This blog – 2 landmarks (of a sort)

The first post on this blog was on 21 April 2011, a few days before I left the RSPB. Today saw the 1500th blog post here, and, by chance, the 20,000th comment on that blog too.

Early on, I told you what this blog would do, and I’m glad to see that I have held true to those original aims (and I’m amused at the title of that post).

Much more recently, I updated that prospectus and that still looks pretty accurate.

I’m afraid we are likely to go through a rather Hen Harrier dominated month from now until after the Inglorious 12th  – some of you might get a bit bored by it, but I promise to lighten the load when I can with plugs for my new book (A Message from Martha – have I mentioned it?), farmland birds, my attempts to become a more rounded naturalist, comments on how well the government is doing etc etc  And soon after the grouse shooting season starts I will try to take a more complete break from Red Grouse and Hen Harriers (if events allow). This, of course, depends on our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting reaching 10,000 signatures as quickly as possible.


A few words on comments:

You are welcome to comment on the posts on this blog. Please try to keep more or less to the topic of the blog.  Most of you do, most of the time.

If you have never commented here, please consider doing so. A bit more variety would be appreciated by me, and, I’m fairly sure, by other readers. However, I really appreciate the comments that do appear here from a variety of sources, views and personalities.

Every comment that appears here is moderated by me to check that it is legal, not libellous, not in poor taste etc.  That is quite a task.  It’s quite easy if I am sitting at a computer but it takes quite a while longer if I am out and about and am receiving your comments on my phone.

I get notified by email when a comment arrives for this blog – at least, that used to work quickly and well but in the last few months the emails have not always arrived and have sometimes arrived noticeably late. I have no idea why but I apologise for any delays in moderating comments.  The comments still arrive on the blog but that requires me to check frequently, which again, I do if i am at home as i am often at the computer, but it doesn’t happen so frequently if i am out and about.

There are some people who comment here whose comments are briefly scanned and rapidly approved – I won’t name names but they are regular contributors who I trust.

If your comment takes a ‘long’ time to appear it might be because of one of several reasons (or a combination): I haven’t had it; I haven’t noticed it; I have noticed it but I am doing 60mph up (or down) the A1 and I can’t deal with it; I am in the middle of writing a post and can’t moderate your comment without losing my flow; it has links in it that I need to check and I can’t be bothered to do that on my phone because it takes ages; you have already posted several comments on the same blog on the same day (sometimes in the same hour) and I just think you should let someone else have a say and get your thoughts straight before you start(!); your comment is straying off subject; your comment is a rather blatant plug for another blog; you say something to which I am keen to reply and I don’t have the time to reply straight away so you’ll have to wait.

From memory, there are still only about half a dozen comments which I have not posted here. For interest, the spam filter has weeded out 600,000 spam comments which I am glad I haven’t had to read (isn’t the world a strange place?).  There have been a few, maybe a dozen, comments which I have edited – and indicated how and why they were edited.

Thanks for your comments. Please keep them coming.



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14 Replies to “This blog – 2 landmarks (of a sort)”

  1. Mark, this is a bit awkward considering what you said about keeping on the topic of the blog but this is sort of related. I am looking at trying to get more of a presence online in terms of opinion and making my voice heard about the environment and its many issues. I feel that this is a very important thing to do as I am still as yet still too young to be volunteering. I perhaps would like to start up a blog similar to Findlay's or maybe more like yours, but am unsure on how to go about this.

    1. Jack - are you on Twitter and Facebook? I'd start there.

      Writing a blog takes quite a lot of time and you have to have something to say. Do you have something to say? Who would want to hear it? How would you tell them about your blog?

      1. I'm on Facebook and Twitter, I've joined a couple of wildlife related groups on Facebook. I write about nature a lot on Twitter and I've got a Tumblr where I did a post about Owen Paterson's sacking. So I'm thinking that I might continue to do posts about nature on Tumblr and take it from there. I could talk for Britain so having something to say shouldn't be an issue.

        1. Jack - that sounds good. I looked at your comments on here and I would not have known that you weren't in full-adult plumage.

          Write some longer comments here if you wish. It's quite a large audience.

          And I'd consider a Guest Blog if you think you have something interesting to say.

          best wishes

  2. Can't quite remember whether or not you mentioned you'd written another book. Must pay more attention. (Only joking, I'm reading the Kindle version in the garden right now, watching House Sparrows bathing in the pond, and a juvenile Blackbird apparently "sunbathing".)

    1. tony - excellent (although I get less royalty from the Kindle version!). I hope you like it. If you do - tell me and tell everyone (write a review on Amazon). If you don't - send me an email and it can be our little secret.

  3. Hi Mark,

    Is someone with friends in high places trying to silence you?

    I would have sworn that your BanDrivenGrouse e-Petition was originally due to run until about midnight on 28 May 2015.

    Looking at it a moment ago, I see that the closing point is now due at midnight on 30 March 2015.

    Who stole the last two months of the campaign?

    Best regards,


  4. Always amazed at how lucky we are to have you spend such a lot of time and effort on what is as much our blog as yours in a way,well done.

  5. Not really off topic as blogging and social media is at least part of the discussion but yesterday evening Sir Chris Hoy was answering questions live online on a cycling website (we do have other interests!) when he, a little bored with "where do you buy your jeans?" type questions asked for unusual that people thought he'd probably never been asked before.
    "What did we call Barn Owls before we had barns?"

    "Erm...owls, says Sir Chris"

    Well, I thought it was good.


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