• It's Hallowe'en, so make homes for fungi

    My RSPB day job took me yesterday out onto one of our newest reserves, the glorious lowland heathland at Hazeley Heath in Hampshire.

    In summer is alive with Silver-studded Blue butterflies and, by night, the sound of Nightjars. Yesterday, it was a little quieter, although Common Darter dragonflies were still plentiful in the balmy conditions over the heathland pools and wet flushes.

    You'll be impressed, however, that…

    • 31 Oct 2014
  • Watch out for the Acorn Hoarder

    If there is one bird for me that is synonymous with October, it is the one the French call the ‘Geai of the oaks’, the Dutch the ‘Gaai’, and the Germans the ‘Eichelhaher’ – the Oak Jay.

    The names Geai, Gaai and our name, Jay, are all onomatopoeic, derived from the same source – the harsh, rasping call.

    At this time of year, every journey you go on you seem to see them…

    • 24 Oct 2014
  • Sparrows in Paradise

    Regular readers, please excuse my bad case of AWOL-ishness as I disappeared for two weeks. Yes, I went away sunning myself, and here I am freshly tanned thanks to the sun, wind and rain of what for me counts as the tropics - the Isles of Scilly.

    Have you been? The place is simply glorious. Here for example are the Eastern Isles last week - I might as well have been in the Caribbean!

    The islands are famed for their…

    • 17 Oct 2014