Animalia

And then there were four!

THE day after the Bishop, Dean and Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral celebrated the 800th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone, there was more good news with the hatching of the first peregrine chick in the nest high up on the Cathedral roof – and then a second later in the day. By the…

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A fourth egg for the cathedral peregrines

GREAT news in the run-up to Easter  – a fourth egg in the peregrine nest on Salisbury Cathedral. The cathedral authorities think the peregrine female may now be incubating – this doesn’t start until the last egg is laid, but given that a normal clutch is three or four, they are pretty certain she has…

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House sparrow tops Big Garden Birdwatch

NEARLY half a million people across the UK, including 7,878 in Dorset, spent an hour over the last weekend in January watching the birds that visit their garden or outdoor space as part of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, counting nearly eight million birds in total. The results from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch show…

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Two eggs at cathedral’s peregrine nest

WHO needs Easter eggs when you can have the real life drama and delight of peregrine falcons laying eggs and nurturing their clutch on one of Britain’s greatest gothic cathedrals. The Salisbury Cathedral peregrines have two eggs, which can be seen via the peregrine webcam (see below). The cathedral team, led by Gary Price, the…

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Singing for Longleat fire appeal

A CHOIR of 30 members of Longleat’s staff and keepers has recorded a song called Together, to help fund-raising for the Longleat appeal to help the fire-ravaged areas of Australia. The song was written by a member of the Longleat team and recorded at the Cheese and Grain studio in Frome. As well as the…

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Koala keepers back from bushfire mission

TWO of Longleat’s koala keepers have returned from a support mission to help with the wildlife emergency following the devastating Australian bushfires. During their two-week trip specialist koala keepers Graeme Dick and James Dennis helped rescue koalas, travelled to Kangaroo Island to monitor and treat surviving populations, assisted with work at Minton Farm Rescue and…

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Counting birds with RSPB Arne

THE Big Garden Bird Watch, organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is the world’s largest wildlife survey. This year it takes place over the weekend of Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January, and there is an invitation to join staff and volunteers at the RSPB’s Arne reserve on Poole Harbour to…

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Look out for raptors at Arne

ON Wednesdays in January, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is hosting raptor roost watches, a chance for the public to take part in dusk walks on the lookout for kestrels, merlins, short-eared owls, marsh harriers and even the elusive hen harrier, one of the most endangered birds of prey in the…

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The spiky charm of the “niffler”

A PAIR of porcupines, which bear an uncanny resemblance to the niffler from JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, are captivating keepers at Longleat with their amusing antics. The female prehensile-tailed porcupines, Pumpkin and Squash, both less than a year old, recently arrived at the safari park from separate collections in Switzerland and…

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National Trust announces first beaver reintroductions

THE National Trust has announced plans to release Eurasian beavers[at two sites in the south of England next spring to help with flood management and to improve biodiversity. The beaver reintroductions will be the Trust’s first, linking to its ambitions to create priority habitats for nature and to increase the diversity of species and wildlife…

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