A Focus On Nature

A Focus On Nature, A Vision For Nature

Vision for Nature : Politics

It is often said that young people are not interested in politics. Some even go as far to say that young people are apathetic about politics. I would disagree, and I would disagree profoundly. I have seen my Facebook and Twitter feeds filled with posts from my contempories discussing Brexit, Theresa May as our new Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn’s position. There are a variety of views expressed, and debates have appeared in the replies with sources of evidence to back up their opinions. Then the #VisionforNature report was published.

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A Focus On Nature, Books and Reviews

Book Review – Summer: An anthology for the seasons

“Summer: An anthology for the seasons”, edited by Melissa Harrison is a book which captures the wonders of summer through not only the magic of poetry, but also through the stories of those who are its greatest admirers.

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A Focus On Nature, Species

A New Arrival – Killer Whales – Sophie Scotter

Northern and Southern Resident killer whales are perhaps some of the most accepting and amiable creatures on the planet. As such, no one was surprised to learn that, several years ago, the orphaned female ‘Springer’ was taken under the wing of several different matrilines when she suddenly became a lone voice in a busy and daunting ocean.

It is for this reason that the recent arrival of Springer’s own calf has brought copious amounts of joy to all those know and love these whales. Knowing what we do about the emotive capacity of killer whales, we can but try to imagine the sort of bond that exists between a mother and her offspring, yet perhaps we cannot even begin to conceive of the love shared by an individual whose relationship with her own mother was cut painfully short.

They rounded the western corner with movements oozing elegance, welcoming the distractions of the kelp beds and the rocky outcrop atop which sat our humble abode – a quaint, timber framed cabin, overlooking Caamano Sound. Springer’s calf hugged her closely, seeking safety between her huge body and the shoreline and bounding along by her side with endless energy and inquisitiveness. Like most at her age, the calf struggled to merge her breath with her breaking of the surface water. She lacked the smooth porpoising behaviour of her mother, approaching the surface on a more vertical trajectory and displaying her yellowish eye-patch as her tiny head came clear of the water. The contrast between worldly mother and innocent calf was humbling and we watched in quiet anticipation of the future she had in store, the friendships and allies she would form and the matriline she might one-day call her own.

It was evident that noticeable effort had been spent by both parties in keeping up with the rest of the matriline and we noticed that the remainder of the group had begun to loiter in the east, no doubt engaging in high-pitched chatter as they waited for the safe arrival of their comrades. Although Springer and calf had lagged behind the others by just fifty metres or so, the reception they received was not unequivocal to how one might greet a brother, sister or child they had thought lost forever. Indeed, the immense pleasure evidently brought about by this greeting for a moment held the wind and the waves in limbo, and towards them the whales drew every last ounce of energy that Caamano Sound had to offer.

The awaiting females shifted their bodies together to embrace the little one as she leapt toward them, enclosing her in a sphere of adulation and security whilst smooth black backs rolled over each other amongst white water, the legacy of tail slap after tail slap. The whales reminded themselves of one another from every angle possible, yet only in a brief and gentle spy-hop did their eyes meet fully above the water – a private and personal reaffirmation of a friendship that went far beyond the noise and excitement below.

Sophie Scotter discovered wildlife writing when she interned with the BBC Wildlife Magazine back in 2011, though she’s always been inspired by the great outdoors, particularly the small details we often miss. After graduating from the University of St Andrews with a First Class Honours Degree in Zoology, Sophie is now studying for a Masters in Arctic Animal Physiology at the University of Tromsø in Arctic Norway, where she sits on the committee for the biology society and regularly publishes articles in the student-run newspaper. Follow her blog at: https://sophieellenblog.wordpress.com/

A Focus On Nature

National Insect Week – Megan Shersby

This week (20th – 26th June) is National Insect Week, a chance to celebrate and discover more about these amazing 6-legged creatures. This week is organised by the Royal Entomological Society every two years with the aim to “encourage people of all ages to learn more about insects“. An aim that I can thoroughly support!

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A Focus On Nature, Books and Reviews

Book Review – Beetle Boy

I’ve never had to do a book review before, so it was great to get this chance. I am not going to say too much about the story – Beetle Boy (by M.G.Leonard), as I don’t want to give anything away as there are lots of twists and turns to enjoy.

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A Focus On Nature

BTO Bird Camp – Zach Haynes

Well I’ve written up the various instalments of my post on the BTO bird camp at the weekend on my blog (yearofnature.blogspot.com). What an amazing weekend! What was so special about it? First of all the nature of course. I saw so many species, quite a few I’d never seen before but quite a lot that I only see when I go on holiday to Norfolk.

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A Focus On Nature, Books and Reviews

Book Review – Death On Earth

I have to admit that when AFON said they were looking for someone to review a book called “Death on Earth“, my immediate thought was; no way, that sounds depressing… Then I used a well known search engine to find the excellent synopsis and from that moment I was gripped!

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A Focus On Nature, Nature Reserves, Species

Nightjar – Jack Bedford

As I stood in the middle of Poole Harbour at dusk, the ‘churring’ began. It was the second time in as many nights I had heard this magical, almost alien sound reverberating across the otherwise tranquil heathland. Perhaps I should explain that this habitat had not simply erupted from the sea bed; I was listening to these wonderful nightjars of Brownsea Island.

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A Focus On Nature

Birding in Spain – James Common

Recently I was lucky enough to take part in a press trip to the spectacular Spanish region of Extremadura – something made possible by the kind recommendation of David Lindo for which I am incredibly grateful. The following is an account of the trip; comprising a brief overview of some of our sightings. There is quite a bit missing – believe me I could go on (and on) – but this should give you a good idea of just what a fantastic venture it truly was.

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A Focus On Nature

Notes From A Writer – Ben Eagle

Writing a book can seem a daunting task. Numerous questions will rush through your head and if you think too much about it you may put yourself off from making a start in the first place. When I began putting together what became Pushed to the Edge, my first book, when I was still at school, I didn’t intend for it to be published; far from it. It was a personal piece of research that I wanted to undertake for myself. I didn’t think for a moment that other people would read it, let alone pay for a copy of it. However, the journey took me down a line which meant that publishing my thoughts and findings became possible. This article explores the process I went through when writing my book and offers some thoughts to any aspiring author thinking about or already writing a book.

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