Duke of Burgundy

Name: Duke of Burgundy Place: Gait Barrow Date: 14th May 2017 Time: 11.00am – 5.00pm Weather: Sunny We went in search of the Duke of Burgundy butterfly at Gait Barrow in Lancashire. Again due to lack of coppicing nowadays their numbers have seriously declined, so much so that areas are cordoned off at Gait Barrow to protect this…

Slow Worm

Name: Slow Worm Place: Gait Barrow Date: 14th May 2017 Time: 4.00pm Weather: Sunny We found yet another slow worm underneath a piece of corrugated iron at Gait Barrow nature reserve in Lancashire. It is very clear that this one has lost his tail, possibly very recently to a predator. I can not get enough of these docile…

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Name: Pearl-bordered Fritillary Place: Wyre Forest Date: 7th May 2017 Time: 1.00pm Weather: Sunny This is the earliest fritillary to appear from mid-April to July. Once a common woodland butterfly it has now seriously declined. This butterfly favoured widespread coppicing, but as this has now declined so has the pearl-bordered fritillary. This is my first view of a…

The Pallid Harrier and Short-eared Owl

Name: Pallid Harrier and Short-eared Owl Place: Forest of Bowland Date: 6th May 2017 Time: 5.00pm Weather: Cloudy and chilly Hearing that a pallid harrier had been spotted at the Forest of Bowland, we took an hour drive there followed by a very long, hilly walk. We got to the top out of breath, a little chilly but…

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,…