• Passing trade: night-time garden arrivals on nature's great flyway

    The days are shortening, the elderberries are blackening, and there's a definite whiff of autumn on the horizon.

    For those birds which are only summer visitors to Britain, their hormones now respond to the seasonal changes underway, telling their bodies to pack on the fat and get ready for long, intercontinental flights ahead. Thousands of warblers and flycatchers, Swallows and martins are destined for unimaginable…

    • 17 Aug 2018
  • Polishing my batting technique

    Ah, the blessed rains!

    Here is my pond this morning, the surface stippled with the pounding drops.

    The first rains came 10 days ago, and it amazing how quickly it has aroused the lawn from its desiccated slumber. Compare it with how yellow it all was just before the rains began:

    The pond is my biggest magnet for wildlife in the garden, with a Heron there this morning and a Kingfisher on the island earlier this…

    • 10 Aug 2018
  • The magic of ponds: instant dragons

    If there is one group of wildlife that responds quickly to your efforts, it has got to be the dragonflies and damselflies. All you need is to put in a pond of moderate size in a fairly sunny position and you would be very unlucky for it not to soon heave with these stunning insects in summer.

    My pond is now two and a half years old, and so into its third summer, and I've just been visited for the first time by what is…

    • 3 Aug 2018