Newbury, Berkshire RG14 6HL Always available, except when sleeping, or on a rare away day. I will attempt to respond to most emails within 24 hours.

Observations about and from Nature

There are certain things which make me tick when it comes to following events from the Natural World. One is the enjoyment of being out in the wider countryside or even in the garden and observing nature in the raw. After all, I am a keen tracker of natural phenomena and how they interact under … Continue reading Observations about and from Nature

The vital role of citizen science

The best way to observe nature is to follow the changing seasons. I subscribe to many blogs, of which the Woodland Trust is one. Their latest post reblogged above, illustrates how many folk are becoming highly valued citizen scientists.

Woodland Matters

For the past 14 years, enthusiastic volunteers have been helping track changes in seasonal natural events through Nature’s Calendar, adding thousands of records to the UK Phenology Network database. Faithfully, they have observed and recorded when trees come into leaf or flower in spring, when migrant birds arrive and leave, and have spent their autumn days noting when leaves change colour, then fall, or when fruit ripens. The data is being used by students and scientists across the UK, and even further afield, to research the implications of climate change for our natural world.

These recorders are part of a tradition that goes back much further, starting with Robert Marsham, who began recording his ‘Indications of Spring’ back in 1736 on his family estate near Norwich, Norfolk, and continued to record for 62 years. From 1875 until 1947 the Royal Meteorological Society co-ordinated a nation-wide network of recorders…

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Bird Surveys, ill health and horrendous weather

Why the hiatus, I hear you ask. Well, let me explain if I may. My current job role as a Bird Surveyor/Researcher allows me to intimately follow our feathered friends and log their breeding success. To best illustrate the differing roles out there, I will direct you to a couple of blogs. For example, Lewis Yates, whose exploits this birding season come from … Continue reading Bird Surveys, ill health and horrendous weather

Early April offerings from nature

Here are my latest offerings from my Phenological sightings. I first witnessed a Pendunculate Oak (Quercus robur) in budburst on the 3rd April. This matches quite closely to last year's date of 7th April but is well ahead of 2010's date of 24th April. The average date on which this bud bursting happens is 14th April, based … Continue reading Early April offerings from nature

March and April Phenological madness

I have recently updated my natural events calendar to reflect all the activity since Mid March. So where are we now? Unseasonably warm temperatures and a continuing drought have dominated the UK weather headlines from the past couple of weeks. The drought area recently increased in size to cover a larger area of the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, snow … Continue reading March and April Phenological madness

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