Category: Animals & Nature

Among The Sand Martins of the River Ouse

Summer walks along the River Ouse, Yorkshire, I love them. Showing once more you do not need to travel to get amazing sights and experiences. This particular stretch of the River Ouse at Rawcliffe Park, York is perfect for dog walks, and as you can see perfect for getting close to nature, such as the abundant Sand Martins! People often think of the Swallows arriving being a sign of Spring, but their smaller cousins, the Sand Martins tend to arrive first. All the swallows and martins come from the same group of birds more technically known as hirundines. Sand...

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The Seals of Seal Sands, Teesside

A surprising gem of a wildlife oasis, Seal Sands. The mouth of the River Tees with a backdrop of heavy industry, petro-Chemical plants, nuclear power stations all around on the horizon, yet, seals are here in abundance for all to see, and a remarkable sight to see. With all the industrial buildings around I can imagine people would never dream of thinking about how much wildlife there actually is here. A must stop if you are in the area! You can find the spot to park along the A178 south of Seaton Carew. In fact even from the main...

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Secrets of the Blue Satin Bowerbird

Every morning I see the same little bird busy around the branches across from my window. Wondering about the commotion, I take my camera out and see to my amazement a beautifully woven, intricate bower, surrounded by blue treasures. This is the courting stage, or bower, of the blue satin bower bird. The male is noted for its irridescent blue-black plumage. To win the heart of a female, the male weaves an arena from hundreds and hundreds of individually collected twigs, all a similar diameter. In the centre he erects two upswept wings which enclose a circular stage. Surrounding...

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Discovering Tropical Rainforests

Forests in the tropics can be considered ‘biodiversity hotspots’.  As well as supporting a vast array of vegetation, they provide shelter and nourishment for a wealth of wildlife.   Depending on the area of land covered, forests can even affect the local and regional climate – cooling and refreshing the tropical atmosphere. Rainforests have a clearly identifiable structure – and each vertical layer has a distinctly different type of vegetation and wildlife associated with it.  The ‘bushy’ leafy tree level of the forest is known as the ‘canopy’.  This is where birds and primates predominantly live.  Occasionally huge trees pierce...

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Bird Garden Visitors of New South Wales, Australia

Here at Canyonleigh in the New South Wales Southern Highlands, we are lucky to be situated within the Greater Eastern Wildlife Corridor. Many birds use this haven to migrate annually, and often these visitors will stop and take a bath or a drink in our garden. I like to keep the birdbath topped up with fresh rainwater. As soon as I have cleaned and refilled it, in they come! The most shy of these birds is the beautiful yellow-tailed black cockatoo, a large parrot-beaked bird with stunning brown-black plumage, highlighted with patches of yellow on its cheeks, tail, and...

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From Cuttings to Colour: Create Your Own Rose Garden

Do you have a friend with a stunning rose garden? Would you love to have your own but don’t know where to begin? Roses are pruned regularly to encourage healthy growth, and this is the ideal time to ask your friend to save you some cuttings. Cuttings should be green, as thick as a pencil, with at least three to four stem buds, or growth points. Ask them to trim the bottom below a growth bud at an angle and the top above a growth bud straight off, so you don’t accidentally plant your cuttings upside down. Label each...

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