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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine August 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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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
Frequency:
Monthly
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
welcome!

This month we have two shows to go to where I’ll get the chance to meet readers and chat about nature – which I love. At the beginning of the month (2–5 August) we have a stand at Countryfile Live, in the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Then later in the month (17–19 August) we’ll be exhibiting at Birdfair, on the shores of the Rutland Water reservoir at Egleton in the East Midlands. This issue has a special section (pp71–97) all about Birdfair, which this year celebrates its 30th year of giving over its profits to conservation projects. The 2018 proceeds will help in the creation of Argentina’s largest national park, to protect a unique and precious habitat for millions of flamingos and shorebirds, and establish a network of local…

4 min.
wild month

1 | HARVEST MOUSE Small but mighty “A prehensile tail acts like a fifth limb… she’s as agile as a monkey clambering around a tree.” David Attenborough was not describing an exotic species from faraway lands, but one of the British stars of Planet Earth II: a female harvest mouse moving nimbly, like a miniature tightrope-walker, through a forest of grasses, hogweed and thistles a metre or so above the ground. From Planet Earth II in 2016 to Autumnwatch in 2017 and Hugh’s Wild West earlier this year, the BBC’s wildlife film-makers love featuring harvest mice for their extraordinary agility, tiny size and – let’s face it – cuteness. Weighing slightly less than a 10p piece, they are Europe’s smallest rodents. But their name is a misnomer nowadays. It arose because farmhands would…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

Rockpooling can provide hours of entertainment for families during the school summer holidays if you visit a beach at the right time. A rockpool is one of the most ephemeral of all habitats and the lives of its inhabitants are dictated by one thing – the tide. The powerful gravitational forces of the sun and moon have an astonishing impact on our coasts, resulting in two high and two low tides during most 24-hour periods but spring tides reveal the best pools and wildlife. The constantly varying sea level makes rocky seashores a tough place in which to live as temperature and salinity fluctuate wildly according to the state of the tide. This results in some creatures being baked and desiccated by the sun one minute and then inundated by seawater…

1 min.
species to look out for

Beadlet anemone The commonest anemone found on rocky shores around Britain can even be seen in rockpools on the upper shore. When the tide is out the anemone contracts into a jelly-like reddish blob, but under water its crown becomes covered with short, thick tentacles. Prey is caught with the stinging tentacles and passed to the mouth. Common prawn This is the largest and most common of the inter-tidal prawns. Reaching up to 11cm in length, its flattened body is translucent and hatched with darker bands. The shrimp possesses a long upwardly curved rostrum, which juts out from between its eyes and antennae. Shore crab This crustacean is predominantly green, but varies through yellow, brown and black. It has paddle-like rear legs and a carapace that reaches no longer than 8cm across. Watch out for…

1 min.
choice locations

Rockpools are wonderful places, their mysterious depths thronged with curious creatures. Start exploring at one of these top locations this summer: 1 The Brough of Birsay is a small island off The Mainland of Orkney and can be accessed via a causeway at low tide. Scattered with the remains of Pictish and Norse settlements, the island’s rockpools are outstanding. 2 Cresswell Foreshore is managed by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and is a large wave-cut platform with many shallow rockpools. Five species of crab have been recorded here. 3 Wembury Bay in Devon has some of the country’s best rockpools. Managed by the National Trust, the Marine Centre runs rockpool rambles in the school holidays. 4 Polzeath Beach in Cornwall is considered a haven for surfers, but the rockpools are also a big draw at…

3 min.
hidden britain

You’re likely to encounter dragonflies and damselflies anywhere there is fresh water – and often some distance away, too. For a couple of heady months, members of this gauzy-winged, solar-powered super-group, the Odonata, are among the most prominent and exciting insects on the wing. The talents of adult dragonflies and damselflies are often talked about. They boast incredible vital statistics: the most lenses (up to 30,000 per eye) of any insect, and probably the fastest level flight too (some species reach over 48kph). Yet most of their life is spent in the watery realm. Now is the ideal time to go on a baby dragon hunt – all you need is a pond net and a tray or tank. But while their parents are masters of the air, these aquatic mechanical monsters…