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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine Spring 2019

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.

One magic moment in my birdwatching career happened at RSPB Minsmere a couple of years ago where, in the appropriately named Bittern Hide, we watched one of those fabulous birds going through an entire routine of what bitterns do, over the course of about 20 minutes. It stalked, swam, caught a fish and finally inflated its throat and boomed – all right in front of us! Even the warden working in the hide was amazed. “I’ve not had such good views in the two years I’ve been at Minsmere,” he said. More people have the chance to see bitterns these days, because they are doing so well in the UK, thanks to dedicated conservationists finding out just what conditions suit the birds. Conservationists on the other side of the world in Australia…

1 min.
the people behind our stories

ROBERT FULLER Wildlife artist and photographer Robert is fascinated by the dramatic lives of his local stoats. “I watched in horror as two kits locked together in combat and tumbled into the pond as a writhing ball,” he says. See p16. KATE RISELY Kate’s method of saving the world is collecting data on wildlife. “We all think about the impact of our work, so it’s important to me to consider whether monitoring actually helps to save wildlife,” she says. See p26. LINDA VERGNANI Journalist Linda is fascinated by the feistiness of little penguins. “They are no taller than wine bottles,” she says. “But after dark they trumpet out their songs so loudly, it sounds as if they are using megaphones.” See p30. MIKE UNWIN Nature writer Mike was exhausted by his first encounter with sifakas. “Only once…

4 min.
wild month

1 | YELLOW WAGTAIL Flying visit Dung flies buzzing over a manure heap on a warm April evening provide a welcome pit stop for a male yellow wagtail, recently arrived in southern England after its winter in Central Africa. When spring bird migration is in full swing, photographer Chris Gomersall usually finds a dozen or so of the canary-coloured migrants at this spot – a “rare oasis for insectivorous birds” in an intensively farmed region. They refuel for a few hours or days, perhaps joined by other hungry travellers such as wheatears and whinchats. According to Stuart Smith, author of Yellow Wagtail (Collins, 1950), an early monograph in the famous New Naturalist series, farmers knew the species as ‘potato dropper’ or ‘tater-setter’, its reappearance in spring taken as a sign that potato planting…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

In his series of great places to watch wildlife in the UK, the star of BBC One’s The One Show this month reveals why overlooked roadside verges are a vital habitat for flora and fauna. While Britain’s land may still be considered as green and pleasant, it is also bisected and crisscrossed by an awful lot of roads. According to the most recent census by the Department for Transport in 2017, the total public road length in England, Scotland and Wales was close to 400,000km. And while road verge area is somewhat more difficult to estimate, it’s believed to cover about 212,000ha, equivalent in size to the county of Nottinghamshire. So, you could say that road verges are the ‘lost country’ of Britain, hidden in plain sight and yet a natural goldmine…

1 min.
species to look out for

Orange tip Surely the prettiest of our springtime butterflies, the orange tip is still common across much of lowland Britain. Identified by their orange wing tips, the males spend most days zipping along hedgerows and roadside verges in their perennial search for the white and mossy green females, discreetly tucked away in the shrubbery. Brimstone Emerging from hibernation on the first warm days of spring, this instantly recognisable buttery coloured insect (right) is predominantly found across southern Britain. Nomadic by nature, the males will frequently travel far and wide as they track down both nectar-rich flowers and any females that might be ready to mate. Red kite An elegant, long-winged and fork-tailed introduction to large parts of Britain, the red kite is actually more scavenger than bird of prey. Having realised that many highways produce…

1 min.
choice locations

1 Between Llanddona and Red Wharf Bay on Anglesey, roadside verges are managed with the help of the North Wales Wildlife Trust and contain a fascinating array of plants through the spring and summer months. 2 Wood Lane, near Long Stratton, Norfolk, has a verge consisting of a wonderfully wildflower-rich fragment that is managed sympathetically as a designated Roadside Nature Reserve. 3 Blue Bell Hill is a Roadside Nature Reserve located next to the A229, near Maidstone, and is managed by Kent Wildlife Trust volunteers. It supports at least seven species of orchid and a range of spring butterflies, reptiles and voles. 4 Chris’ Caf e on the A40 High Wycombe road, near M40 J5, Buckinghamshire, has to be the best place to see red kites in England – the cafe feeds them…