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Winter singing of blackcaps

Friday, October 21, 2016

In a recent (October 2016) edition of British Birds a letter was published discussing winter singing by blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) in Britain and Ireland (Greenwood, 2016). Blackcaps are relatively large warblers with beautiful and complex songs. These songs sometimes include mimicry of other species and there is much individual variation, and in fact an old dialect name for the species was northern nightingale.  Read More

Fire in the ice

Friday, October 14, 2016

Bill Doherty, one of the judging panel of the Thomson Ecology Photography Competition 2016, explains what he saw in the winning image, "Fire in the ice", taken by Alan Warriner. Read More

The 2016 State of Nature report published

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The 2016 State of Nature report was published last week. The report is designed to give an overview of the state of nature in the UK, its seas, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, consolidating data from 53 conservation and research organisations, and David Attenborough was one of the initiators of this regular review.
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Good news for the speckled wood butterfly

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

With all the gloomy stories that we normally read in the news about global warming and population declines, it’s refreshing to read that populations of the speckled wood butterfly are booming.  Read More

Celebrating International Bat Night

Friday, August 26, 2016

International Bat Night (the 29th August) is a time to celebrate this marvel of the natural world – flying mammals. Bats account for nearly one quarter of the mammals found throughout the world, which equates to approximately 1300 species, and are found in the ‘old world’ – Africa - and the ‘New World’ – the Americas - and everywhere else in-between - other than Antarctica.  Read More

Avoid, minimise and …?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The principle behind the National Planning Policy Framework aims for projects to avoid detrimental impacts on biodiversity, minimise these wherever possible, mitigate their effect where they cannot be avoided, and compensate for any residual impacts. What is compensation, how is this achieved and what processes are in place? Read More

Bat detectors - one of our favourite bits of kit!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

In 1790 an Italian scientist named Lazzaro Spallanzi was intrigued by the ability of bats to forage for insects at night. In an attempt to understand how they performed this remarkable feat he undertook several experiments. He found that blindfolded the bats flew unimpaired, but when they had their ears plugged they would fly into objects which they would otherwise have avoided. Since the bats appeared to be flying in silence, he could not understand why hearing was playing such an important role in their navigation. Read More