The Night Heron

Name: Night Heron Place: Dingle Gardens, Shrewsbury Date: 1st May 2017 Time: 11.00am Weather: Cloudy with breaks of sun The Night Heron is a rare visitor to the UK. We were very excited when we heard that one had been spotted at Venus Pools, a nature reserve in Shrewsbury. This seemed like the perfect habitat for a rare bird, unlike…

The Reptile Diaries: ‘Dance of the Adders’

Name: Adder Place: Wyre Forest Date: 30th April 2017 Time: 2.30pm Weather: Cloudy Wyre Forest has become our favourite location for seeing adders. This day in particular did not disappoint. Already feeling blessed to even catch a glimpse of an adder, within minutes of arriving today we were able to witness the very rare sight of two male adders in…

The Reptile Diaries: Adders at Wyre Forest

Name: Adder Place: Wyre Forest Date: 23rd April 2017 Time: 1.00pm Weather: Cloudy with breaks of sunshine. After watching a clip about a lady, Sylvia Sheldon, who surveys adders in the Wyre Forest, we went in search of some. Like Cannock Chase, the Wyre Forest is a vast area of bracken, heathland and woodland. On a hunch, we visited…

The Reptile Diaries: Grass Snake at Kinver Edge

Name: Grass Snake Place: Kinver Edge Date: 22nd April 2017 Time: 3.00pm Weather: Sunny and warm Walking through a habitat which I thought was perfect for adders, I was surprised to see a grass snake! The good thing about experiencing nature yourself is that you learn things that you may not learn through books. For example, I was always led to…

Lesser Whitethroat

Name: Lesser Whitethroat Place: RSPB Middleton Lakes Date: 2oth April 2017 Time: 6.00pm Weather: Cloudy We spotted this lesser whitethroat at Middleton Lakes, a lovely RSPB reserve in Tamworth. Smaller than its cousin, the whitethroat. This bird is hard to spot but its harsh, rattling song gives it away.    

Reptile Diaries: The Slow Worm

Name: Slow Worm Place: RSPB Ynys-Hir Date: 17th April 2017 Time: 3.00pm Weather: Cloudy Oh my goodness, where do I begin my story about the slow worm. I have wanted to see one of these legless lizards for quite some time. Days have been spent looking on embankments on sunny days. Everyone seemed to have seen a slow worm except…

The Pied Flycatcher

Name: Pied Flycatcher Place: RSPB Ynys-Hir Date: 17th April 2017 Time: 1.00pm Weather: Cloudy Could not resist featuring this very chirpy chappy on my wildlife blog. This summer visitor, the pied flycatcher, was singing his heart out…

The Reptile Diaries: Close encounters with Grass Snakes

People very often get the wrong impression of snakes. From my experience, some can be the most docile creatures I have ever encountered. The gentle grass snake, found here in Britain, is one of those. After watching Chris Packham, on numerous occasions, picking up grass snakes in the wild and talking so passionately about them,…

The Unfortunate Damselflies

During a visit to RSPB Ynys-Hir in Wales, we were excited to see our first views of the year of damselflies. Unfortunately, this was very short lived. A hungry chaffinch ended this hypnotic show, snatching them out of the air as they flew elegantly by. Oh well, that is nature I suppose. Now you see…

The Reptile Diaries: How to spot a grass snake

When: Grass snakes emerge from hibernation in March returning again in October. Early to mid-morning on a warm, sunny day although I have seen them late afternoon as well. A sunny day that has followed a sunny day is always a good time. Where: Wetland with adjacent, open, drier habitats. Ponds (where they hunt their prey)…

The Ring Ouzel

Name: Ring Ouzel Place: Bignall Hill, Red Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme Date: 14th April 2017 Time: 4.00pm Weather: Cloudy with a few showers Ring ouzel were spotted last year at Bignall Hill, our local patch, so we were hopeful they would be back. They did not disappoint. Quite a distance away, but that white collar is unmistakable…

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Name: Lesser spotted woodpecker Place: Marbury Country Park Date: 13th April 2017 Time: 1.30pm Weather: Cloudy We visited Marbury Country Park in hope of seeing a lesser spotted woodpecker. Lesser spotted woodpecker numbers are declining due to loss of nesting sights. These are usually taken by the greater spotted woodpecker or the ring-necked parakeet in London. Marbury Country Park is…