In the Garden…..From The RSPB…..From ‘Unbound’….

by Bernie Bell - 08:00 on 14 April 2024

In The Garden....

Jenny Wren singing her heart out -…

Mike says it’s probably a male as it’s singing like that but, to me, Wrens are always Jenny.

Then a big brown rat ran across the meadow......country life.


From the RSPB….

Found a sick or injured bird?

This spring, we want to make sure everyone knows how to recognise when help is needed (and when wildlife is best left alone). As a nature conservation charity, you might be surprised to know that we receive a huge number of calls every year about the welfare of wildlife. While the RSPB cannot deal with cases of animal welfare, there are plenty of organisations who exist to help.

In a joint article with the RSPCA, we’re signposting you on the steps to take to make sure no precious time is wasted for you, for conservation charities, or for wildlife. Have a read, or maybe share with a friend in need?

 Who you gonna call? 

Bumper year for the bull of the bog

Bog bumper, mire drum and bog bull. The Bittern’s foghorn-like call can be heard up to three miles away, which earns it the title of the UK’s loudest bird (along with many colloquial nicknames). It also allows these birds, notorious for their camouflage, to be surveyed. And the last collated count reaped remarkable results!

According to new survey results from the RSPB and Natural England, 234 birds were heard booming around the UK in 2023 – an extraordinary feat for conservation, and a steep increase on the 11 males counted in 1997.

Monitoring programmes such as the annual Bittern survey are essential for effective conservation. Without support from our members and volunteers, we wouldn't be able to carry these out – thank you so much.

Read the results

Experience nature this spring

Want to hear a booming Bittern for yourself? Or perhaps you’d like to soak up sunshine with a stroll along sea cliffs? Then why not spend some time with us this spring? There are over 170 RSPB nature reserves to visit, each offering a unique, unmissable experience.

Plus, it's your last chance to enjoy a 10% discount* off purchases in our reserve shops, exclusively for Notes on Nature readers. But hurry... the offer ends Monday 22 April – don't miss it!

*T&Cs apply.

 Visit a reserve 


Gone with the wind?

Renewable energy will be a key part of addressing climate change but the RSPB and other conservation organisations are very worried about a massive proposed windfarm off the East coast of Scotland. Berwick Bank will cover an area four times the size of Edinburgh and is sited dangerously close to areas used by threatened seabirds to breed and feed.

Offshore wind has an important part to play in the transition to a more sustainable future but it can’t come at the expense of the UK’s globally important populations of Gannets, Puffins and other seabirds. Find out more from the RSPB, National Trust for Scotland and The Scottish Seabird Centre in this video.

Take a stand for seabirds 

A brand-new book release

Whether you’re planning a stay-at-home summer holiday, or you’re looking for a field guide to accompany a wander on your local patch, this brand-new photographic guide is the ideal companion. Perfect for packing in a pocket or squeezing into a suitcase, the RSPB Birds of the British Isles by Rebecca Nason is a pint-sized photographic field guide, full of tips to identify 280 birds commonly found in Britain, Ireland, and the Isle of Man.”


From ‘Unbound’….

“To the Unbound readers,

I probably spend too much of my time lurking on Instagram or Twitter (I can’t bring myself to call it X) when I should be writing or reading.

Sometimes, though, it pays off handsomely. Back in 2019, I came across the work of an illustrator called Richard Wells who had been creating authentic looking historical documents for the forthcoming BBC adaptation of Dracula. We met up and the result was the wonderful collection of illustrated folk horror stories called Damnable Tales, and its sequel, due in October, Tales Accursed.

And now I’m really excited to introduce a new writer  and artist whose work fizzed out of the screen when I discovered it – Johnny Greenteeth. There was something about his use of neon colour and bold lines which struck me as incredibly fresh and original. And one that would make a really beautiful book.

Happily, Johnny agreed and here we are...Folk Year will be an almanac of seasonal folklore structured around the four Celtic seasons: Samhain (Oct 31), Imbolc (Feb 1), Beltane (May 1), and Lughnasa (Aug 1) and packed full of gods, demons, ceremonies, festivals, songs and dances and everything in between.

My life as a publisher is dedicated to trying to fulfil William Morris’s dictum, – ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be beautiful or believe to be useful.'

Folk Year – 220 pages packed with curious lore and bursting with images – will be both beautiful and useful.
And, this being Unbound, there are exciting and exclusive merchandise rewards designed by Johnny especially for this campaign.

Wæs hæl, Friends!


John Mitchinson,
Co-founder & Publisher”


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