Every year bonfire night arrives with a fanfare of government health warnings. Fireworks can maim and blind they scream, yet this is nothing compared to the impact of the evening’s celebrations on one creature in particular.
Now is the perfect time to witness one of our true wildlife miracles. For the past six months great silver torpedoes have been slowly nudging their way against the current of our major rivers to rest a few miles downstream of the tributaries where they hatched. These are Atlantic salmon and they are waiting for […]
Mention this diminutive insect, and most people think of the West Coast of Scotland. Indeed, the most aggressive of our 152 native species is often dubbed ‘the Highland Midge’. Unfortunately those of us who live in Wales know quite how false this soubriquet can be. While there are plenty of blood sucking insects to spoil a summer picnic, midges are undoubtedly the worst.
One of the earliest signs of spring – but undoubtedly one of the least noticed – is the emergence of bats from their winter hibernation. These are probably our least known and most poorly understood mammals. Most people are barely aware of their existence, yet with 16 British species they are our commonest mammal family.
June 2009 – In early summer woods which will later be full of fungi are home to one of our most mysterious and least-seen breeding birds..
February 2009 – Fungi fanatics hate the phrase ‘toadstool’ because it is both laden with prejudice and deeply-misleading – when did you last see a toad on a mushroom?
The recent Arctic weather might convince us we are still locked in winter, but our birds are not fooled. They sense the lengthening days and have spotted the first shoots and are already preparing for the frenzied activity of the coming breeding season. . . Take magpies, always one of our most visible species, which […]
Winter is a great opportunity to get a close encounter with one of our most striking garden visitors: the great spotted woodpecker. This, our commonest and most widely distributed woodpecker, is now found across most of mainland Britain.
Collared doves are so common today that we don’t give them a thought. These little pigeons with their pink-buff plumage, black collar and gentle coo-ing call, are ubiquitous in every city, town and village across the country. They are so much a feature of modern life that even the oldest birdwatcher can find it hard to recall that just a few decades ago they were unknown in Western Europe.
Wales is about to see the return of a native, last seen in the Principality some four centuries ago. Next year a small group of Europe’s largest rodent are to be released in the spectacular scenery of the Rheidol Valley, 10 miles upstream from Aberystwyth . . . At first glance the idea of returning […]