#Foxoftheday

Throughout April, on social media, Chris Packham has been encouraging people to celebrate foxes by sharing a Fox of the day photo.

I thought I’d put together some photos of foxes I have taken over the past few years.

Posted in Animals, Blogging, Environment, fox, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, mammals, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Stay Wild, Uncategorized, Wildlife, wildlife books, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Along the Wayfarer’s Walk to Ladle Hill

My mum recently read Nicola Chester’s ‘On Gallows Down’ and looking something to do over the Easter weekend, we decided to go for a walk along part of the Wayfarer’s way mentioned in the book.

Starting at the White Hill car park with Buzzards and Red kites riding the thermals overhead, we walked along the track through the area made famous by Richard Adam’s book Watership Down.

As we continued down, away from the horse gallops the landscape changed, flocks of Chaffinches chattered in the hedgerows, badger paths rambled their way down the steep banks, and every so often a pair of ears could been seen taller than the crops.

Crossing the road, we were met by the sight of around 10 hares, we all stood perfectly still, camouflaging ourselves by each one of us standing behind a fence post. It took one of the hares quite a while to realise he was being watched.

As the sun got lower in the sky we reached the hill fort and stood looking across the A34 at the rolling countryside.

The original idea was to be back in the car park for a picnic while watching the sun set, but a combination of taking too long and low cloud blocking the sun, we settled for eating the food we had brought with us in the back of our van.

Posted in Adventure, Blogging, Get Your Boots On, nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Garden Bird Watch 2022

I haven’t had much time to write a blog for quite a while but did sit and do the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch today.

3 Jackdaws
1 Chaffinch

2 Magpies
6 Wood pigeons
2 Collared doves
9 House Sparrows

1 Robin
1 Dunnock
2 Blackbirds
2 Blue tits

Posted in Animals, birds, Blogging, Citizen science, Environment, garden, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, nature, photography, RSPB, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No more BirdFair

I heard yesterday that the decision not to continue BirdFair was made.

BirdFair was an annual festival of all things bird and animal related held each year in August at Rutland Water, affectionately known as the ‘Glastonbury of birdwatching’.

I first went in 2015 and have memories of being challenged by Ben Hoare from BBC Wildlife Magazine to see how many celebrities I could get my photo taken with.

Here’s a few of the photos I could find

Over the years BirdFair was a great place to meet up with people that I’d had chatted with on social media throughout the year and listen to some amazing talks.

Just visiting for one day was never enough chance to go to all the talks, catch up with people and look around the stalls, so after the first year we started staying nearby and going for the whole weekend.

It was important how in the last couple of years of BirdFair running, groups like AFON and people like Dominic Dyer really pushed to get more young people involved.

In the final years, I got a chance to talk there myself on various panels and do a book signing of my book Get Your Boots On.

In the current climate crisis, having a festival mainly based on advertising birdwatching holidays doesn’t seem right but I hope the gathering of wildlife enthusiasts will continue in some form or other.

Posted in Animals, Birdfair, birds, Blogging, Books, Climate strike, Environment, Get Your Boots On, nature, Nature Books, Nature reserve, outdoors, Uncategorized, Wildlife, wildlife books | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Brighton starlings

A few years ago I visited Brighton to see the starling murmurations by the pier

This weekend we were in Brighton again and although it is much earlier on in the year and the starlings are barely starting to gather, I did get a few photos of small groups before they settled down to roost under the pier.

Posted in Animals, Autumn, birds, Blogging, coast, Environment, nature, outdoors, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Another stunning visitor to the garden is the Great spotted woodpecker. This one is a regular visitor and is in and out of the garden most of the day.

Since the hazelnuts have appeared, the woodpecker has been in competition with the squirrels in collecting them.

While the squirrels have been busy burying them for later, the woodpecker gets to eating them straight away. By jamming a hazelnut in the crack in the telegraph pole it can then peck through the shell to the edible stuff inside.

Posted in birds, Blogging, Books, Environment, garden, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heron

The second stunning visitor to the garden (or house) in the recent days was a Grey heron.

With its 6 foot wingspan it’s an impressive bird

Landing on the roof it looked like it was using the height as a vantage point to check out all the local ponds. A sort of Google Earth for herons.

Posted in Animals, Autumn, birds, Books, Environment, garden, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, nature, Oxfordshire, Wildlife | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sparrowhawk

A commotion in the garden alerted me to the Sparrowhawk that was sitting on top of the bird feeder.

All of the sparrows had quickly disappeared into the depths of the hazel hedge but one dove was still waddling around on the grass.

Luckily for the dove, the sparrowhawk didn’t fancy its chances and left when a car drove past.

Posted in Animals, birds, Blogging, garden, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

National Badger Day 2021

Badgers are one of my favourite animals and I enjoy seeing all the posts on social media during National Badger day

Here are a few of my favourite photos I’ve taken over the past five years.

Cookie, is and always will be my favourite

There are plenty of local groups across the UK helping badgers, mine is Oxfordshire Badger Group

https://www.oxonbadgergroup.org.uk/

There is a full list of all the badger groups on the Badger Trust website

https://www.badgertrust.org.uk/

Happy Badger Day!

Posted in Animals, Autumn, Badgers, Blogging, Books, Environment, Every child wild, garden, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, mammals, nature, Nature Books, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife, wildlife books, Wildlife photography, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Last few butterflies

Between the rain showers, a couple of butterflies have been feeding from the final flowers on the Buddleia tree in our garden.

According to an article by The National Trust I was reading, five of our native butterflies can hibernate over winter. These are the Brimstone, the comma, peacock butterfly, small tortoiseshell and the Red admiral.

We already have found a couple of small tortoiseshell butterflies tucked away in our loft space.

Posted in Butterfly, Environment, garden, Get Your Boots On, insects, Local patch, nature, Wildlife | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment