Black-necked grebe and Scaup

Westport Lake is a place I have visited for many, many years. Only a 5 minute drive from where I live in Staffordshire it offers a large lake with surrounding woodlands. It is home to mallard ducks, grebes, coots, moorhens and mute swans, but from time to time a rarer species is sometimes reported. On…

Hedgehog Encounter in School

Wildlife can turn up anywhere and work is no exception. I am very lucky to work as a Forest School leader in a Primary School, heightening my chances of seeing wildlife whilst at work. During an outdoor activity involving the use of fire steels and camp fires, our lesson was completely thrown out of the…

Red-backed Shrike

My first visit to The Spurn on the east coast was certainly not disappointing. A great place to visit during Autumn due to birds flying in on migration. It is no lie when I say the only people seen, not only on the nature reserves but walking through the streets too, were twitchers and birdwatchers….

The Smooth Snake

What I love the most about spring is the emergence of reptiles. Looking underneath stones, pieces of wood and discarded carpet is one of my favourite past times; I can liken it to opening a present on Christmas day as a child and anticipating what could be inside. Many only deliver hoards of ants scrambling…

Adonis Blue Butterfly

Wildlife field guides are great for identifying species out in the field. But sometimes seeing an animal in the flesh is a lot different to how it appears in a book. It may be smaller or more vibrant in colour than expected. I was wondering how easy it would be to distinguish an adonis blue…

The Clouded Yellow Butterfly

Pursuing butterflies is truly magical. A woodland ride is brought to life by their presence; they are the fairies of the forest. A woodland is cloaked in gloom on a cloudy day, then a shimmer of light breaks through highlighting everything missed in the darkness and the forest slowly comes to life. However, the truly…

Fossil Hunting

Visiting the Jurassic Coast has been on my to do list for quite some time. We visited the area of Charmouth in Dorset. A complete beginner I wasn’t sure how easy it was going to be to find a fossil. We checked for low tide times; between 1pm and 5pm and set out on our…

The Brown Hairstreak

For a long time the brown hairstreak has eluded us. We have visited Grafton Wood on a few occasions but either the weather was overcast or it was too early or late in the year. We just kept on missing these perfect opportunities. During our trip around Ireland in the Summer we had heard of…

The Pine Marten

Visiting nature reserves it is always worth having a chat with the ranger on duty to find out what’s about. Woodlands are my favourite habitat; lush green and teeming with frogs Dromore in Ireland is my favourite. We were quite pleased when the ranger on duty nonchalantly told us that pine martens had been seen…

The Natterjack Toad

The Natterjack Toad is a protected species and conservation efforts have hopefully secured the future of this rare amphibian. Found mainly in sand dunes and heathlands their loud calls can be heard quite clearly on warm,damp evenings during the breeding season. We took a trip to Lough Gill in Ireland one evening in the hope…

Puffins on Skellig Michael

I love the adventures that go hand in hand with wildlife watching. This is something that can never be achieved by viewing animals in a zoo. The story that accompanies my first viewing of the puffin is one of the most memorable ones for me and is proof that wildlife watching is not always easy….

The High Brown Fritillary

When it comes to identifying Britain’s butterflies this is still something of a learning curve for me. In the early days identifying butterflies was fairly easy as at this time I was only aware of the red admiral, small tortoiseshell and large white which all have not the slightest resemblance to one other. As my…