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…

Caught on Camera

Heading to a woodland in Staffordshire one evening we were hoping to see badgers. We have seen badgers in this particular woodland before as well as fresh signs of badgers including numerous dens. We stood quietly by a tree at dusk but as the evening drew in we realised we would have to give up…

The Purple Emperor

Name: Purple Emperor Butterfly Place: Fermyn Woods Date: 24th/25th June 2017 Weather: Sunny Seeing this butterfly for the first time in such pristine condition made me realise what all the hype is about. We saw one last year but unfortunately it was on its last legs and slightly scruffy looking. Initially the purple emperor landed on…

Large Blue Butterfly

Name: Large Blue Butterfly Place: Collard Hill Date: 17th/18th June 2017 Time: 1.00pm Weather: Sunny and hot In hope of catching my first glimpse of a large blue butterfly, we headed to Collard Hill, a National Trust reserve in Glastonbury. Collard Hill was opened in 2002 on behalf of the Large Blue Partnership. After disappearing from the…

Froglets

Name: Common Frog Place: Wolseley Centre Date: 11th June 2017 Time: 4.30pm Weather: Cloudy After commenting on the fact that I never see as many frogs as I used to, my prayers were answered when an army of tiny froglets literally plagued the Wolseley Centre one evening on migration to the pond. There were hundreds upon hundreds and…

Turtle Dove

Name: Turtle Dove Place: RSPB Otmoor Date: 4th June 2017 Time: 3.00pm Weather: Cloudy Wow! How lucky are we to finally see a turtle dove. It is a bird we have wanted to see for a very long time and a visit to RSPB Otmoor gave us some very lovely views. Turtle dove numbers are rapidly declining so…

The Sand Lizard

Name: Sand Lizard Place: RSPB Arne Date: 31st May/2nd June 2017 Time: 6.00pm Weather: Sunny We have seen almost all of the British reptiles, so heading to RSPB Arne where all 6 native reptiles live, we were hoping to catch glimpses of both the sand lizard and smooth snake. A lot of our time was dedicated to the…

Marsh Fritillary

Name: Marsh Fritillary Place: Powerstock Common Date: 30th May 2017 Time: 11.00am Weather: Sunny/Cloudy Look at the detail on this butterfly. It amazes me how intricate the patterns on each butterfly is and the marsh fritillary is one of my absolute favourites in the world of British butterflies…

Grizzled Skipper

Name: Grizzled Skipper Place: Powerstock Common Date: 30th May 2017 Time: 6.00pm Weather: Sunny/Cloudy The grizzled skipper is a butterfly that has always eluded us. We spent all day at Powerstock Common. We found plenty of slow worms but no skippers. A lot of wildlife watchers say that things turn up just as you are about to give…