All posts filed under: British Wildlife

July’s butterflies

In grassland fields near Theydon Bois in Essex, huge veteran oaks and long defunct hedgerows of blackthorn, bramble and elm play host to little owls, woodpeckers and flocks of young blue and great tits and the July butterflies are abundant. One of the old oaks […]

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Box Hill

Box Hill is 30 degrees in the midday sun and lean cyclists in colourful jerseys pedal hard up the narrow road that zig-zags through steep slopes of chalk grassland with patches of dogwood, whitebeam and bramble topped by woodland dominated by beech, ash and hanging […]

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Leiosoma troglodytes lives on

My old friend Adrian Fowles wrote recently from Ynys Môn after a week’s holiday (well, as a National Weevil Recorder it was a weevil hunt) on the downs and woodlands of East Kent, which included a day out together in the great swathe of woodlands at Denge […]

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Fackenden in July

Six hobbies hunt insects across the long slope of the down under grey clouds on a warm, humid evening. A sparrowhawk rushes to the woodland with hurried flaps and glides and the evening turns to a quiet dusk. A male yellowhammer sits on the top […]

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Wet nights and warm days in Wales

In the conifer forests at Clocaenog, the night is swept by cloud and rain; in the few clear periods before midnight, midges and moths are on the wing and nightjars churr incessantly from the clearings. Tony Cross catches a male in a mist net but […]

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Minsmere’s old retainer

The early morning at Minsmere is warm and humid under a blue sky. The view from the Island Mere Hide is a huge reedbed enclosing a long shallow waterbody where mute swans and great crested grebes idle on the water and cormorants and common terns […]

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Summer days at Bois Jarzeau

The heat of the past few days brings dark thunderstorms that travel up from the south over the wooded hills to the west, then switch direction, run up the Vallée de la Tude, and deluge the ground. The humidity immediately drops and the cool, clear air is cleaned […]

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Changing Hartnips Wood

In two weeks, the delicate, green and white, wood anemone carpet of early April has given way to a swathes of deep blue bluebells under a high shade of hornbeam. By mid-May the bluebells are fading; there is no further colourful succession, just the shade and silence of […]

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Whimbrels on the Alde Estuary

The north east wind drives in off the ugly, mud brown sea; Aldeburgh huddles on the coast. South from the town, a long gravel spit runs for miles to Orfordness and beyond. The track bumps past the sailing club, full of small craft but empty of […]

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Rye Harbour and Camber Castle

The sun shines all day with lines of puffy clouds to the north; the wind blows steadily from the south. Walkers and an assortment of dogs crowd the tarmac path that runs from the car park by the small harbour along the straight channel that […]

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Postcard from the Suffolk Coast

On a fine day, the narrow, shingle edge that shelters the great reed bed in the wide valley between the villages of Dunwich and Walberswick is one of the great coastal walks. There is a distant view of Southwold to the north across the bay. To […]

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