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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine July 2018

BBC Wildlife Magazine is a celebration of the natural world, featuring all the latest discoveries, news and views on wildlife, conservation and environmental issues. With strong broadcasting links, authoritative journalism and award-winning photography, BBC Wildlife Magazine is essential reading for anyone with a passion for wildlife who wants to understand, experience and enjoy nature more.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

You’ll notice that we’ve made a few changes to the look of BBC Wildlife in this issue. We’ve added some exciting new elements, like our interview with a scientist whose work is making headlines (p53) and a wildlife volunteer helping puffins (p107). We’ve combined our scientific and conservation stories in one Wild News section in the middle of the magazine, and we have a new Wild at Home section (starting on p87) featuring TV, books, games, puzzles, apps, online entertainment – anything to do with nature that you’d enjoy with your family in the comfort of your home, when you’re not out and about wildlife watching. But don’t worry, all your favourites are still there, just with a cleaner, fresher look we hope you’ll like. And together with our new look…

4 min.
wild month

1 | EMERALD DAMSELFLY Two by two Digging a pond is one of the very best things you can do for nature on your doorstep. Just ask Cornish photographer Ross Hoddinott, who took this iconic summer image of a male and female emerald damselfly glistening with dew beside a pool he created as a boy with his dad. “It’s so satisfying to see the wildlife it now supports,” he says. Emerald damselflies are among the many species that favour the reeded, rushy margins. These metallic-looking insects often perch like this with wings spread, rather than closed along their bodies like most damselflies. The extreme macro of the shot and careful lighting reduced the reedy background to this vibrant contrasting yellow. Emerald damselflies begin to appear in earnest in July, though numbers often peak…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

Britain contains an impressive 20 per cent of the world’s remaining heathland, making us a custodian of the specialised wildlife that chooses to make a home in the heather. Heaths are characterised by sandy soils with low nutrient levels, supporting a community of plants dominated by heathers and gorse. However, on closer inspection, the best heathlands are actually a complex mosaic of micro habitats, including scattered trees, scrub, areas of bare ground, wet heath, mire and open water. Once confined to glades and open areas, lowland heath expanded dramatically as Britain’s primeval forest was cleared for fuel and grazing livestock. By the end of the 18th century huge swathes of heathland covered southern and central England as people cut bracken, heather and gorse for bedding and winter feed, and dug up peat…

1 min.
species to look out for

Nightjar Most easily seen at dusk and dawn – when the churring males are either holding territory or hawking for insect food – the nightjar, in flight, has the look of a camouflaged kestrel. These summer migrants are with us for just a few months before leaving for a winter in central and southern Africa. Dartford warbler This diminutive heathland specialist (right) is easily identified by its long tail, domed head and wine-red underparts. Frequently skulking, the best way to see this residential insectivore is in those moments when it breaks cover to perch atop a shrub, cutting a dapper figure with its tail cocked and crown feathers raised. Adder A surprisingly short and stocky snake, while the adder’s background colour may vary, there’s no mistaking the dark zig-zag pattern along its back. Saving its…

1 min.
choice locations

The UK’s heathland offers a unique open landscape with a remarkable range of wildlife, including beautiful heathers, butterlies, reptiles and birds. Here’s a selection of the best locations to visit: 1 Cannock Chase in Staffordshire contains the largest surviving lowland heathland in central England. It is home to four of the six British reptiles and is great for hearing nightjars. 2 Westleton Heath National Nature Reserve is part of the best remaining tract of heath in Suffolk and is a blaze of purple in summer. 3 Thursley National Nature Reserve is one of the largest heaths in Surrey and is thought to be the richest dragonfly site in Britain – with 26 species having bred. 4 Studland and Godlingston Heath in Dorset is managed by the National Trust. It is the place to try…

3 min.
hidden   brita n

Triangles of tin foil on the breeze, the butterflies flash and flare, the silver wash that gives them their name catching both the eye and sun. This is not a random tumbling flight: it has a pattern, driven by a purpose. It is a midsummer’s aerial ballet, a dance of seduction and intoxicating perfume. Among the largest British butterflies, silver-washed fritillaries are spectacular even on their own, while perched relatively still on a favourite bramble bloom. But to see a pair of them at their sexual peak, going through the moves of securing a future generation, is something to behold. Sadly, this sight is today confined to southern England, in wildflower-rich woodland rides at the height of summer. To be more specific, your best chance is from around noon until 3pm: females…