Birdwatch: little grebes reach for their muted winter wardrobe | Environment

From the depths of the reed bed comes a sound like a whining horse. This is no aquatic equestrian, however, but our smallest waterbird: the aptly named little grebe. Their small size and habit of skulking around the edge of ponds and lakes means these birds are easy to miss. That’s especially true here on … Read more

Birdwatch: colonies hit by avian flu on Farne Islands sound warning | Environment

Britain’s seabird colonies are, in the words of the veteran conservationist Roy Dennis, “our Serengeti”. Few other places on the planet make such an assault on the senses: the sight, sound and smell of tens of thousands of birds, gathered together each summer to breed. Of all our seabird sites, none is more special than … Read more

Birdwatch: the greenfinch is the soundtrack of early summer | Birds

I have a confession to make. I once wrote, in this very column, about my five least favorite birds. (I know, it’s like saying you have a least favorite child. I’m sorry, OK.) At number four on the list, sandwiched between meadow pipit and wood pigeon, and just behind greylag and the Canada goose, was … Read more

Birdwatch: this spring, I mourn the missing house martins | Birds

As it shears through the spring skies, sweeping up tiny insects, the house martin’s contrasting dark-blue and white plumage reminds me of a miniature version of a killer whale. But not this year. Although I’ve caught up with virtually every other spring arrival – even the late-returning swallows and swifts – I’ve only seen a … Read more

Birdwatch: the ruff – which was named first, the collar or the bird? | Environment

Sporting the splendid feathery collars that give the ruff its name, they reminded me of the foppish, preening courtiers of Tudor times. This trio of male ruffs, along with a much smaller female (known as a reeve) were frantically feeding at the RSPB’s Ham Wall reserve. This is one of their favored stopover points on … Read more

Annual bird count in UK gardens raises hopes for greenfinch | RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Greenfinch populations, which were previously in steep decline in the UK, are showing the first signs of recovery, according to the latest annual RSPB big garden birdwatch results. The citizen science survey gives a good idea of ​​how bird populations are faring in Britain. This year almost 700,000 people took part, counting more than 11 … Read more