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

Tim Melling – Sparrowhawk

  Tim writes: I was driving in South Yorkshire back in February when I spotted this female Sparrowhawk dispatching a Woodpigeon. I pulled in the car just beyond and leaned out of the window to photograph the encounter. Believe it or not a Woodpigeon weighs about 450g whereas a female Sparrowhawk weighs just 260g (and […]

An FoI response from NE

A while ago I let NE know what I thought of them and asked a few questions of them. Fair dos, they have come up with a decent-ish response. We learn that the long-running and long overrunning NE Hen Harrier research project will get an airing in Vancouver in August, that the southern reintroduction project […]

Guest blog – UK Swift Awareness Week 16th-23rd June by Dick Newell

Lifetime bird watcher and over 60 years an RSPB member, Dick Newell, retired from the software industry, now devotes time to devising ways to help Swifts, which led recently to the BTO giving a Marsh Award for Innovative Ornithology to Action for Swifts.  actionforswifts.blogspot.com documents a large number of case studies, designs and ideas. Dick […]

Wild Food (37) – Pignut by Ian Carter

Pignuts are umbellifers (in the carrot family) and are like miniature versions of the more familiar Cow Parsley. To help confirm the identification, look closely at the finely divided leaves, especially those towards the base of the plant. If you grow your own carrots you may notice the similarity in leaf structure. In favoured meadows […]

Guest blog – Conservation Science v Conservation Action by John Burton

John Burton is one of the most experienced and free-thinking of British conservationists. He was a founder and the first chief executive of the World Land Trust. John blogs here.   I regularly see comments on the NFU (National Farmers Union) written by conservationists, pointing out that , for instance, they do not represent all […]