It has been a while……………

Spring peak has arrived and Summer is just around the corner too, as the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, the trees are leafing and this blog is…… well desperate for content if truth be told.

Fear not, anybody who knows me will realise that I am still active over on Facebook and I haven’t disappeared into the oblivion, take today’s Facebook Naturestimeline cover update below, for instance.

And then there is the original, unedited, uncropped version (beware, large upload) for all my fellow nature lovers to admire.

 

Song Thrush in the garden, sitting atop a wheelbarrow

Song Thrush in the garden, sitting atop a wheelbarrow

 

Isn’t he or she a beauty eh! My advice to you is, should one need a boost for their wellbeing, just listen intently to birds such as the one shown above, singing lustily away at dawn or dusk amongst a cacophony of other birdsound. Of course, there are times when they’re not over vocal as when raising their own family, it is best to be quieter then as noisy adults make for noisy children, you know. As for my own voice, it can often be heard over on LinkedIn. I  like to participate in various LinkedIn Group discussions over there or simply make worthwhile connections with fellow naturalists and conservation professionals as the more the merrier, the bigger the conservation movement. I am an occasional Google+ community user as is evidenced by the badges on this page as well, of course.

So finally, it is time for a request. Wherever you find yourself loitering about online, do please let us know. As you are my audience, therefore we should get connected and continue to fight our fight together, for the good of the Natural World.

 

More, next time.

 

 

naturestimeline Media/News/Publishing “A conservation professional sharing his personal perspective on breaking news stories from the world of nature alongside his own accounts from the field.”

and

The images you may well have missed

Knowing that not everyone is on Facebook, here is the latest naturestimeline imagery in all its glory or not, as the case may be.

A lightning bolt captured on film, look carefully towards the Left Hand side.

FOR THOSE NOT ON FACEBOOK – A lightning bolt captured on film, look carefully towards the Left Hand side slightly above the overhead wires.

A photo FAIL. This image is more representative of my efforts in capturing a lightning bolt.

FOR THOSE NOT ON FACEBOOK – A photo FAIL. This image is more representative of my efforts in capturing a lightning bolt.

A Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly - the valesina subspecies.

FOR THOSE NOT ON FACEBOOK – A Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly – the valesina subspecies.

naturestimeline Media/News/Publishing “A conservation professional sharing his personal perspective on breaking news stories from the world of nature alongside his own accounts from the field.”

#photography

#nature

#weather

#thunderstorms

#butterflies

and

Getting out and about at Farm Fest 2014

Naturestimeline hasn’t ceased to be, in spite of what some might wish or hope for and on the outside chance that you may have missed me, I’ve had PC issues and well, I’m back.

On the 12th July, I was out and about supporting a local farming enterprise recently, hence the post title* *click on the underlined link for further information regarding the Farm Fest event. Nature and farming practices are inextricably linked so I found this day out, particularly enthralling. As a farmland bird researcher, it is crucial that I continue to learn the link between farmland practices and its effect on the sadly often declining farmland bird species**

Below are some of my own pictures of the event, which is one of many that each and every one of us can attend, so search out an event near you.

The route into Farm Fest 2014 at Parsonage Farm, Andover

The route into Farm Fest 2014 at Parsonage Farm, Andover

Farm Fest 2014 at Parsonage Farm in progress

Farm Fest 2014 at Parsonage Farm in progress

Some of the farm buildings at Farm Fest 2014, held at Parsonage Farm, Andover

Some of the farm buildings at Farm Fest 2014, held at Parsonage Farm, Andover

Just to add, I have no personal involvement with the farm in question but I do hugely value the farming community. I did however, get to taste some local brews once I had returned home.

Some of Upham Brewery's finest Ales

Some of Upham Brewery’s finest Ales

Let us not forget that even the brewing process of Ales or whatever happens to be your tipple requires a little help from Mother Nature, so much respect to her.

Cheers

and

** unless perhaps you’re born a generalist species such as a Jackdaw or Woodpigeon, whose numbers take up the bulk of available farmland bird food biomass

Inspiring the next generation – a random post

Why not inspire the next generation to care about our natural environment by participating in citizen science. In doing so, you can provide a data source of immense value and it truly is fun.

http://ow.ly/tFQo6

#science
#nature
#citizenscience
#birds
#education

There are so many options out there, get searching for citizen science projects you can participate in.

Current conservation practice – not fit for purpose, why might that be?

It is an undeniable fact that as a nation, or even across the globe, we are largely failing to look after the Natural World. With this in mind, here is a chance to engage in conversation about conservation. What do you believe to be the biggest reasons for the demise of many wildlife species*.

To kick things off, please would you be so kind to participate in a poll, as laid out below. Please vote for the options which you consider are the most relevant. You are allowed to supply multiple answers, should you wish. In turn, I will let you know my thoughts and will search for appropriate topics to comment on in the future of this blog.

Best Wishes


naturestimeline – courtesy of Tony William Powell on Google+

*as evidenced by the State of Nature report, see below.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/science/stateofnature/index.aspx

http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/news/2013/05/22/state-nature-60-uk-species-decline-groundbreaking-study-finds

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/22609000

A change of direction

Followers of this blog are aware my passion for Natural History “knows no bounds”, many other blogs, several of which are listed on My Favourite Blogs section, also share this overwhelming desire. However, since the inception of both naturestimeline and UKbirdingtimeline, my professional career has also evolved, as has my quest for knowledge on the State of Nature. See what I did there? Anyway, below I outline some of the changes you will notice as I intend to develop these pages.

Naturestimeline and UKbirdingtimeline will broadly stick to its original principles. However, I aim to make the place more engaging, scientific, informative and above all else, entertaining. As anyone who follows my Facebook page will know, I like to be kept “in the loop”, the place acts like a kind of newsfeed. So much so, that when it comes to the Natural World, I care, because you care!

Let’s bring impassioned debate on conservation and environmental issues to the table. Please interact and share your thoughts on how you would like to see the blog develop, it’s mine as much as it’s yours, the readers. What do you care about? Do you work in conservation? What kind of future do you think the UK’s and the wider world’s wildlife faces?

*I have no shortage of ideas myself, more about these in time. There is no hiding place, so Bee kind and we can bee in this together.

No hiding place

No hiding place


naturestimeline – courtesy of Tony William Powell on Google+

February catch up

Fellow bloggers, here is an overdue update of my findings from the final winter month of February 2013. As you can see, at least in my patch, it ended up both on the cold and slightly dry side. 

February 2013 to 3rd March 2013 Air Temperature highs and lows

February 2013 to 3rd March 2013 Air Temperature highs and lows

February 2013 to 3rd March 2013 rainfall

February 2013 to 3rd March 2013 rainfall

When looking back at February 2012 it did not differ that greatly. A Temperature mean of -1.0c below normal was less cold than this time around, which registered -1.8c below the 30 year mean. In fact, the main difference climatically speaking, was the ongoing drought which faced many last February. My statistics for February 2012 showed a precipitation deficit of 36.9mm, whereas the deficit this time around was only 11.7mm. Away from the statistics, there were still some stirrings coming from the Natural World.

Daffodils were first witnessed in bloom on 7th February, whilst in 2012 it was to be the 2nd January. *It is just possible that this sighting may have been slightly off target, due to your resident blogger suffering from a bout of flu. The ongoing trend given off by sightings of first flowering dates for Daffodil is represented below. However, it is the truly wild variant (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) which comes into bloom later and provides us with a more reliable phenological indicator.

Daffodil First Flowering (locally) as of 2013

Daffodil First Flowering (locally) as of 2013

Next up was my first sighting of a Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) back in its breeding area, coming on the 13th February. This once again provides us with an area of debate, as to how easily you can readily interpret the bird’s return as a correlated to its willingness to breed. Moreover, the data does tend to show a short timeframe between its arrival back in its breeding territory and the more significant activity of the bird’s actual first seasonal song. As before, the ongoing data range is provided below.

Yellowhammer back in breeding area (locally) as of 2013

Yellowhammer back in breeding area (locally) as of 2013

Just three days later on the 16th February I was to hear a first drumming Woodpecker species. The candidate we are tracking here in the United Kingdom is the  Great-Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), a personal sound recording of which can be accessed by the following the link below.

Great-Spotted Woodpecker Drumming

The 17th February went on to produce two phenological firsts by way of locally flowering Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), a week earlier than last year’s date of the 24th February. Also, well ahead of 2012 was the first leafing of Hawthorn (Crataegus). Unbelievably, in spite of a colder February this year and a rather ferocious March which followed, last year’s 5th March confirmation of first leafing of Hawthorn was very late in comparison.

Blackthorn flowering

Blackthorn flowering

Hawthorn leafing

Hawthorn leafing

For information purposes, you can view the ongoing trend in these two aforementioned phenomena below.

Blackthorn First Flowering (locally) as of 2013

Blackthorn First Flowering (locally) as of 2013

Hawthorn First Leaf (locally) as of 2013

Hawthorn First Leaf (locally) as of 2013

As to how nature’s events were to unfold in March, please stay tuned for updates in the near future.

naturestimeline – courtesy of Tony William Powell on Google+