • January tips and tricks

    Happy new year!

    2013 has started off much as 2012 finished with plenty of the wet stuff around. However don't let a bit of mud and rain stop you from doing a few bits around the garden to help out the wildlife. I managed to brave the conditions and got out for a while to do some pruning, hopefully to encourage thicker growth this spring to create conditions ideal for nesting birds. I bundled some of the cuttings up…

    • 3 Jan 2013
  • Merry Christmas from Wildlife enquiries

    As this is the last Wildlife enquiries blog before Christmas we want to wish all of you who have taken the time to read our blogs this year a merry Christmas and a happy new year! It doesn't look like we'll be seeing the Lodge looking like the below picture this Christmas, although we may need a boat to get in and out soon given the promised wet weather!

    Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    But it won't be long before…

    • 21 Dec 2012
  • Decorate your hedges and trees for birds this Christmas!

    Fed up of tinsel and twinkly lights everywhere? We've got some festive ideas for (outdoor) tree decorations to help the wildlife! These might not look quite so dazzling as a flashing santa or a neon reindeer but they will attract in the birds! I'm sure you will all agree that our feathered friends can brighten up our gardens better than any shiny ornament during the dark winter days! You may need to prepare yourself…

    • 14 Dec 2012
  • Now where do I put it part 2

    Hopefully the first installment has given you lots of ideas about where to out up nesting boxes with small entrance holes. Looking for something else to do? How about some open fronted boxes for those sheltered spots?

    Small open fronted boxes can attract a range of species, the size of the opening influences which species is likely to be attracted. The below species are listed below with the height the front panel needs…

    • 7 Dec 2012
  • Last chance!

    The Law Commission consultation closes today (30 November 2012).

    Ten minutes of your time could help save wildlife in the UK, every comment counts in this rare opportunity to influence the laws that should protect our wildlife.

    Want to help? Have a look at our laws for wildlife page on the link below.

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/campaignwithus/current/betterwildlifelaws.aspx

    There’s three steps to…

    • 30 Nov 2012
  • Now where do I put it?

    I am of course talking about nesting boxes! Putting up nesting boxes in gardens at this time of the year has got to be one of the best ways to help give our feathered friends a great chance of finding a top spot for raising the next generation when the spring arrives. In this blog i'll talk about boxes with small entrance holes.

    Your standard small nesting box with a 32 mm entrance hole is potentially a nest site…

    • 15 Nov 2012