Category: Natural History

The Fascinating World of Thick-knees

Thick-knees are a unique group of birds found worldwide, with ten different species that share similar physical characteristics such as yellow legs, black and yellow beaks, and big yellow eyes. Despite looking alike, thick-knees differ in behavior and habitat. Here we look at the Stone Curlew, or Eurasian Thick-knee, found in Hampshire and Wiltshire in

John Vetterlein

John Vetterlein sadly died earlier this year. This tribute by Bruce Larner is an extract from the Annual Report 2022, recently published. John will be missed by family, friends and anyone who has had the pleasure to join him looking at the flora and, particularly, the butterflies of Southampton Old Cemetery and further afield. The

Bright eyes

Keeping your eyes and ears open, using all your senses, is what all people with an interest in wildlife do all the time. Making observations, submitting records and so on. And occasionally there is a helping hand. Here a security camera caught the eyes of a young deer taking a stroll up a driveway. In

Bioblitz – Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo is hosting another bioblitz on Sunday 15th September, and they are looking for people with some expertise to help with the identification of species that are observed. Whether you are confident across a range of species or an expert in just one family, Marwell Zoo will want to hear from you. They are

Alarming drones

Out in the garden, examing the moth trap (that didn’t take long – we’re catching little or nothing this year) when we heard the screaming of birds in the sky. First thought was gulls rising for an ant swarm, but it soon became clear the sound was more like a wader alarm call. Finally we

International Dawn Chorus Day

The first Sunday in May is International Dawn Chorus Day. What started as a 4am birthday party in the 1980s – hosted by naturalist Chris Baines in the Midlands – has now spread throughout the UK and across the world. And in a little bit of the New Forest 5 hardy souls braved the 1c

On not so little pines…

…do mighty Cedar trees grow. In this case, a Himalayan Cedar. Nature Note by Graham Manchip There is a tree in my local patch. I believe it to be a Himalayan Cedar Cedrus deodara around 30ft or more tall and, although I had seen the top, I had never seen the base as it was

British Science Week

Guest post from Bournemouth Natural Science Society (BNSS) British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths held from 8-17 March 2019. This year’s theme is ‘journeys’ and the BNSS has organised three special adult education lectures around this topic. Lectures are open to all, so if you’re naturally inquisitive and

A touch of summer…

…in frosty February. The opening of ‘Chasing Butterflies’ – a retrospective of John Vetterlein’s 13-year obsession with photographing butterflies – was absolutely heaving at the Harbour Lights Cinema in Southampton last evening. A selection of his best work is on display in the gallery space until the 27 February and covers common and less common

End of year party…

The common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is a pretty gregarious animal. And even more sio when it comes to the huge flocks that appear from Novemeber to March or thereabouts. As we often do at Christmas, Jan and I took a trip to Ham Wall RSPB reserve in Somerset to see one of the biggest starling

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