Nature Notes #8


Apologies- its a slightly belated #naturenotes this week- life got in the way once again last week but there’s still plenty to do and look out for around you…

5 things to do this week:

1. Get outside and make the most of the cold snap. I love the crisp beauty of cold winter days and there are some gorgeous sights to be had- frozen spiders webs, icy puddles and frosty plants.

2. Look out for unusual visitors to your bird table or garden. In cold spells, more birds are forced into towns and gardens to look for food so it’s possible you could see a redwing, fieldfare or even a brambling popping up in your garden.

3. Are there signs of bulbs around you? The narcissi that I planted back in September are now showing as little green shoots pushing through the earth in our garden and it makes me feel as though the garden is coming back to life after it’s winter slumber.

4. Have a look at the trees around you. Winter is a great time to appreciate the different shapes and structures of different types of trees, and I find that oak trees look particularly majestic without their leaves. I walk past the one above every morning on my way to the station and it never fails to cheer up my rushed commute.

5. Keep an eye or ear out for starling roosts as these noisy birds flock together in winter. You don’t need to go as extreme as to visit the Somerset Levels’ famous murmurations, as smaller flocks can be found closer to home. When doing the Big Garden Birdwatch from my local park this weekend, I counted over 50 starlings roosting together in the treetops and electricity pylon. Their chattering was incredible- starlings really do make the best noises!

Nature Notes #6


It’s a brand new year- embrace it. Wrap yourself up and get outside for a good long walk.

Make some goals for the year (maybe start a list of the birds or plants that you see this year?)

Look out for big flocks of starlings congregating together for the weekend.

If it’s frosty, document it with some photographs of the world around you.

Keep feeding (or start to feed!) the birds if you can- it’s cold out there. Brrr!

Nature Notes #5

5 things to do this week:

There are still so many butterflies around- make a note of those you see.

Enjoy the beautiful light in the evenings at the moment- that ‘golden hour’ seems to be at about 6pm onwards for me.

On a sunny day, take a picnic blanket, thermos of tea or coffee and some china mugs and sit somewhere outside, it’s so lovely enjoying an outside cuppa from a proper mug.

Plan a weekend in October to get outside and see somewhere new on a long walk.

Keep an eye on those leaves, are they just beginning to turn?

Nature Notes #4


5 things to do this week:

Look up and see what you can spot- we saw bats near our house at the weekend.

Go for a walk while we still have this lovely weather here in the UK.

Take part in the Great British Beach Clean.

Look out for flocks of starlings gathering- I’ve been seeing bigger groups of them around and about, preparing for winter roosts.

Make time to listen to what’s around you. Today I heard a fluttering and it was a robin, really close by, having a bath in a stream and was more than happy to continue bathing with an audience.

Nature Notes #3


5 things to do this week:

Go out for a walk at lunchtime one weekday and get some fresh air.

Make some sloe gin. I made mine last week using Aldi gin and this recipe.

Have a ‘digital detox’ one evening- turn off that phone, TV, iPad etc and do something different (listen to music, read a book, play a board game or look up something nature related you’ve always wondered the answer to).

Take time to notice little things around you- hearing singing birds on the way to work perhaps?

Count how many different autumn fruits you see this week (sloes, rosehips, hawthorns…).

Nature Notes #2


5 things to do this week:

It’s September so enjoy eking out the last of summer.

Look out for protein rich bird food (nuts, fat balls) on offer to stock up for winter.

Try and find some hazel locally and look to see if the cob-nuts are falling already.

It’s plum season, so look out for local ones on sale and enjoy.

Keep an eye out for swallows lining up ready to migrate back to Africa.

Nature Notes #1


5 things to do this week:

Make the most of the light evenings while they last and take an evening stroll somewhere green.

Look out for local blackberry patches- my local ones are nearly ready to forage.

Keep an eye out for migrant birds- that may well be the last swallow you see in 2014.

Learn to recognise one new wild plant- mine last week was wild carrot (pictured).

Get out for some fresh air every day this week and see how it makes you feel.