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


This is the season when, as I drive around east Northants, a small flock of large thrushes will fly out of the roadside trees or be looking for worms in the grass fields.  They are chunky and have patches of grey on their heads and backs – and are fieldfares.  These thrushes come to see […]

Use them!

On one of the last day’s of my trip to the USA I watched a killdeer calling in alarm as a man, unwittingly I think, disturbed the bird from its chicks.  The bird’s cries cut through the mist of the June Gloom on the California coast – I won’t forget the sound of them as […]

Various again

I went out for a walk on 1 December – it’s one of the things I can do now I am self-employed.  There were fresh worm casts on the lawn and quite a lot of insects in the air – it hardly felt like December.  At my local patch of Stanwick Lakes there were golden […]

November was the cruellest month…

November was a dismal month for nature in our country – just dismal.  This week the Westminster government issued figures showing that farmland birds were at an all time low but didn’t bother to comment on what they might do about it.  The Chancellor had a swipe at the environment and announced a review of […]

Farmland birds reach lowest point since records began

The latest (up to 2010) official figures for the UK Farmland Bird Index (and for that for England alone where things are just a tad worse) were published on Tuesday.  They show a further decline in numbers of the suite of 19 farmland birds which brings the index to its lowest ever point.  Take a […]