Tea, birds but no bacon

Last Sunday morning I sat with a runny nose and a wheezy chest, watching a blackbird and a robin searching for fat-ball scraps on the lawn. Yes, I joined in with the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. Tallying up the visitors to the garden while with a cup of tea, and preferably a bacon sandwich, is…

Gull City

There are few species that can polarise people in the way urban gulls can. Noisy, messy and a nuisance are the norm for most when asked about these colonisers of conurbations. Although I appreciate that they do cause people problems, as someone who’s research interests include urban bird ecology I find it difficult not to…

Redwing Retreat

One of things I like most about the arrival of autumn and winter is the anticipation of the influx of redwings. That first ‘seep! seep!’ on a cold, crisp autumn evening is to me almost, just almost, as thrilling as seeing the first swallow or swift of the year on a sunny day. Then over the…

Seep! Seep!

Since I last blogged about the BTO’s Winter Thrushes Survey, I’ve managed to get out a further three times. Thankfully the number of Winter Thrushes has increased! My latest survey was on boxing day. Full of leftover turkey, ham and trimmings I headed to the Cardiff Riding School. I’ve birded this site for many, many…

Splat!

Based at Cardiff University, the Project Splatter Team have given themselves the unenviable task of mapping the UK’s road kill. And there is plenty to map; 350,000 to 27 million birds are reduced to smears on the tarmac of Europe each year. Project Splatter is a citizen science research project. Using data  reported using social media (Twitter @ProjectSplatter and…

There’s a spider in the house…

A shriek from my housemate signals the presence of an eight legged creature several hundred times smaller than her. Sure enough in the kitchen, frozen like a statue is my housemate with a pained expression signalling the whereabouts of her tormentor – a house spider. A house spider scuttling along the skirting board is not just something to…