Author Archives: Mark

About Mark

Born Bristol, UK Educated: Cleeve House School Bristol, Bristol Grammar School and Downing College Cambridge Ph.D. University of Aberdeen, Winter activity of pipistrelle bats. NERC post-doctoral Research Fellow, Edward Grey Institute, Oxford University Former Conservation Director of the RSPB, 1989-2011

The streets of Granada

  There is is a call made by House Sparrows that, in the books, would normally be rendered as ‘cheep!’. After the Semana Santa processions, the streets of Granada are spattered with candle wax. People skid over the cobbbled streets on the wax and their shoes make the same noise as a House Sparrow going […]

Sunday book review – The Shark and the Albatross by John Aitchison

Reviewed by Ian Carter John Aitchison is, justifiably, one of our most acclaimed wildlife filmmakers, having worked on well-known series such as Frozen Planet, Yellowstone, Hebrides and Springwatch. This book tells the background story to some of his most memorable trips. If you watch these programmes regularly then some of the scenes he describes will […]

Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill


An Unreliable History of Birdwatching (3) – by Paul Thomas


Harsh but true

Do you recall what Boabdil’s mother said to him? Boabdil, or Muhammed XII of Granada, was the last Moorish ruler of Granada and as other parts of the Moorish empire in Spain fell to the Castilleans only Granada was left in 1491. Boabdil had to cede the city to Ferdinand and Isobella but was allowed […]