My first badgers!

Back in June, I saw badgers for the first time!

Richard's Blog

I had an exciting time yesterday evening, when I was able to go out to a hide to watch for badgers – which would be the first time I had seen a badger that wasn’t roadkill.

We started watching at about 7:30pm. It proved to be a busy spot in terms of wildlife; there were several nervous rabbits, a couple of grey squirrels having the occasional disagreement, and a colourful jay. Finally, around 8:30, came the moment we had been waiting for: the black-and-white face of an adult female badger emerged from the bushes, hanging around in the open for less than a minute before going back the way she had come.

I wondered if that brief glimpse was all we were going to get, but within the next 45 minutes, a lone badger appeared a couple more times, hanging around the entrance to the sett. Then, at about 9:15, we…

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Bank Holiday Beetling

It was a sunny Bank Holiday weekend at the beginning of May, perfect for getting out and about…

Richard's Blog

Normally, you can expect Bank Holidays in the UK to be as wet and windy as the rest of the year, if not more so. But on this particular Bank Holiday weekend, Britain is experiencing a heatwave. It’s been so hot and sunny that I found myself getting that feeling of pleasure and contentment associated with being on holiday in happy foreign climes. And such weather shouldn’t be wasted, so these past two days, I’ve been spending plenty of time outdoors!

On Saturday, I went down to Warton Hall outside Lytham St Annes, which was opening its garden to the public for a few days. Wildlife TV presenter Nigel Marven – whom I had last encountered in the Philippines – was there, giving a talk on his reptilian pets and allowing the delighted children in the audience to handle them. These included two blue-tongued skinks and a ball python; as…

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Roaming for reptiles in Cumbria

Thinking back to finding reptiles in Cumbria this spring…

Richard's Blog

Spring has definitely arrived in my neck of the woods, and as well as checking up on my local ponds for frogs spawning in early March, I’ve also been looking for opportunities to find a British reptile or two. In April, I paid a couple of visits to Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve in south Cumbria, a peatbog area where you need to use a boardwalk to get around.

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When I visited at the beginning of April, good sunshine was intermittent and the weather was fairly chilly. It was late morning when I suddenly spotted two common lizards (Zootoca vivipara) basking on a south-facing patch of moss at the bottom of a tree. Walking up and down the boardwalk, I had five more sightings of lizards within half an hour.

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In the past few days, Britain has enjoyed some especially warm weather, and today seemed like a good day…

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