Urban birding can be especially rewarding. City wildlife is used to people, so species are often tame and easy to get close to. Habitats are also usually smaller, making all sorts of birds easier to see.
Growing up in the capital never stopped me. I have been fascinated by birds since I was young. At the age of seven, I discovered a field guide in the local library. I read it inside out. By eight, I was an expert! Continue reading →
As part of Black Birders Week, women are sharing their love of the outdoors and the challenges they face in them.
For the past week, Black birders, scientists, and nature lovers have flooded Twitter with their own stories. As part of the inaugural “Black Birders Week,” they’ve introduced the world to their work and passions, posting about their experiences outdoors and sharing everything from the joy it brings them to the racism they encounter in the field and their daily lives.
The social media campaign was created by a collective of 30 Black scientists and naturalists, called BlackAFinSTEM, in response to the recent racist incident in Central Park between a Black birder, Christian Cooper, and Amy Cooper, an unrelated white woman. After the video went viral, BlackAFinSTEM organized Black Birders Week, dedicating different days to hashtagged themes, such as #BlackInNature on Sunday and the #PostABirdChallenge on Monday. To round off the event, #BlackWomenWhoBird are taking the spotlight on Friday to make their presence known.
“The visibility of Black women who bird is really not out there,” says Deja Perkins, a conservation biology graduate student at North Carolina State University and co-organizer of Black Birders Week. “We don’t really see representation of ourselves in this activity, so I think it’s really important for us to highlight that women are out here birding. And this is an activity that we would like other Black women to join in on.”
A lot is riding on the wings of six baby sea eagles released on the Isle of Wight. They are pioneers of a project to bring the birds back to southern England.
For centuries, there’s been an eagle-shaped hole in the skies over England where the majestic white-tailed eagle once soared. The enormous raptor — its wingspan stretches nearly eight feet — was hunted to extinction some 240 years ago.
“They are a missing part of England’s native biodiversity and were lost entirely through human activities, particularly intense persecution,” notes the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, a charitable trust dedicated to wildlife conservation and research.
But last August, hope took flight again on the tenuous wings of six baby raptors. The chicks, as The Guardian reports, were released on the Isle of Wight, in the hope they would someday reclaim their place in the skies of southern Britain.
Author of a new guidebook to the Path Stephen Neale offers a taste of what’s in store next year
The Thames pilot steered the foot ferry out of Tilbury dock, Essex, towards Gravesend, in Kent. He told me some of his passengers only travel one way.
“Because they’re trying to walk the entire coast,” he said.
“How many people say that to you?”
“More than you think,” he replied.
It was 2018, and I was researching the England Coast Path for my book of the same name. When the route opens, hopefully next year, it will be the longest coast path in the world. And all those people who have tried, and failed, to walk the entire coast, without cutting miles inland, will now have a better chance to succeed.
The world’s greatest public right of way network
A monumental achievement. Not for the walker. But the landowners, volunteers and politicians, who across almost two decades, made it possible. The path will connect everyone of us to our salty waters via the world’s greatest public right of way network. A triumph of economic regeneration and mindful human experience in nature.
My own relationship to the coast is not associated with long walks. It’s linked to living in a seaside town at Southend, walking a little of the shore each week, crabbing as a kid and being mild ly obsessed with exploring new places that don’t involve tramping the coast every day for several years.
I like to walk, but I don’t think of myself as a walker. Any more than I considered myself a walker when I played golf.
The England Coast Path opens up a catalogue of mini adventures, sleeps, new foods and thirst quenching drinks like water, coffee and warm beer.
Cliffe Fort in Kent is one of my favourite mini adventures. I take my own water because there are no shops or cafes. Apart from that, the old ruin combines almost everything that’s good about our coast.
It was built in the 19th century at the mouth of the river Thames to guard London from French war ships. At one time it was fitted out with a launcher for the Brennan torpedo— the world’s first guided missile, until it accidentally sunk a Thames trawler [ . . . ]