Southern Hawker


Always a bonus to have a beautiful bit of wildlife come to you and today it was a glorious dragonfly.

This Southern Hawker buzzed me in a garden in Derby then settled and allowed me to take her picture. 

She wasn’t the only obliging insect this weekend. Amongst lots of flighty ringlet butterflies was one of my long-standing favourites, the Comma.

The nearby ponds in Chaddesden Park are recovering after being wrecked by vandals last year, and there was a brief sighting of a newt. Encouraging. 

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Mystery remains – The answer


Feathers and bones

Feathers and bones

Yesterday I posted this picture and asked people what they thought this used to be.

Quite a few people went for birds of prey, based I expect on the hooked tip of the beak. It’s a decent shout. But it’s also quite a long beak, and if you look at the skull of buzzards, sparrowhawks etc the bill is hooked, but shorter and almost a little stubby.

So we’re on a bird that’s about half a metre long with a wingspan of about three-quarters of a metre.

The feathers rule out things like crows, and the bill rules out pigeons. Brown and yellow striped flight feathers.

It’s the remains of a female pheasant.

Congratulations to Amy Schwartz who nailed the ID within about five minutes of my posting it, and commiserations to the rest of you.

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30 Days Wild – Day 24 – North Cave Wetlands


TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_24With a day to myself after the horrors of the EU referendum, I decided on a trip to North Cave Wetlands, a site I’ve often passed and never yet visited. It didn’t disappoint, and yielded some of my favourite photos I’ve personally taken… Continue reading

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Mystery Object – Whose remains are these?


_DSC7457 (1024x682)While out at North Cave Wetlands for Day 24 of 30 Days Wild, I stumbled upon the remains of a bird. And I thought it would be fun to make it into a bit of an ID quiz. Bigger image below… Continue reading

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Vote Remain for Nature and the Environment


As most readers will know, whether in the UK or not, on Thursday Britain’s electorate will be polled on whether or not to remain a member of the European Union.

It is possible to read a million-and-one opinion pieces on this, and in 99% of areas it is guesswork as to whether Leave/Remain is better or worse. But there is one area where Leave is unquestionably a bad choice; nature and the environment.
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Posted in About the blog, Birds, Botany, England, Invertebrates, Mammals, Media, Plants, Scotland, Tech stuff, Why watch wildlife?, Zoology | 4 Comments

30 Days Wild – Day 21 – Lunch amongst the rabbits


TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_21It’s mildly ironic that the tag for Day 21 features as a fox, as I’m featuring his favourite foodstuff; the rabbit. Continue reading

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30 Days Wild – Day 20 – Cuckoo by Nick Davies


TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_20A book review
I’ve actually been reading this book since before 30 Days Wild began, but finished it this evening. Short version. It’s brilliant. Continue reading

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30 Days Wild – Day 19 – Garden flowers


TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_19A glorious Banded Demoiselle damselfly passed through the garden today, briefly alighting on a buddleia. It went before I could take a photo, but I went back to take a few photos of flowers in the garden.
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30 Days Wild – Day 18 – Magpies


TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_18Today was spent indoors, but allowed observation of our local magpies. Continue reading

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30 Days Wild – Day 17 – Life in an oak tree


TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_17Today’s random act of wildness was taken over lunch, counting Blue and Great Tits that were both clearly feeding young in an oak tree. Continue reading

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