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

Black v Red

The moorland where we watched Black Grouse display yesterday morning – we saw about 40 birds altogether – also holds Red Grouse.  The Black Grouse were displaying and singing but the Red Grouse were behaving like the silent majority in the early morning. Let’s say there are around 100 Black Grouse at this site (maybe […]

Birding in North Wales

I had headed up to North Wales on Sunday afternoon for our early Monday-morning start to enjoy the wonders of a Black Grouse lek. I called in on the ‘Lake’ site for Hen Harriers that I mention in Inglorious (see Chapter 5) but there were few signs of spring in the mountains of Snowdonia. I […]

Yesterday morning

Yesterday morning, as the light grew but before sunrise, I was looking at one of the greatest birding spectacles on offer in the UK – a Black Grouse lek. I was in North Wales with friends and expert bird guides Alan Davies and Ruth Miller and the displaying male Black Grouse were only 20m away. […]

Is driving grouse legal?

There’s probably nothing in this thought, but it keeps coming back to me. Is driving a moorland legal? We know that shooting a Red Grouse is legal, within the open season, but is it legal to get a line of people to walk across a moorland waving flags and blowing whistles and disturbing every living […]

Oscar Dewhurst – Stoat

Oscar writes: This is another from my time at Minsmere during the Spring. I spent several days scouting a set of holes where I knew Stoats were, and for the first two days had no success whatsoever. Fortunately, on the third day they became a bit more active, although this was as much of them […]