This morning I was out of bed early, ready to head for Poole Park for the day, to take part in the annual Greylag geese ringing session. Research has shown that some of the UK’s resident Greylags travel up to 500km to moult, from their breeding sites. Moult migrations can be understood using colour ringing: … Continue reading Greylag geese ringing
Today I had an incredible day ringing raptors on Salisbury Plain! My ringing group has over 300 different boxes including Kestrel, Barn owl and Tawny owl and every year we go up and ring the pulli (chicks in the nest). Over the past two years I haven’t been able to go up at all due … Continue reading Raptor ringing on Salisbury Plain
Today we had the fabulous Wiltshire Bird Open day down at Langford Lakes! Held by the Wiltshire Ornithological Society and Wildlife Trusts, it was a fabulous day engaging more people with our county’s birds! My brother and I were up early for the bird ringing demo by Jonny Cooper where we saw lots of species … Continue reading Wiltshire Bird Open Day
I haven’t done many blogs recently, as I’ve been very busy with gcse mocks and the real exams coming up! However I have still been getting outside a lot and volunteering with various places, so I thought I would show you a few of the things I have been doing for the last few months! … Continue reading What I’ve been up to for the past few months!
What signifies spring for me is when my brothers find the first nest of the year!! Yesterday evening with in the space of half an hour he found two Blackbird nests and three pigeon nests! My brother is only 9 years old and finds so many nests it’s quite unbelievable, last year he found over … Continue reading Nest finding 🌱🥚
I’ve just completed the Big Farmland Bird Count that is organised by the Game and Wildlife conservation trust! In total I recorded 14 species along one hedgerow, in the half hour, with the highlight being a stunning male Yellowhammer! And it really got me thinking how important it is to farm alongside wildlife. Every single … Continue reading Game and wildlife conservation trust
This weekend I have been out both mornings ringing at a winter crop cover on my families farm. We rang there last year and did really well for continental Chaffinches, so decided to go back and see what had turned up this year! We put up a line of 7 nets down a track between … Continue reading Farmland bird ringing
I am super excited to be the winner of this years National Biodiversity Network’s Young Person’s Award for Wildlife Recording! 🥇 https://nbn.org.uk/news-events-publications/nbn-awards-for-wildlife-recording/nbn-award-winners-2021/ I spend all of my free time out undertaking wildlife surveys (such as water voles, butterflies, wetland birds, bees and farmland birds), small mammal trapping, bird ringing for the BTO and volunteering for … Continue reading Winner of the NBN Young Person’s Award for Wildlife Recording 2021 🏆
Last weekend I went on the Wild New Forest camp at the Cameron Bespolka Trust’s Cameron’s Cottage! On the Friday evening once we arrived we went on a walk in the dark around the forest finding different types of fungi, invertebrates and even a roosting wren through the thermal imager! The number of different species … Continue reading Wild New Forest Camp 2021
This afternoon my younger brothers and I went up to our local ancient woodland on a fungi hunt! Gumtree deceiver We found loads of different types, colours, shapes and sizes of fungi and mushrooms, including some weird and wonderful species! Amethyst deceiver The amethyst deceiver (Laccaria amethystina) is a breathtaking mushroom that pops up from … Continue reading Fungi hunting 🍄📷
My friend and I were given the amazing opportunity to volunteer at the Hawk Conservancy for a few days! We were working with the conservation interns to learn more about what conservation projects the Hawk Conservancy Trust are involved in and what goes on behind the scenes! 🦅 On the first day we began with … Continue reading Volunteering at the Hawk Conservancy Trust
Yesterday we made our last CES visit to Martin Down nature reserve! A CES is a Constant Effort Site where we go every 10 days or so and put up the nets for the same amount of time! They are really good for monitoring the birds species and populations in an area! The key things … Continue reading Bird ringing at Martin Down nature reserve
A few evenings ago I had the most amazing opportunity to ring some swift pulli (a young bird or nestling that is not yet able to fly) from a families 5 swift boxes! Out of 6 boxes, 5 were being used and had chicks - I rang 5 chicks and also one adult that we … Continue reading Swift ringing
Had a great afternoon at my local wildlife hospital - today I was in charge of feeding and cleaning out the birds! First job: feed all of the babies! House MartinPied wagtail We feed them waxworms - to closely replicate what they would be fed in the wild! Most of these juveniles have come in … Continue reading Working with the birds at the wildlife hospital
Wow! What a wildlife filled weekend! Last week my cousin @leahpinkphotography and I headed down to Pembrokeshire on Friday, ready for a weekend of sea birds and birds of prey! On the Saturday we went to the absolutely stunning Skomer Island, to photograph the thousands of puffins who breed there every year! We were so … Continue reading A weekend in Wales! 🏴
This evening we have been out checking the bird nests in our farm buildings! Sound on for swallow singing! We checked lots of swallow nests - most of them old from previous years - and found 2 with eggs and a few more which should have eggs soon! Both adults build a nest from mud … Continue reading Bird nests in farm buildings
One of my favourite nests to find, is Lapwing, although it is becoming a less common sight nowadays. Between 1987 and 1998 lapwing numbers dropped by 49 per cent in England and Wales. Since 1960 the numbers dropped by 80 per cent. The early declines were caused by large scale collection of eggs for food. … Continue reading Lapwings and farmland
Today I was chest deep in a freezing cold river searching for signs of water voles! Found along our waterways, water voles are similar-looking to the brown rat, but with a blunt nose, small ears and furry tail! After our Young Nature Watch water vole survey (read more on my YNW page), Inés (YNW co-founder) … Continue reading Water vole surveying
One of my favourite parts of spring is nest finding! Everywhere I go I find myself peeping into bushes and hedgerows to find nests of our British birds! This year I have been helped by my brother and he is just incredible at finding them! I think it’s because he’s the right height for most … Continue reading British bird nests
Oh my gosh yesterday could not have been better! In the morning we were ringing round my hide and caught some nice species including a stunning Mistle thrush which was a first for me! We also caught some Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, the first summer migrants I have rung this year! And then we went up … Continue reading A fabulous day of ringing!
Yesterday @leahpinkphotography and I visited Thursley Common in hope to see the famous Colin the Cuckoo! After getting lost - thank you so much to @henryk_photo for directing us!! We finally found the field! We waited for about two hours, photographing Redstarts and Wheatears in between! After two hours we heard the cuck-ooo cuck-ooo and … Continue reading Colin the cuckoo
For over a year now, we have been in and out of lockdown. Everyone has been learning or working from home, pubs, cafes and restaurants only open for takeaway, shops closed. Life has been more different than anyone could have imagined. But how have all of these changes affected nature and wildlife? I took to … Continue reading How has lockdown affected wildlife?
Today is the first ever World Rewilding Day! Rewilding is a journey, where change happens at nature’s pace and unfolds over years, decades and even centuries. It exists on a spectrum, where people are starting to make changes that will benefit nature at one end, and large-scale functioning ecosystems — a flourishing of wild nature on its … Continue reading World rewilding day!
The UK’s population of Curlews has had a 67% decline since the 1970s, half of which had happened in the last 20 years. Why is this? CHANGES IN FARMING: Increase in silage, which is cut earlier in the season and at intervals of 5-6 weeks, prevents the nesting curlews from raising their chicks before the … Continue reading Curlew action
This weekend we had two fantastic ringing sessions on my family’s farm in Wiltshire! We put up nets in a few different places including round the cows, in a field of maize, in the woods and in between trees! There was a massive flock of finches moving through, mostly continental birds heading back! In total … Continue reading Farmland ringing
Today is World Wildlife Day, so let’s celebrate the UK’s wildlife! 🌎 At first I thought urgh I wish I could go to Africa, Australia and really bio diverse countries to see some amazing wildlife, but actually, especially over the last couple of years, I have discovered how brilliant the wildlife on my doorstep and … Continue reading ‘UK WILDLIFE IS BORING’ sorry what? 🦫🐋🐝🦉🐸🦡🐞🦔🦊🦅🦋🦦🦀🦭🦇🐬🐍🪰🐛🐗🐌🐴🦞🪲🦬🪱🦆
This month I have loved getting outdoors during my lunch breaks! Whether that’s going for a walk to find the stonechats and lapwings or heading out into the hide watching woodland birds! Here are some of my top photos from February! Swans at Dinton Park: During one of my lunch breaks, I visited the swans … Continue reading Photos of February
A few months ago, I went to a wonderful woodland bird hide and had an idea! I am so unbelievably lucky to live on a farm with beautiful ancient woodland opposite my house - so I had the idea to make my own hide in it! I put an advert out for anyone selling an … Continue reading Woodland bird hide
After reading this article, I took to my Instagram story to ask people what their thoughts were. I had lots of replies saying they have mixed feelings: ‘grey squirrels are beautiful but they have taken over the red squirrels’. And I totally agree with this, I love grey squirrels and it is a joy to … Continue reading ‘UK GOVERNMENT BACKS BIRTH CONTROL FOR GREY SQUIRRELS’ 🐿 📰
Over the Christmas holidays, I have been spending a lot of time watching the birds in my garden! After finding out I would be working from home for a few weeks after the holiday, I decided to give my garden bird setup a makeover! I added lots of natural twigs and branches for photography purposes … Continue reading Christmas garden visitors
This weekend is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch! So I thought I would share some of the UK’s most common garden birds! 1. BLUE TIT - Blue tits are one of our most familiar garden birds, reported from 94% of gardens according to the BTO! They are attracted to most kinds of bird food but … Continue reading RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
Winter can be a brilliant time of year to get close up views of birds visiting the garden for food, water and shelter. It is also an exciting opportunity to see some species which are only here for the colder months, such as Fieldfares and Bramblings. As the temperature drops and natural foods supplies fall, … Continue reading What can you do to help your garden visitors during the winter?
Snow! I could not believe it when I opened my curtains in the morning - the best surprise! I spent the whole morning under a camouflage blanket wrapped up warm with about 4 layers photographing my garden birds! And how could I not get a shot of a robin in the snow!! I definitely found … Continue reading Garden birds in the snow
2020 is nearing the end, so I thought would share some of my favourite photos I have taken this year! 📸 SWALLOW - after getting lost in the Devonshire countryside, @leahpinkphotography and I came across a flock of swallows feeding in a field! We sat watching them fly onto the fence just two metres in … Continue reading Top 2020 photos!
Last week, I had a lovely wander round 2 local nature reserves - Fishlake Meadows and Titchfield Haven both in Hampshire. Fishlake Meadows Titchfield Haven To start with, I visited Fishlake Meadows. The weather was not the best, but I still saw a lot! My favourites being a very close encounter with a song thrush … Continue reading A wander round local nature reserves
Yesterday I went to a brilliant fungi foray! We learnt lots about how to identity different species and lots about them like which are edible and poisonous! Here is what I learnt: LILAC/ROSY BONNET (Mycena Pura) - This is a common species in both deciduous and coniferous woodland, but it also occurs in some grassland … Continue reading Fungi foray 🍄
A couple of weeks ago our CES (constant effort site) visits to Martin Down ended. Constant effort site visits are when you go to the exact same place, same time, same nets etc over a period of time - we did ours 12 times over a few months. Meadow pipit Whitethroat Now that it has … Continue reading Bird ringing
Over the past month I have been doing a lot of photography! Photographing lots of wildlife such as birds, including Swallows, Kestrels and Lapwings! Swallow - Featured on BBC News, Your Pictures Lapwing Mistle thrush Kestrel Juvenile starling Linnet As well as lots of butterflies and I also recently bought myself a moth trap so … Continue reading August photography
Over the past few days, I have been putting out my new moth trap! In the morning I have been photographing and identifying all of the species! Here are some of the species I have caught! Ruby tiger Iron prominent Brimstone Black arches Rosy footman Common wainscot Rosy rustic Buff tip Large yellow underwing Orange … Continue reading Moth trap
A couple of days ago I had the amazing opportunity to visit 3 of Pete Whieldon photography hides - kestrel & woodland birds, water voles and kingfishers! First I went to the water vole hide, we put some chopped up apple on different stones and pipes and not long after a water vole appeared! It … Continue reading Photography hides
I have been doing some volunteering at my local wildlife hospital. The main animal I have been working with is hedgehogs which are sick or have been injured. The hedgehog population is in decline. Reasons for this are still not known for certain but there are some ideas. For example: loss of hedgerows, predation by … Continue reading How to make your garden more hedgehog friendly
Today, with a certified ringer training me, I had the amazing opportunity to ring the birds in my garden! In total we caught 68 - with still many that we didn’t have time to ring! You would be surprised at how many birds come to your garden! First bird rang Chaffinch Wren Nuthatch I was … Continue reading Bird ringing in my garden!
Today I went to a moth trapping event organised by my local natural history society! They put out 4 moth traps last night and this morning we were able to identify the different species and see them up close! Privet Hawk Moth Poplar Hawk Moth The highlights for me were the hawk moths! We caught … Continue reading Moth trapping
I became a RSPB pin badge volunteer about half a year ago and have loved raising money to give nature a home! If you are in Wiltshire keep an eye out for my boxes! The first collectable pin badges were issued over 20 years ago and have proved very popular with collectors of all ages … Continue reading RSPB pin badges
It’s the time of year to start thinking about feeding the baby birds that are visiting our gardens and feeders! During spring and early summer you’ll see fledglings, usually in small groups. It’s a great time of year to offer bird food, whether you’re just starting out or you are a regular feeder already. It … Continue reading What to feed fledgling birds
I found this beautiful Peacock butterfly caterpillar yesterday! These long caterpillars hatch within 2 weeks, spin a silk web and feed gregariously on young nettle leaves. Peocock butterflies lay their eggs in May, they will then hatch into caterpillars in June and make a chrysalis is late June to July before emerging as a butterfly … Continue reading Peocock butterfly caterpillar
Today I spent the morning volunteering at my local Wildlife Hospital! The Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital rescues, cares, rehabilitates and release wild animals 24 hours a day! Today I spent the morning with another volunteer, cleaning out and feeding all of the hedgehogs! A lot of the hedgehogs that are in at the moment, are this … Continue reading Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital
A few days ago I went bird ringing again at Martin Down Nature Reserve in Hampshire! We caught and rang so many different birds - 58 in total! Female Linnet Grasshoppers and crickets everywhere! My favourite was the male Bullfinch! I have always wanted to ring one and their colours are stunning! Male Bullfinch We … Continue reading Ringing at Martin Down
Today I went bird ringing for the day in one of Dorset’s ancient woodlands! I had the opportunity to go with an experienced BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) ringer and learnt so much! (Socially distancing at all times). Bird ringing develops information on the survival, productivity and movements of birds, helping us to understand why … Continue reading Bird ringing
Young Naturalist Izzy Fry has written a blog for us to share about her experiences during lockdown, along with some fabulous photos. Whilst off she …Nature and wildlife on my doorstep I am so excited to see my blog post on the Blashford Lakes blog! I am part of the Young Naturalists group there! Click … Continue reading Nature and wildlife on my doorstep
Whilst having my lunch outside in the beautiful sun, I spotted this little guy scurrying along the table! After some research, I have found out he is a zebra spider! They are called this from their black and white stripes! Zebra spiders are a common jumping spider in the UK. The one I saw was … Continue reading The Zebra spider
Over the last week, I have seen juvenile garden bird fledglings everywhere! I also hear them all the time! Juvenile birds can cause quite a lot of confusion, as many look different from their parents, but there are good reasons as to why this is! One reason is that the juvenile plumage may provide camouflage … Continue reading Juvenile garden birds
I was sent his amazing bird food/feeder bundle from Ivel Valley Bird Food. It includes: suet pellets, suet rolls, suet balls, suet logs, a suet log feeder, double suet cake feeder, 3 insect suet cakes and a seed mix. https://www.ivelvalleybirdfood.co.uk/ Ivel Valley bird food is a family-run farm based in Bedfordshire. They have been making … Continue reading Ivel Valley Bird Food
Every year, my extended family goes to Devon on Holiday; we stay very close to the town of Dartmouth. One of our favourite places to go is a national trust beach called South Milton sands. It is a wonderful sandy beach perfect for swimming in the sea, kayaking, paddle boarding, rock pooling and snorkelling! The … Continue reading Highland cow photography
Yesterday, I set out on my daily walk (with my camera and macro lens in hand) to find as much nature as I could find! I used the app iNaturalist to identify anything I didn’t know! I found lots of deer and muntjac tracks. I often see deers in the field I was in - … Continue reading My daily quarantine walk!
Today I have been out photographing lichen. Did you know there are over 17,000 species of it! Some of the most common and well known are: oak moss, tree lungwort, cladonia fimbriata and wolf lichen. Lots of birds use lichen as camouflage in their nests - especially long-tailed tits. It can grow on trees, fallen … Continue reading Lichen photography
The red admiral is an unmistakable garden visitor. This beautiful butterfly may be seen feeding on flowers on warm days all year-round. Adults are mostly migrants, but some do hibernate here. They are a common butterfly with a wingspan of 6.4-7.8cm! In my garden there are always red admirals on the buddleia! They are always … Continue reading Red admiral butterfly
Yesterday I was walking around the woods next to my house when I heard a loud cheeping noise coming from a hole in a tree! I sat watching the hole for around half an hour before I noticed a female and male Great spotted woodpecker flying around the tree! After sitting for a bit longer, … Continue reading Great spotted woodpecker nest
I have recently made my own woodland bird table! Using a couple of logs, sticks and branches I have placed them around a table and chair to feed the birds! I have made this so I get photos of the birds on natural objects! Squirrels, blackbirds, nuthatches and wrens were the first on this and … Continue reading Woodland bird table
I make a lot of homemade suet which is perfect for the birds, especially in the winter! It is not as good in the summer as it melts very easily but I am still looking and experimenting with a non-melt recipe! So to make my homemade garden bird suet you will need a hob or … Continue reading Homemade garden bird suet recipe
Whilst wandering around the flower beds in search for bees and butterflies I found this beautiful pink bug! After some research I found out it is called Dolycoris baccarum, the sloe bug. It is a species of shield bug and they are around 11-12mm long! I loved photographing this little bug because the colours go … Continue reading Pink shield bug
Last year my family got a beehive full of 15,000 honeybees! I absolutely love the moments when I can photograph them in the hive, it is so interesting! I used a Tamron 70-300mm tele-macro lens to get these shots! An average worker bee makes only about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. Last year … Continue reading Honeybees
Today is International Dawn Chorus Day! I was up at 4 this morning ready to listen to the bird song at the crack of dawn! I walked through woodland, farmland and through lots of fields and everything was singing! I heard: Robins, the majority of the tit species, Blackcaps, Pheasants, Woodpigeons, Collared Doves, Chaffinches, Wrens … Continue reading International Dawn Chorus Day
When I was 10 years old, my Grandfather and Mother took me to Skomer Island to photograph the puffins, guillemots and razorbills! I loved capturing shots of the puffins with their mouths full of sand eels, peeping out of their burrows and having some squabbles! I loved watching the razorbills and guillemots sun bathing on … Continue reading Skomer Island
Daisies, probably the most common UK garden wildflower, are often overlooked! Some think of daisies as a weed, and others as a beautiful wildflower. For anyone who does think of daisies as a weed, I hope these macro photos show the true beauty of them! Bees also collect pollen from Daisies in the early months … Continue reading Daisy photography
I absolutely love watching and photographing the birds in my garden! to attract them I put a range of feeders and nest boxes up around my garden! Seed mixNyger seedFat ballsPeanuts To attract different birds, I provide a range of bird food. Seed mix for tit species, Dunnocks and finches. Fat balls for Robins, sparrows … Continue reading My garden bird setup
For my volunteering section of the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, I wanted to do something to do with nature or wildlife! I was told about Plantlife by a friend, I looked into the charity further and knew it was definitely something I wanted to get involved with. Conserving wild plants and learning more about … Continue reading Plantlife
I first visited Elmley in 2016 with my Grandparents, it’s very near their house in Kent! It is probably one of my favourite reserves for nature and wildlife photography. Elmley is a 3,300 acre estate not far away from North Kent. It is a freshwater grazing marsh wetland where large numbers of waders, lapwings and … Continue reading Elmley Nature Reserve
In my garden I get lots of wildlife! One of my favourites is the pair of grey squirrels that feed off the fallen bird food! The pair visits daily hiding peanuts around the garden and collecting nesting material. Yesterday I put up my hide next to the feeding station! Within minutes a squirrel came to … Continue reading Grey squirrels
I bought my camera case from Amazon for £40. In the front pocket I keep all of my books, cleaning kit and chargers and in the back pocket my laptop. In the middle I keep all of my camera equipment. Such as: my three lenses, lens hoods, lens ball and batteries. On the side I … Continue reading What’s in my camera bag?
Due to Covid-19 most of us are in quarantine or lockdown. Here are some nature activities to keep you connected to nature and occupied! MAKE A BUG HOUSE: to make a bug house or hotel you will need a range of materials. Such as: bricks, flower pots, bamboo sticks, dried grass cuttings, tubes, logs, pipes, … Continue reading 8 nature things to do in quarantine
Today my family went on a long walk around our local woodland to combat the quarantine blues. We saw lots of wildflowers, including: wood anemone, red campion, greater stitchwort and primroses! We also heard many birds, some of my favourites were: green woodpeckers, chiffchaff, blackbird and goldcrests. In the evening, we cooked our dinner (jacket … Continue reading Woodland walks
I have a particular interest in photographing birds. Every minute of my spare time I am out watching the birds in my garden! I take part in the BTO Big garden bird watch and record my sightings! In my garden we have lots of different birds, such as: Nuthatches, Marsh tits, Greater spotted woodpeckers, Goldfinches, … Continue reading Garden Birds
Thanks for joining me! I am a 14 year old wildlife photographer with a passion for nature! I live on a farm in the South West of the UK. I have a particular interest in birds, butterflies and bees! Watching and photographing the birds in my garden daily, spotting different butterflies around the farm and … Continue reading My photography