Category Archives: News

British bees on Flickr

Tree Bumblebee by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe 24 February 2017

Tree Bumblebee by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe 24 February 2017

Steven Falk has produced an identification resource for British bees

Welcome to the BRITISH BEES ON FLICKR site. This collection attempts to cover EVERY species of bee on the British and Irish list (including the Channel Islands) acting as a virtual field experience and virtual museum collection. It is designed to complement the Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland. Special thanks are due to the Natural History Museum, London and the Oxford University Museum for allowing me to photograph specimens that were lacking in my own collection and to other photographers for allowing me to host their images.

Click here for more information.

UK government backs creation of Antarctic wildlife reserve

The UK government has thrown its weight behind the creation of the world’s biggest environmental sanctuary, covering a huge swathe of the Antarctic ocean.

The massive 1.8m sq km reserve – five times the size of Germany – would ban all fishing in a vast area of the Weddell Sea and parts of the Antarctic peninsula, safeguarding species including penguins, killer whales, leopard seals and blue whales.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: UK government backs creation of Antarctic wildlife reserve | Environment | The Guardian

Microclimate refugia

Climate change presents both risks and opportunities for UK wildlife, with often more predicted winners than losers, especially amongst insects. Species most at risk are those adapted to cooler, damper conditions, and they often occur in northern, western and upland habitats in Britain. There is already much evidence of the northwards and upslope range retractions of butterflies and moths here and elsewhere in the world.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Microclimate refugia

How flexible can birds be with feather moult?

New BTO research uses information collected by bird ringers to investigate large-scale differences and flexibility in the timing of feather moult across 15 passerine species that breed in the UK. Different moult strategies were found between migrant and resident species, alongside within-species regional variation in moulting schedules.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: How flexible can birds be with feather moult? | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology

Half the World’s Orcas Could Soon Disappear

They live in chatty groups, and can hunt in teams—sometimes working in tandem to create waves that dump unlucky prey off floating ice. Savvy orcas, with their splotchy two-tone flesh and rich family lives, have survived mass slaughter, being captured with nets and lassos, and being trucked and airlifted to marine theme parks.

But new research published Thursday in the journal Science suggests more than half of the world’s killer whale populations could face complete collapse in 30 to 50 years, thanks to a suite of toxic chemicals the world has already banned.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Half the World’s Orcas Could Soon Disappear Thanks to PCB Pollution

The Square Metre Project

Since September 2003 the author has been making a minimum intervention study of a square metre of land and the immediate surrounding area in his garden in the East Sussex Weald at Sedlescombe near Hastings, UK. By April 2016 over 1000 species of plants and animals (none of which has been deliberately introduced) had been recorded and the area featured on many TV and radio shows including Spring Watch, and The One Show.

Click here for more information: The Square Metre at TQ 78286 18846

Open Sunday at Linford Lakes NR 21 October 2018

Linford Lakes Nature Reserve visitors enjoying an Open Sunday

Linford Lakes Nature Reserve visitors enjoying an Open Sunday

Open Sunday at Linford Lakes NR 21 October 2018 10:00-16:00hrs.10 – 16:00 hrs

Tea and coffee, home-made cakes available.
Second-hand books on sale as well as crafts and bird seed.
Great views through the new windows and balcony.
It’s the time of year that migrants will be visiting our reserve so come and see which new arrivals have flown in to stock up prior to their long flight. Bring friends and family.

Also, Andy Harding, the County Bird Recorder, will be recording his monthly wildfowl count this morning. He is willing to take a group along to the hides and will help with identifying ducks and other birds. Please meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Centre.

Today we have a second visit this year from local Opticron Rep (Sarah), who will demonstrate some of their products. Bins, scopes and magnifiers will be available to buy. Sarah will also undertake some routine maintenance of Opticron products, so bring your bins along.

eDNA sampling for fish

On 22nd July 2018, we attended the Wicken Fen edition of Chris Packham’s 2018 BioBlitz. This was our first BioBlitz experience and also the first time we had worked with volunteers to collect water samples…

After the talk we headed out with a group of six volunteers to collect some samples from the fenland waterways known as ‘lodes’. The volunteers quickly got the hang of using the kits to filter the water and then added the preservative solution to the samples so that the DNA would be stabilised for transport to the lab. It took about 15 minutes to collect each sample.

Back in the lab, we extracted the DNA from the filters and ran our Fish eDNA Metabarcoding analysis to generate a species-by-sample table. This involves making millions of copies of the fish DNA in a process called PCR, and then sequencing it on a high-throughput DNA sequencer machine.

Click here to read the results: Wicken Fen BioBlitz – Nature Metrics

Tiny mite could prove a ‘mighty’ weapon in the fight against one of the UK’s most invasive weeds

CABI scientists are stepping up the fight against one of the UK’s most invasive non-native aquatic weeds. Approval has been given for the release of a novel biological control agent – the mite, Acu…

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Tiny mite could prove a ‘mighty’ weapon in the fight against one of the UK’s most invasive weeds – The Invasives Blog

Surviving plants and insects are tougher than we think

Red-tailed bumblebees such as this one feed on different wildflower plants, making them less vulnerable to the loss of individual species Picture: John Redhead

Insect pollinators that have survived the impacts of agricultural intensification may have a greater ability to resist future environmental changes than previously thought, a new study has

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Surviving plants and insects are tougher than we think | Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Talk – Wildlife West of Milton Keynes 24 October 2018

Poster for Mick Jones talk

Poster for Mick Jones talk

Dear Friends of Stony Stratford Library,
The next FoSSL talk at the Library will be given at 7 p.m. on Wednesday 24 October by Mick Jones. His subject will be ‘Wildlife West of Milton Keynes: Threats and Opportunities’.
Aylesbury Vale has traditionally been thought of as a wildlife desert, and the countryside to the west of Milton Keynes has relatively few areas designated as important for biodiversity. However, there is still a surprising amount of wildlife interest as well as some local specialities. We need to remind ourselves of this as pressure on the area intensifies with the expansion of Milton Keynes, the East-West Rail and Oxford-Cambridge Expressway projects, and the associated proposals for new settlements. Do we know what we want to conserve and are we being active enough to achieve this?
Mick Jones MBE has been volunteer warden at the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust nature reserve at Dancers End, Tring for the past 36 years. During that time the reserve has grown from 78 acres to the current 211 acres, making it the oldest and largest of BBOWT’s reserves in Buckinghamshire. Mick’s interests have developed from birds and plants, through fungi and butterflies, to slime moulds, plant galls, moths and beetles. Now living in Mursley, north Bucks, he takes a special interest in the Whaddon Chase Biodiversity Opportunity Area and in conservation issues raised by the re-opening of the east-west rail line and the planned Oxford-Cambridge Expressway.
Tickets for the talk will be available at the Library (tel. 01908-562562) from Wednesday 3 October. There is no charge for tickets, but FoSSL is grateful to accept donations to cover costs and to support activities at the Library.
As always, wine, fruit juice and home-made cake will be served after the talk.

Looking Out for the Small Things

Discovering and conserving the lower plants of the Lake District.

Atlantic woodlands are one of the richest and most treasured habitats found within the British Isles. These forested ecosystems are teaming with biodiversity and showcase some of the most exceptional examples of lichens, bryophytes and ferns the UK has to offer.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Plantlife :: Looking Out for the Small Things

Give local dormice a better home today

Urgent appeal on behalf of dormice in your local area

You may be surprised to know that the number of dormice has declined by more than a third since 2000 across many places in Britain. The damage to or complete loss of woodland and hedgerows and the decline of coppicing are all responsible for the decreasing populations of dormice.

We need to raise £40,000 by 23 November 2018 to cover the costs of all the activities we want to do this year and next, to improve woodland habitats in our three counties, for dormice and other woodland wildlife.

They need us!
We are asking you to give dormice a fighting chance of survival. A donation will help cover the costs of improving woodlands on our reserves to provide a suitable habitat for dormice and other woodland species to feed, breed, hibernate, and so survive.

How will your money help us?
Whatever you can give will help to give more protection to endangered dormice and other woodland species. Here are some examples of what your money could do:

  • restore important hedgerow habitats and connect fragments of woodland.
  • enable a volunteer group to undertake important coppicing work.
  • help us survey sites on our reserves to monitor the local population of dormice.

Watch a dormouse in action
Because dormice are so rare, shy and nocturnal you’re unlikely to see one in the wild and because they are a protected species they must only be touched by licensed handlers. Click on the video below to watch a dormouse in action.

Click here to donate.

Inland Waterways Association MK branch winter programme 2018-19

Inland Waterways Association MK branch, winter programme meetings from September 2018 to April 2019.  All take place at the Bletchley Royal British Legion, Melrose Avenue, MK3 6PU

A map is available at: https://www.waterways.org.uk/miltonkeynes/pdf/britishlegionhall-map

Thursday 20 September, 7.45pm
Vintage waterway videos, with David Tucker.

Thursday 18 October, 7.45pm
The Uttoxeter & Caldon Canals, talk by Steve Wood
Steve will tell us about the Caldon Canal and the plans that are afoot to re-open part of the Uttoxeter Canal near the head of navigation.

Thursday 15 November, 7.45pm
The Chesterfield Canal, talk by John Lower.
John will tell us about the history of the canal and the ongoing plans for full restoration.

Thursday 17 January, 7.45pm
The Shrewsbury & Newport Canals, with Brian Nelson.
Brian will tell us about the history of these canals and the features on them. He will outline the progress being made towards their restoration.

Thursday 21 February, 7.45pm
Branch Annual General Meeting, and
Canal Boatmen, their origins & development, talk by Roger Squires.

Thursday 21 March, 7.45pm
The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust, with Jane Hamilton (Trust Chairman).
Jane will update us the progress made so far and the plans for the near future. This project is very much in the news, over the refusal of the Local Authorities to incorporate a culvert for the waterway under the about-to-be-dualled A421.

Thursday 25 April, 7.45pm
The Manchester Ship Canal; a talk by Richard Thomas
Richard will examine the history, building, development and rise and fall of the largest man-made waterway in England.

If you would like more information please contact our Social Secretary: David Tucker, email david.tucker@waterways.org.uk

RSPBNBLG Walk – Wilstone Reservoir 20 October 2018

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

WILSTONE RESERVOIR, near Tring
Location: Meet in car park under reservoir dam off B489 Marsworth-Aston Clinton, SP
904 135. Space limited, car-share if possible.
(Sorry – No postcode – but the PE Mead Farm Shop just along from the car park has the following postcode : HP23 4NT – just after you pass the Farm Shop on your left you will reach the Wilstone Reservoir car park also on your left)

The biggest and best of four canal reservoirs. Good for wildfowl and
passage waders, though anything can turn up! One hide. No toilets but farm
shop/cafe nearby. Sadly not accessible for wheelchairs or those with limited
mobility.

Walk leader : Mike Bird

Time: 10 am to 1 pm

Price: Free event

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.

Botany Training Courses

Snake Head Fritillaries

The BSBI’s Training & Education Committee organises and supports events and resources for teaching botany. We also run the country’s most recognised qualification for botanical surveyors, the FISC.

On this page you can find out about botany courses and training grants available from the BSBI and other sources of grants for botanists.

Painted Lady butterfly migration

Painted Lady, Tattenhoe Park (9th August)

Painted Lady, Tattenhoe Park (9th August)

The Palearctic–African migratory circuit has been typically associated with birds. Very few insects are known to endure annual trans-Saharan circuits, but the Painted Lady butterfly ( Vanessa cardui ) is an exception. While it was demonstrated that this species massively migrates from Europe to the Afrotropics during the autumn, the existence of a reverse migration from the Afrotropics to Europe in the early spring remains hypothetical. Here, we analysed wing stable hydrogen isotope values (δ2H) of V. cardui migrants collected from February to April across the circum-Mediterranean region. We assessed their region of natal origin by comparing their wing isotope signature predicted δ2H values (isoscape). The results unambiguously demonstrate a sub-Saharan origin for many individuals, especially those collected in February, representing the first tangible evidence for a reverse northwards trans-Saharan migration in spring. This work supports the view that the Afrotropics (mostly exploited from September to February) is key in the V. cardui Palearctic–African population dynamics. This species relies on both temperate and tropical habitats to complete their multigenerational cycle, an unprecedented adaptation for butterflies and for most migratory insects. Such a migratory circuit has strong parallelisms with those of migratory birds.

Click here for more information.: Spring V. cardui trans-Saharan migration | Biology Letters

Tawny Owl Point Survey

Tawny Owl ©Julie Lane, Clun 5 May 2018

Tawny Owl ©Julie Lane, Clun 5 May 2018

This survey involves volunteers visiting random preselected tetrads (2x2km squares). In total there will over 6,000 tetrads available at the start of the survey, of which approximately 2650 were surveyed previously in 1989 and/or 2005. We want to survey as many of these as possible and depending on local interest expand this over the course of the survey. Check the tetrads available in your area and sign up to survey one.

Click on the link for more information: Tawny Owl Point Survey | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology

Autumn Canal Clean-up 12-13 October 2018

Join us for our Clean-up of the Grand Union Canal from Fenny Stratford to Leighton Buzzard.

This twice-yearly event is organised by IWA Milton Keynes Branch, sponsored by Wyvern Shipping Co Ltd and supported by Canal & River Trust and The Parks Trust. Everyone is welcome whether by boat or on foot. You can litter-pick from the towpath and hedges, or work aboard a boat to retrieve items from the canal or opposite bank. Hi-vis jackets, gloves and hard hats etc. are provided, but please bring your own safety footwear (steel-capped boots mandatory on workboats). Tea and coffee are provided, but please bring your own lunch. If you are under 18, you must be part of a supervised group. We look forward to seeing you!

Itinerary and Contact:

Friday 12 October, 09:30: Sign-in and Safety briefing, for 10:00 start at Fenny Stratford Lock, MK1 1BY. Lunch midday-ish. Finish at Globe Inn Linslade, LU7 2TA (Bridge 111).

Saturday 13 October, 09:30: Sign-in and Safety briefing for 10:00 start at the Globe Inn Linslade, LU7 2TA (Bridge 111). Finish at the Grove Lock pub, LU7 0QU (Lock 28) early afternoon.

For further information and to volunteer, please contact Pat Titmas at: pat.titmas@team.waterways.org.uk stating which day(s) you would like to attend, whether you are attending by boat or on foot, and which activity you would prefer.

Click here to download the poster for this event.

If you haven’t heard about the Clean Up before, please see:
https://www.waterways.org.uk/miltonkeynes/cleanups

Bucks Owl & Raptor Group Newsletter August 2018

Little Owls are really suffering in Bucks and across the country. Last winter saw us installing several new Little Owl boxes in the hope that they would encourage the owls to nest this year. Our aim is to further increase the number of boxes this year, so fingers crossed for 2019.

Click here to read the newsletter

National Plant Monitoring Scheme survey data (2015-2017)

This data resource provides plot-level plant occurrence data for the first three years (2015-2017) of the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (covering the UK, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man). Data consist of individual observations of plants, and other habitat characteristics, at the metre-scale; observations are accompanied by percentage cover information recorded according to the Domin frequency-abundance scale commonly used in plant community ecology. Other information provided includes the plot type (size, shape, according to the NPMS classification), the volunteer-recorded NPMS habitat, the date of sampling, and information regarding the spatial location of the plot. Information contained within the metadata file should allow users to reconstruct the sampling history (including gaps) of any plot that has been sampled within the NPMS scheme between 2015 and 2017.

Click here for more information.: National Plant Monitoring Scheme survey data (2015-2017) – Environmental Information Data Centre

Petition to Scrap the Forestry Commission Licence Agreements With Fox & Hare Hunts

Fox by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 11 November 2016

Fox by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 11 November 2016

The Forestry Commission licences ‘trail hunts’ (fox, beagle & harrier packs) to use public land with staff convicted under the Hunting Act 2004 & Protection of Badgers Act 1992. These should be scrapped. This shouldn’t apply to licenses agreed with Masters of Bloodhounds & Draghounds Association.

Source: Scrap The Forestry Commission Licence Agreements With Fox & Hare Hunts – Petitions

BBOWT launches legal challenge against  Oxford to Cambridge Expressway

Today, Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) and the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (BCNWT) have initiated a challenge to the process whereby Highways England and the Department for Transport selected ‘Corridor B’ for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and associated ‘Growth Corridor’ which could include up to one million new homes.¹

Click here for more information.: BBOWT launches legal challenge against government’s Oxford to Cambridge Expressway proposal | Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust

RSPBNBLG Walk – Summer Leys 3 October 2018

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

SUMMER LEYS NATURE RESERVE, Northamptonshire
Location: Meet in car park signed off Wollaston-Gt Doddington road, SP 885 634,
Please note Postcode NN29 7PT is nearest only – using this code in SatNav may not take you exactly to the site.
Postcode: NN29 7PT (Google map)

Wednesday 3 October 2018, 10.00 – 13.00 Leader: Pete How

SUMMER LEYS LOCAL NATURE RESERVE, NORTHANTS
Deservedly one of our favourite sites, and always something of interest.
Great white egrets are regular. Five hides. Paths level but some rough, and a
full circuit is two miles.

Walk leader : Pete How

Time: 10am to 1pm

Price: Free event

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.

RSPBNBLG Talk – A year on an RSPB Reserve 11 October 2018

RSPB logoThe RSPB North Bucks Local Group are hosting a talk:

A YEAR ON AN RSPB RESERVE – Ann Scott
Location: Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Alston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)

Ever wondered what it might be like to live on an RSPB Reserve?
Ann will make a return visit to our Group to tell us of her experience of living and working close to the RSPB Northward Hill Reserve in Kent. Northward Hill is a working farm (with cows and sheep) on a ridge overlooking the Thames Marshes with its resident marsh harriers. The surrounding scrubland is rich in nightingales and whitethroats and there’s also a bluebell wood a large rookery and a cherry orchard
While it was Ann’s husband who was the warden, Ann was very involved with the reserve and all the joys and surprises that brings … including how birds and nature can get into the home!!

Time: Doors open 7.15pm for a prompt 7.45pm start, ends at 10pm

Price: Group members £3, Non-group members £4, Children £1
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.

RSPB Open Data

Discover, analyze and download data from RSPB Open Data. Download in CSV, KML, Zip, GeoJSON, GeoTIFF or PNG. Find API links for GeoServices, WMS, and WFS. Analyze with charts and thematic maps. Take the next step and create storymaps and webmaps.

Click here for more information.: RSPB Open Data

Bucks Fungus Group – Stoke Common 7 October 2018

Bucks Fungus Group

On Sunday, October 7th we visit Stoke Common, always an interesting site – very different from our normal calcareous woodland walks boasting a range of species we don’t often see.

For further details go to www.bucksfungusgroup.org.uk/events.html

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.

New Nature Magazine September 2018 published

New Nature Magazine September 2018

New Nature Magazine September 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

The value of Floodplains

Floodplains occupy only 5% of the land area in the UK, yet deliver disproportionately for people in terms of flooding and nutrient retention. The lack of semi natural habitats and poor functionality in floodplains reduces our resilience to floods and drought, reduces the abundance of pollinating insects and natural pest control agents, and reduces the potential for carbon sequestration and water quality improvements.”

Click here for more information.: Natural Capital Synthesis Report Project – Clare Lawson | Valuing Nature Network

UK Fungus Day 6 October 2018

Fungus by Peter Hassett, Bow Brickhill 1 November 2014

Fungus by Peter Hassett, Bow Brickhill 1 November 2014

The British Mycological Society’s UK Fungus Day festivities will take place over the weekend of the 6th and 7th of October 2018.

Click here for more information.: UK Fungus Day 6 October 2018

The Buckinghamshire Fungus Group will have a display at Aylesbury Count Museum, more details on their website.

Winter birds event at Calvert Jubilee 13 January 2019

Waterfowl at Calvert Jubilee BBOWT Reserve by Peter Hassett 14 January 2018

Waterfowl at Calvert Jubilee BBOWT Reserve by Peter Hassett 14 January 2018

Time: 13:00 to 15:00

Come along and enjoy watching the comings and goings of migrating wildfowl in this quiet corner of Buckinghamshire.

Click here 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.

Five star September migrants to search for

September is one of the biggest months of the year for bird migration in the UK. Not only are hundreds of thousands of birds making their way past, over and through the UK, they’re arriving from all corners of the globe. To help you get ready for this magic month, I’ve picked out five star September species to look for, with a few tips on how to find them. Good luck!

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Five star September migrants to search for – Natures Home magazine uncovered – Our work – The RSPB Community

RSPBNBLG Walk – Summer Leys 3 October 2018

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

SUMMER LEYS NATURE RESERVE, Northamptonshire
Location: Meet in car park signed off Wollaston-Gt Doddington road, SP 885 634,
Please note Postcode NN29 7PT is nearest only – using this code in SatNav may not take you exactly to the site.
Postcode: NN29 7PT (Google map)

Wednesday 3 October 2018, 10.00 – 13.00 Leader: Pete How

SUMMER LEYS LOCAL NATURE RESERVE, NORTHANTS
Deservedly one of our favourite sites, and always something of interest.
Great white egrets are regular. Five hides. Paths level but some rough, and a
full circuit is two miles.

Walk leader : Pete How

Time: 10am to 1pm

Price: Free event

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.

ID guide to common urban wall ferns

Wall Rue growing in old railway bridge

Wall Rue growing in old railway bridge

Because of their microscopic airborne spores, ferns can grow in many unusual places. A wide range of species that naturally occur on rocky habitats can be found in British towns and cities, particularly in damp and sheltered crevices in walls. This guide illustrates the most commonly found wall ferns. By submitting records of ferns that you see (species name, where, when, and a photo) to f.rumsey@nhm.ac.uk, you can help us to monitor changes in the urban flora.

Click here to download the guide.

A steady flow of joint work from water companies and eNGOs to boost the environment

One of the many ponds ©CC BY-NC-SA by Peter Hassett, Felmersham Gravel Pits 11 August 2018

One of the many ponds ©CC BY-NC-SA by Peter Hassett, Felmersham Gravel Pits 11 August 2018

Twenty environmental NGOs, co-ordinated by Blueprint for Water, and nine water companies are announcing a set of shared principles setting out how they will work together to help leave the environment in a better state.

Click here for more information.: A steady flow of joint work from water companies and eNGOs to boost the environment

Should we be concerned about keeping the ‘wild’ in wildflower?

Since the 1930s, the vast majority of Britain’s wildflower meadows have been destroyed through ploughing, intensive grazing and development.

Yet these changes to our natural landscape have managed to slip under the radar, to the point where 97% of meadows today have been entirely wiped out.

.

Click here for more information.: Should we be concerned about keeping the ‘wild’ in wildflower? | Press and Journal

Learn about the Goat Moth

One of only three species of this family that are found in the British Isles. The adults are incapable of feeding. The caterpillars live inside the trunks of a variety of broadleaved trees feeding on the wood. They …

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Goat Moth

Importance of moth caterpillars for declining Cuckoo populations

Juvenile Cuckoo

Juvenile Cuckoo by Harry Appleyard

Many migratory bird species are undergoing population declines as a result of potentially multiple, interacting mechanisms. Understanding the environmental associations of spatial variation in population change can help tease out the likely mechanisms involved

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Breeding ground correlates of the distribution and decline of the Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus at two spatial scales – Denerley – – Ibis – Wiley Online Library

Diptera in the Natural History Museum Wildlife Garden

2018 has been an interesting one for Diptera in the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Garden in South Kensington. The stand out highlight has to be David Notton’s find in May of a specimen of not just a new species, but a new family for Britain!

Click here to read the rest of the article.: London Natural History Society – Delightful Diptera in the Natural History Museum Wildlife Garden

Ortolan Buntings and Goldfinches

It’s peak season for migrating Ortolan Buntings in northwest Europe and in addition to several sightings and ringed birds, several have been recorded by the UK’s fledgling ‘nocmig network’. As well as the now regular locations of Portland/Weymouth and Poole Harbour area, birds have also been recorded (so far) over London, Surrey and Cambridge. They’re being recorded in several locations that don’t have any history of visual records of Ortolans, prompting lots of head-scratching about the likelihood of detecting such species and questions about identification criteria. The Sound Approach have produced two very detailed blog posts on the identification criteria (here and here), describing the common call types and their potential confusion species. With reference to the commonly used plik call they say:

Source: Ortolan Buntings and Goldfinches – nocmig