Category Archives: News

Latest trends in butterfly indicators revealed

Male Orange Tip Butterfly by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 3 April 2017

Male Orange Tip Butterfly by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 3 April 2017

Though better than the previous year, 2017 was a relatively poor year for butterflies; attributable to periods of poor weather during the spring and summer and preceding winter months.

In the UK, since 1976, the habitat specialists butterflies index has fallen by 77%, whilst wider countryside abundance is down by 46%.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Butterfly Conservation – Latest trends in butterfly indicators revealed

Where have all our insects gone?

When Simon Leather was a student in the 1970s, he took a summer job as a postman and delivered mail to the villages of Kirk Hammerton and Green Hammerton in North Yorkshire. He recalls his early morning walks through its lanes, past the porches of houses on his round. At virtually every home, he saw the same picture: windows plastered with tiger moths that had been attracted by lights the previous night and were still clinging to the glass. “It was quite a sight,” says Leather, who is now a professor of entomology at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Where have all our insects gone? | Environment | The Guardian

Lyme Disease vaccine set to become available soon

In an exciting announcement, French drug manufacturer Valneva has announced that they’ve successfully completed their first-ever human trial of a vaccine against the disease. The vaccine, which is reportedly up to 96% effective, might soon be available in the UK and US at a “reasonably low” price.

Source: Lyme Disease vaccine set to become available soon, as first trials successfully passed

Why we should care about the vanishing of the swifts

It is the most miraculous bird, the ultimate winged messenger, exploring our globe, spending its life on the breeze. Sickle-shaped wings silhouetted against the sky, the swift is the fastest of all birds in level flight and remains entirely airborne for 10 months, or more, feeding, sleeping and mating on the wing. These long-lived creatures can clock up 4 million miles, commuting between English summers and African winters.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Why we should care about the vanishing of the swifts | Patrick Barkham | Opinion | The Guardian

Vision in Birds

Osprey ©Peter Hassett Everglades, florida 26 February 2011

Osprey ©Peter Hassett Everglades, florida 26 February 2011

Vision has a strong influence on animal behaviour and survival. Vision expert Graham Martin explains how exactly birds see the world around them

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Drowning, a mysterious cause of death amongst  young starlings

Drowning has emerged as a mysterious cause of death amongst groups of young common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), according to research by a team of scientists led by international conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Drowning has emerged as a mysterious cause of death amongst groups of young common starlings

New Nature Magazine June 2018 published

New Nature Magazine June 2018

New Nature Magazine June 2018

New Nature is the only natural history magazine written, edited and produced entirely by young people: by young ecologists, conservationists, communicators, nature writers and wildlife photographers each boasting an undying passion for the natural world. It is intended, foremost, as a celebration of nature, but also of the young people giving their time, freely, to protect it.

Click here to download the magazine

Ravens and crows may be just as clever as chimps

A new study suggests that ravens can be as clever as chimpanzees, despite having much smaller brains, indicating that rather than the size of the brain, the neuronal density and the structure of the birds’ brains play an important role in terms of their intelligence.

Source: Despite their small brains, ravens and crows may be just as clever as chimps, research suggests: Study shows how these birds parallel great apes in motor self-regulation — ScienceDaily

Bat Roost Count

Do you know of a bat roost near you, or do you have bats roosting on your property?

Help us monitor how different bat species are faring across the UK by taking part in the Roost Count. All you need to do is to count bats emerging from the roosts on two or more evenings during the summer.

Click on the link for more information: Roost Count – Bat Conservation Trust

Heartwood’s wildlife numbers double

Over six years more than 40 dedicated volunteers have been monitoring the wildlife at Heartwood Forest – a newly planted woodland near St Albans. Their results show how, since planting half a million trees, some wildlife numbers have more than doubled, and new species have begun moving to the site.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Heartwood’s wildlife numbers double – Woodland Trust

headstarting – Project Godwit

We are almost half way through the wader breeding season and what a rollercoaster it has been. We started on some highs, with the return of Mark Whiffin as our Senior Researcher on the ground who was joined by Helen Jones, new to Project Godwit but not to wader research. The reserve team at RSPB Nene Washes had been very busy getting the habitat ready and the predator fences erected. So with the research team in place and the reserve looking fantastic, the godwits started to return and just as the first ones were about to start laying eggs, a huge amount of rain combined with high tides and the whole reserve went under water. This was a massive low point for everyone.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: headstarting – Project Godwit

Vegetative guide to orchids of the British Isles

Green-winged Orchid ©Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe, 30 May 2018

Green-winged Orchid ©Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe, 30 May 2018

An aid to identifying 39 orchid species when they are not in flower was produced by ID Trainer For The Future Mike Waller. It’s available to download from the Natural History Museum website.

Click here to download the guide.

Marsh Tit Species Focus

Marsh Tit by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 16 February 2017

Marsh Tit by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 16 February 2017

Do you know why Marsh Tits are in decline, their typical lifespan or how many gardens they are recorded in? Find out in this article from the BTO quarterly magazine,

Click here to download the article

Swift Awareness Week, 16-23 June 2018

This summer, Britain will become the first country in the world to dedicate a national week in support of Swifts.

Swift Awareness Week will run from 16 – 23 June. There will be events and publicity all around the country, organised by dozens of local Swift groups. These events aim to raise awareness of Swifts and bring a focus to their plight, and of course provide information about how to help them. The Swift is one of the few endangered species that individuals really can help in their own property and there are many groups across the country working hard to try to halt their dramatic decline of 50% in just 20 years.

Source: Action for Swifts: 2018 UK Swift Awareness Week, 16-23 June

Australian magpies understand other bird calls

Australian magpies can understand what other birds are saying to each other, a new study has found.

The research, published in the journal Animal Behaviour, says the wily magpie has learned the meanings of different noisy miner calls and essentially eavesdrops to find out which predators are near.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Australian magpies can understand other bird calls, study finds | Environment | The Guardian

Butterfly Walk – Salcey Forest 23 June 2018

Third place, Wood White ©Paul Lund, Bucknell Wood, 8 July 2017

Wood White ©Paul Lund, Bucknell Wood, 8 July 2017

Woodland Wings will be hosting a butterfly walk in Salcey Forest

Salcey Forest. (SP801509, ‘horsebox’ car park, Nearest Postcode: NN7 2HA) Saturday 23rd June, 10:30am

Join butterfly expert Doug Goddard to learn about and look for woodland butterflies, with target species including Wood White and the rare Black Hairstreak. Parking is limited so please let us know if you are planning on coming.

Use the following links to find out more information:

Woodland Wings Events 2018
Download the Woodland Wings Project Overview

Operation Turtle Dove

Turtle doves are ecologically unique, being Europe’s only long distance migratory dove. They spend just a third of the year on their breeding grounds in Europe and spend the winter on their non-breeding grounds in sub-Saharan West Africa. There are four main factors associated with the decline of turtle doves. These include the loss of […]

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Why are turtle doves in trouble? – Operation Turtle Dove

Does garden feeding shape populations?

Our understanding of the impact of feeding wild birds is far from complete, but we are beginning to unravel the effects of providing foods at garden feeding stations. An important area of research has been to examine how supplementary foods shape populations through its impacts in individuals.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Does garden feeding shape populations? | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology

RSPBNBLG Walk – 17 June 2018 Floodplain Forest NR

RSPB logoThe RSPB North Bucks Local Group are leading a field trip:

Location: Meet at Haversham Road car park (free) near Ouse railway viaduct

SP 816 421

A second visit to this newly created Parks Trust reserve. From the three hides we should see young waders and plenty of dragonflies.

Leader : Pete How

Time: 10 am to 12.30 pm

Price: Free

Find out more about this premiere birding site on our Wildlife Sites page.

See the RSPB North Bucks Local Group website for more information

MKNHS is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. You should check details of any events listed on external sites with the organisers.

Preventing disease at bird feeders

Bullfinch on feeder ©Peter Hassett, Summer Leys 14 January 2017

Bullfinch on feeder ©Peter Hassett, Summer Leys 14 January 2017

If you feed your backyard birds or know someone who does check out our new brochure on “Strategies to prevent and control bird-feeder associated diseases and threats”. Help spread the info and help prevent disease and threats to birds.

Click here to download the guide.

National Moth Night – Bucknell Wood 16 June 2018

MKNHS members mothing at Linford Lakes NR by Julie Lane9 July2016

MKNHS members mothing at Linford Lakes NR by Julie Lane, 9 July2016

As part of National Moth Night, Woodland Wings will be hosting an event at Bucknell Wood. (SP660451, Nearest Postcode: NN12 8TW)

  • Saturday 16th June, 8:30pm  (bat walk at approx. 9pm)
  • Sunday 17th June, 8am

As part of National Moth night the moth group will be inviting members of the public to join them to see what species are caught in their moth traps. Join us for the evening to see the traps getting set up, then go on a bat walk whilst we wait for some moths to get trapped. In the morning a light breakfast will be provided whilst we identify and show you what moths were caught overnight. Pick and choose whether you would like to join us for the whole event or just the evening or morning, but please let us know if you are coming.

Use the following links to find out more information:

Woodland Wings Events 2018
Download the Woodland Wings Project Overview

30 Days Wild

Can you do something wild every day throughout June? That’s 30 simple, fun and exciting Random Acts of Wildness.

We’re giving you a free pack of goodies to help you plan your wild month, plus lots of ideas from your Wildlife Trust to inspire you to stay wild all throughout June (and beyond!). You’ll also get inspiring emails from your Wildlife Trust, invites to exclusive events and a chance to join in on social media.

Click on the link for more information: 30 Days Wild | The Wildlife Trusts

Corncrakes may have bred on Rathlin Island

RSPB staff and volunteers heard the unmistakeable call of the corncrake on Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland during the last weekend of April.

Although this species has been heard on the island before, the timing is much earlier than usual and has prompted hopes that this is the offspring of previously heard birds.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Where are all our Swifts?

BirTrack chart of Swift migration 2018

BirTrack chart of Swift migration 2018

Data from @BirdTrack show the delay in Swift arrivals this spring. There’s still time for them to arrive but it is getting late.

You can read the BirdTrack April 2018 migration update here.

Thanks go to Sue and Andrew Hetherington for drawing my attention to BirdTrack;’s tweet.

Hydrotherapy helps a hedgehog to recover

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In November 2017, a hedgehog that was unable to move its hind legs came into the care of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

A vet at the Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre recommended physiotherapy to help the hedgehog regain its strength, but this presented the centre with an interesting dilemma.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Big Half Term Hedgehog Watch 2018

The hedgehog is rapidly disappearing from Britain. This half term week we need you to help us find out why. Hedgehogs are thought to have declined by around a third over the past 10 years, and the reasons for the decline remain largely unknown. To help solve the mystery we would like you to record when and where you see hedgehogs …

Click on the link for more information: Big Half Term Hedgehog Watch 2018 – The Mammal Society

Cooperation across the flyway for turtle doves

Yesterday (24 May 2018) a much-needed action plan was launched to save our most rapidly declining migratory bird: the turtle dove. The RSPB has worked for three years to get wide support for this plan and I am delighted to host this blog from my colleagues, Joscelyn Ashpole, Ian Fisher and Carles Carboneras, to say more.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Good news for a Friday: cooperation across the flyway for turtle doves – Martin Harper’s blog – Our work – The RSPB Community

GDT nature photographer of the year 2018

Click here to view the photos: GDT nature photographer of the year 2018 – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

Aylesbury Peregrine Project Watch Day 31 August 2018

Event details

Thu, 31/05/2018 – 10:00am2:00pm

Join us at our Peregrine Watch Day. We will be located near the Clock Tower, Market Square with our telescopes to show you these magnificent birds and their chick.

Venue location

Market Square, Aylesbury,
Aylesbury ,
Buckinghamshire ,
HP20 1TW

Click here to see the organiser’s web site.

Meadows and the Agriculture Bill

Ancient meadows have quietly disappeared from under our feet. Without the roar of chainsaws or the sound of mighty oaks crashing to the ground, sites with undisturbed floral histories going back generations can be lost in a single afternoon. Since the 1930s, over 97% of our meadows – a staggering 7.5 million acres – have been ploughed, ‘improved’ or built on. This is a key driver in the higher-profile declines of pollinators and birds – and a loss to us all.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Colouring our countryside: meadows and the Agriculture Bill

RSPBNBLG Walk – 6 June 2018 Calvert Jubilee & Gallows Bridge Farm

RSPB logoThe RSPB North Bucks Local Group are leading a field trip:

Location: Meet: roadside car park (tiny—please car-share if possible) 300m N of Calvert X-roads: SP 681 250. Short walk, but uneven in places.

CALVERT JUBILEE RESERVE & GALLOWS BRIDGE FARM, BUCKS
Two BBOWT reserves. Calvert, a former clay-pit, has “chalkland” butterflies like green hairstreak, dingy and grizzled skippers. Scrub holds many warblers, incl. possibly nightingale. Three miles on, Gallows Bridge Farm, part of the important Upper Ray Meadows, has breeding curlew.

Leader: Chris Coppock

All welcome

Time: 10 am to 1 pm

Price: Free

See the RSPB North Bucks Local Group website for more information

MKNHS is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. You should check details of any events listed on external sites with the organisers.

Kew Gardens’ Temperate House restored – in pictures

Click here for more information: Kew Gardens’ Temperate House restored – in pictures | Science | The Guardian

Waterbirds in the UK – Summary report 2016-17

Teal ©Peter Hassett, Willen 25 January 2018

Teal ©Peter Hassett, Willen 25 January 2018

Waterbirds in the UK presents the results of the annual WeBS report, with digital PDF copies of current and past editions available below. It provides a single, comprehensive source of information on the current status and distribution of waterbirds in the UK for those interested in the conservation of the populations of these species and the wetland sites they use.

Click on the link for more information: Waterbirds in the UK – Summary report | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology

Celebrate World Bee Day 20 May 2018

Hairy-footed flower bee ©Julie Lane, Olney 2 May 2018

Hairy-footed flower bee ©Julie Lane, Olney 2 May 2018

Slovenia proposed that the United Nations (UN) proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day. On 20 December 2017, following three years of efforts at the international level, the UN Member States unanimously approved Slovenia’s proposal, thus proclaiming 20 May as World Bee Day.

The purpose of the www.worldbeeday.org website is to present the initiative and its implementation, raise awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping, inform the public of major beekeeping events around the world and celebrate World Bee Day.

Click here for more information: Welcome – Celebrate World Bee Day

Record your Red Admiral sightings

Red Admiral by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe Park 22nd September 2016

Red Admiral by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe Park 22nd September 2016

Have you seen a Red Admiral? Please record it!

The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) is a migratory butterfly colonising Central and Northern Europe every year from the South. In autumn, the offspring of these spring arrivals migrate southwards.

We investigate the migration of the Red Admiral by the help of citizen science. Thanks to the more than 40 citizen science portals across Europe that share their data with us, we are now able to study Red Admiral occurrence in an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution.

Click on the link for more information: Red Admiral migration | Insect Migration & Ecology Lab

Rutland Osprey record year

 

Osprey ©Peter Hassett Everglades, florida 26 February 2011

Osprey ©Peter Hassett Everglades, florida 26 February 2011

Rutland Osprey Project has reported that Maya (a female osprey) and her mate (known as 33 after his ring number), have successfully incubated a trio of eggs that began hatching during the early May Bank Holiday weekend.

This is the earliest recorded date of osprey eggs hatching at Rutland Water, and follows the earliest return date and egg laying of UK ospreys when Maya was spotted at her nest on 12 March, five days before the previous earliest return date on record.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Save Salcey Forest Treetop Walk

Salcey Forest Treetop Walk is being closed, apparently due to neglect it has now become too dangerous to use.

The treetop walk is a large part of our community and hundreds of visitors, families and walkers will now be missing the opportunity to visit the forest for this fantastic addition to Northamptonshires countryside. We would like to urge the Forestry Commission to undertake the relevant repairs required in order to keep this well-loved attraction open.

Source: Petition · Please stop the closure of the Treetop Walk · Change.org

Upper Thames Wader Project

The Upper Thames area is important for its wet grassland and flower-rich meadows, and has historically supported large populations of breeding waders such as curlews, lapwings, snipe and redshank.
However, surveys in 1994, 1997 and 2005 showed that all four species had suffered significant declines. The project sets out to reverse this decline.
The project area supports large numbers of lowland curlew and lapwing, as well as wildlife such as brown hairstreak and turtle dove. In the face of pressures on habitat, flood risk and climate change, farmers, conservationists and local communities are working together to give nature a home across this landscape.

Source: Upper Thames Wader Birds Conservation Project – The RSPB

Why butterflies matter

Silver-washed-Fritillary by Julian Lambley Bernwood Butterfly trail 24June 2017

Silver-washed-Fritillary by Julian Lambley Bernwood Butterfly trail 24June 2017

Butterflies conjure up images of sunshine, the warmth and colour of flowery meadows, and summer gardens teaming with life. Moths are one of the most diverse group of insects on earth, ranging from spectacular Hawk-moths to small, intricately patterned Footman moths.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Butterfly Conservation – Why butterflies matter