For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for

Monday, 22 January 2018

Controlling Spanish bluebells

A former owner of my garden planted Spanish bluebells, which threaten our more delicate native ones with hybridisation.
For years I have hoed off the leaves as they appear and especially the flowers if I missed any, dug up the bulbs and dried them to kill them, and am now trying a different approach.
Emerging leaves are easily pulled off now.
The ground is wet and soft now and the Spanish bluebell leaves are just emerging.
The leaves break off underground if they are grasped by hand and pulled out.
If this works to kill them off, I'll update this entry later in the year.
With my talk The evolution of a formal garden to a nature reserve at  it is important to me to get rid of Spanish bluebells completely.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Over 100 Brown Hairstreak butterfly eggs spotted by RSPB rangers at RSPB Pulborough Brooks last Wednesday

 In the blackthorn bushes on the way to Nettley's hide at the RSPB reserve, the rangers had most helpfully tied pieces of string near the tiny eggs.  I had never spotted one before, so this was a most pleasing action by the rangers: very many thanks.
 Over 100 eggs were counted this day compared to some 60 the previous year according to one RSPB ranger.

 Lots of pintails, shovelers, wigeon, godwits and teal to see.
 Click on any picture to expand it.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

An Ornithological extravaganza at RSPB, Pulborough Brooks, West Sussex, UK, today

A Marsh Harrier in flight
Click to enlarge any picture.
Above the images colour-corrected and cropped.   Camera was Panasonic DMC FZ1000, set to aperture F4, ISO200, 1/400sec exposures.


Shoveler, Lapwing, Wigeon

Shelduck and Lapwings


A solitary avocet

Over 700 Bar-tailed Godwits centre pictures above and below.  Thank you  Matt Phelps for this species clarification.

Blog Archive