More things that caught my eye this week

  • today is WWF’s Earth Hour
  • this month’s Birdwatch is full of good things but the double page photo of a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Little Owl squaring up to each other on a post is quite stunning.
  • and that same Birdwatch has the wonderful Mark Cocker’s last column (although he will continue to write occasionally for Birdwatch)
  • 6 million loaves of bread are fed to ducks each year! Really? Let them eat cake!
  • our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting closes at midnight on Monday – it stands at 22,200 signatures right now but every signature counts.
  • BAWC has compiled a series of vox pops from the excellent conference last week
  • thinking of doing some plant counting this summer? Don’t be shy – you must be a better botanist than I! See my article in Plantlife’s spring magazine
  • this looks really good
  • band of the week includes the Corner Laughers as one to watch! Hooray!
  • no response from GWCT’s Teresa Dent on behalf of Rules restaurant yet
  • I seem to be #8 in a list of the sustainable 100 in the UK – good to see Caroline Lucas at #1

Vote for Andean Condors please

juvenile-andean-condor-fundacion-jocotoco_0The fate of £25,000 of conservation money is entirely up to you. Have a look, please, and consider voting for this excellent project to protect Andean Condors.

Voting closes on Monday so why not just click away now?


Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill

electioncampaigning2015The general election campaign hasn’t really started yet! Are we all looking forward to it?






Just a few things that caught my eye…

  • or in this case my ear – first singing Chiffchaff this week
  • I had a look at Stonehenge this week – it is very impressive – I wonder whether Henry might visit one day? #HaveYouSeenHenry?






  • I really enjoyed talking to the AGM of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society in the Corn Exchange in Devizes on Wednesday evening. they were a lovely crowd and very appreciative. Here are some tweets they sent out: @MarkAvery Enjoyed your talk at WOS this evening – thought provoking, esp the lessons we should learn from the Passenger Pigeon’s extinction; Great to meet & hear @MarkAvery speak about Martha & Hen Harrier persecution in Devizes tonight. Thanks for signing the book Mark; Riveting talk from @MarkAvery in Wilts – no more Marthas – sign this to ban driven grouse shooting.


  • imageI’ve been buzzing since last Saturday’s BAWC conference – here are write-ups by Findlay, Zach and Georgia





  • IMG_2981I’ve been wearing this badge since last Saturday






  • RSPB BGBW results and a quote from me in the Guardian
  • Monday morning  – I was looking at Black Grouse lekking in the Pennines – great way to start the week
  • the Beavers are back again in Devon
  • Martin Harper wrote a good blog – but the RSPB website is having a spring clean at the moment so it’s not accessible.
  • please vote for this World Land Trust project to help the Andean Condor
  • IMG_2937this Harris Hawk was at St Pancras – reminded me of Arizona.





Henry goes to Chatsworth!

Fri 27th March

Henry – you look like you own the place. You don’t do you?

So you aren’t too worried about a few large landowners?


Anyone there in NE?

NATURALENGLAND2I am very much amused to hear that the daily media summary received by NE board members ends with an item on ‘Mark Avery’s blog’. It’s good to know that they all get a daily reminder of what’s happening in the world from a reliable source.

To save time and effort for the staff involved, here is an item to cut and paste into today’s summary: ‘Mark Avery will be blogging next week on the failure of NE to progress the notification of the West Pennine Moors as an SSSI‘.’.




Our friends the land owners

One thing I noticed about the BAWC conference was a refreshing lack of nervousness about standing up to the large landowners. Almost everywhere else one goes one hears individuals and large powerful organisations fretting about what the landowners might say.

Just saying…

I wonder what Henry thinks…




High Peak Vision, Henry?

Thurs 26th March

What’s that Henry?

You support the National Trust’s High Peak Vision and wish they’d get on with it as quickly as possible?  I so agree Henry.  Are you a member of the NT? I am.


BGBW results

I enjoyed doing the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – as always.

Did you do it too? If so, you and I were two of the 585,000 participants. That’s more than all the political parties put together – so we are voting for birds. Have you voted for the Hen Harrier in this poll yet?

The BGBW results are out and show that three of the Hen Harriers rivals in the national bird vote are common garden birds (Robin, Blackbird and Blue Tit) – but the Hen Harrier could eat them for breakfast!:


1 House sparrow 4.254 64.58 1 -57.5
2 Starling 2.957 43.92 3 -80.3
3 Blackbird 2.753 91.63 4 -31.2
4 Blue tit 2.737 81.55 2 12.2
5 Woodpigeon 2.018 70.29 5 909.1
6 Chaffinch 1.445 40.39 6 -51.8
7 Robin 1.443 86.53 10 -27.8
8 Great tit 1.399 56.72 8 55.5
9 Goldfinch 1.300 28.38 7 NA
10 Collared dove 1.205 47.96 9 330.2

Meat-free week going well

By FotoosVanRobin from Netherlands (My New Porkert #5 Meat Mincer) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By FotoosVanRobin from Netherlands (My New Porkert #5 Meat Mincer) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

It seems a little odd writing about game meat so much when it’s meat-free week.

This is Day 3 – no problems so far.

Read about the World Land Trust and sponsor me to remain meat-free for the rest of the week.