Country diary: Much has changed in this vast, natural amphitheater | Birds

The Burbage Valley has been my working week and Sunday rest since the day almost 40 years ago, when a mate and I bunked off school to climb on the gritstone edges that fringe this vast, natural amphitheater. Much has changed since then, most of it for the better, but the geomantic drama of the … Read more

Robert Gillmor obituary | Birds

In 1970, when the RSPB asked bird artist Robert Gillmor, who has died aged 85, to design their new logo, the species they chose was the avocet. Following a century’s absence, this elegant wader had successfully returned to the UK, to breed on several RSPB reserves. But, as Robert explained many years later, there was … Read more

Wild fox infiltrates flamingos’ pen at Washington’s National zoo and kills 25 | Birds

A wild fox in Washington DC, has chewed through a fence at the National zoo and killed 25 flamingos in the worst animal attack there in two decades. On Tuesday, zoo officials announced that in addition to the 25 American flamingos that were killed early on Monday in their outdoor habitat, three more were injured. … Read more

Swallows and martins head back to the UK but a changing climate threatens their future | Birds

During the first week of April each year, regular as clockwork, I get a very welcome phone call. When I answer, the voice at the other end simply says: “It’s Andrew. They’re back! ” That’s the moment I know our local swallows have returned, having survived their epic 6,000-mile journey from South Africa to Somerset. … Read more

Disbanding of Dorset wildlife crime team puts birds of prey ‘at risk’ | Birds

Birds of prey are being put at risk by the disbanding of one of the country leading wildlife crime teams, campaigners have warned, raising fears it could be part of a nationwide pattern. Wildlife crime officers work to stop offences such as raptor persecution, where birds of prey are poisoned or shot by gamekeepers and … Read more

Country diary: These white-tailed eagles belong in southern England | Birds

or bumblebee buzzes comfortingly around my feet. Chiffchaffs chime in the trees and hidden Cetti’s warblers burst into short blasts of song. The reed and sedge warblers aren’t here yet, but any day now the reeds and bushes will be filled with their chattering and whistles. Across the river, two displaying lapwings squeal and curl … Read more