Revisiting a family collection

It has been quite a while since I’ve written anything for a number of reasons, but I’m back at last and I’m rearing to go! I thought I’d get my 2017 blogging underway with an unusual topic that I’ve been longing to tell you about for some time: a family collection. If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen a recent post linking to an article about an egg collection that has been taken on by the Natural History Museum and this is my take on it all. When I was a child my love of wildlife, and birds in particular, was nurtured and encouraged by my parents but also by my Great Uncle John. He lived in South France and we didn’t see him very often, but every time we did he would be asking me what […]

Nature Blogging

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that once a month I invite a guest to write a piece about their interests and passions. I have been privileged to have support and encouragement from a wide range of of guests, and I hope that you have enjoyed their input too. In return, I too have written a couple of guest blog posts for others and thought I would take this opportunity to share them with you.   The first was for James Common about Orchids:     More recently I have written for another James, the Grantham Ecologist, about Dragons and Damsels:     I hope that you will enjoy my guest posts on their blogs, but that you will also take a moment to look at their writing too – it is wonderful to share a love of […]

Bat punt safari

The ecology survey season is upon us. I’ve already completed my first newt surveys of the season and last week I was invited by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust to join them on their first bat punt safari of the season, along the river Cam. I’ve done plenty of bat surveys in my time but have rarely had the opportunity to observe bats with a detector in my free time and never from a punt! I was intrigued and excited by the concept and as the evening approached was relieved to find that the weather was nothing short of wonderful – a minor miracle in itself after snow, sleet and hail only ten days ago! These bat punt safaris have been running for 6 years now and have taken around 3000 people down the quiet waters of the […]

Spring flowers

I am honoured to have been invited by Alice to write a guest blog post, and lucky to have been asked to choose a seasonal theme at the beginning of March. The winter is rather sparse for the British naturalist whilst the summer is so abundant that pinning down a single topic is no mean feat. In March however, the choice is easy. Spring flowers! Any post about flowers in spring 2016 needs to be caveated with reference to the unseasonably warm winter we’ve had which Alice talked about in her blog last week. The BSBI New Year Plant Hunt, running in its fifth year in 2016, gathered records of flowering plants sent in by recorders from all over the UK on New Year’s Day. This year found a staggering 612 species, around a quarter of the species habitually found […]

Phone photography

One of the most frequent comments I receive is “I wish I could take photographs like yours but I only use my phone”. This week I thought I’d share a few photos that I’ve taken on my iPhone in the last couple of years, to prove that you don’t always need a fancy camera to achieve reasonable results. Don’t get me wrong, I love my camera – my husband has joked before that I should perhaps be married to it rather than him! That said, I don’t always have it to hand when I should and sometimes I prefer not to take it out. I go with the grand notion of actually experiencing wildlife rather than focusing on the photograph I want to achieve. However, if I find something wonderful I can’t help but want to document it. There are […]

Ryan Clark’s Garden Invertebrates

I have lived on an urban housing estate in Buckinghamshire for over a decade now and it has shaped my view on the world around me. Despite living reasonably close to the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, I didn’t have the access to green spaces that others may have had. My connection with the natural world was through the window and investigating the garden. As a child I used to photograph butterflies in the garden on a cheap digital camera. I still have these photos and they are precious to me because this is when I discovered the natural world.  My connection with nature started at home for me, not through David Attenborough documentaries, but by getting muddy and exploring the garden.  I aim to encourage you all that you don’t have to travel far to see amazing wildlife!

Summer at Trumpington Meadows

Last week I told you about an exciting project that I’ve begun this summer with Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, but in truth it is hardly a new venture as I’ve been involved for several months now. So, I thought that you might enjoy seeing a few more of the images that I’ve taken over the last 2 months. Trumpington Meadows covers quite a large area and I had yet to explore it fully. My second visit in June offered the perfect opportunity. I spent the best part of a day wandering around, enjoying the summer sunshine and drinking in the atmosphere. In the past few weeks, the wildflower meadows had burst into bloom, the few initial flowers were now here in profusion and there were great swathes of colour.     There were even […]

A New Project

In my last few posts I’ve shared stories of my travels along with some of the photos I’ve taken. This time, although there will be pictures, I want to tell you about a project I’ve been working on that’s a bit closer to home. It’s quite an exciting one for me, and I’ve been longing to share more about it for a while but only just been given the all clear to do so. As some of you may be aware, I write periodically for a couple of branches of The Wildlife Trusts, usually covering seasonal species to look out for or particular places of interest to visit. Recently my local branch, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust, got in touch to see if I was interested in taking part in a larger project. Of course I jumped at the […]

British Spring Beauty

I think I mentioned it in my last couple of posts but in case you missed it, California was incredible! That said, I was just as keen to get out with my camera again when we got back (hence I’m still processing photos several months later!). The end of April, for me, is the moment that spring really kicks into gear. Migrants are beginning to trickle in from foreign shores and the British countryside is rapidly turning a vibrant shade of green. There are of course other colours bursting through the muted cloak of winter. One of my favourite spectacles in the UK is a woodland floor carpeted with Bluebells.

Welcome to my blog!

I’m really excited to finally have the opportunity to start my own blog. Some of you will already know that I write on a monthly basis for the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (@HMWTBadger), as well as contributing regular articles and content for the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust (@wildlifebcn). I am so pleased to be able, at last, to share my musings on a blog of my own. It is something that I have wanted to do for a while and here it is!