Animalia

Help to put a roof over the barn owls’ heads

THE Countryside Restoration Trust, the charity which works to support and encourage wildlife-friendly, sustainable farming, is appealing for help to raise £30,000 to repair the dilapidated home of barn owls on Bere Marsh Farm near Shillingstone. Just weeks after moving on to the farm by the river Stour, which is intended to be its showcase…

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Pretty flamingos at Longleat

THE latest additions to the bird and animal life at Longleat safari park are a host of flamingo chicks. There has been a summer baby boom for the flamboyant pink Chilean flamingos, with 14 chicks already hatched and more on the way. All chicks are born with white plumage, which they keep for around three…

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Seeing red for hedgehogs

HEDGEHOGS are now officially on the Red List of endangered species published by the Mammal Society in July 2020. They are categorised on the list as Vulnerable to Extinction, which means there is still sufficient numbers for the population to return to healthy numbers again.  But that is purely up to us. We have been…

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Chilled out at the Longleat safari park

  KEEPERS at Longleat Safari Park have come up with a selection of unique “ices’ to keep their exotic animals chilled out over the summer. From a “fruit salad” for giraffes to pear and apple lollies for red pandas, these gourmet treats are just what they need in these near-tropical temperatures. A particular favourite among…

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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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