Search results for: wild-hares-and-hummingbirds

Wild Hares and Hummingbirds

Author : Stephen Moss
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Join celebrated naturalist Stephen Moss, host award-winning BBC series Springwatch and author of The Robin, for a year in the idyllic village of Mark on the Somerset Levels – a watery wonderland rich in nature and wildlife, from birds to butterflies to badgers As the year unfolds, Moss transports the reader to the entrancing landscape of flora and fauna that accompanies the dawn of each month. Deeply informative and profoundly inspiring, Wild Hares and Hummingbirds is a celebration of the Great British countryside, animals and the natural world. ‘Moss captures the flora and the fauna of his Somerset home with a grace and charm to warm the coldest winter night’ Independent

Wild Hares Hummingbirds

Author : Stephen Moss
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This is a very personal celebration of why the natural world matters to all of us, wherever we live. The book is nature writing at its finest, expressed through the natural history of one very special place.

The Accidental Countryside

Author : Stephen Moss
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'A superb naturalist and writer.' CHRIS PACKHAM 'From Stone Age remains to modern day skyscrapers, Stephen Moss takes us on an exhilarating journey through place and time, providing a fascinating insight into nature's relationship with environments created by man.' DR MYA-ROSE CRAIG (BIRDGIRL) Welcome to The Accidental Countryside. This is the fascinating and remarkably empowering story of our influence upon the landscape and wildlife of these crowded islands, and of how wildlife has co-opted its most unlikely corners - even when we least expected it. From the seabirds sheltering in the prehistoric stone structures of Shetland to the peat diggings in Somerset teeming with life, and from the rare insects hidden in Belfast's docklands to the falcons that make London's Shard their home, Stephen Moss reveals the unexpected oases which foster the crucial links in the chain that bind the natural world together.

Wonderland

Author : Brett Westwood
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A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Vibrant, fascinating, poetic - a year in living things: all the things we love, all the things we wish we could, all the little things we step over and never know - the best of British wildlife from two superb naturalists and writers' CHRIS PACKHAM From blackbirds, beavers and beetles to tawny owls, natterjack toads and lemon slugs. Every day of the year, winter or summer, in every corner of the British Isles, there's plenty to see if you know where - and how - to look. From encounters with the curious black redstart, which winters on our rocky coasts, to the tiny green snowdrop shoots that are the first sign that spring might be round the corner. And from the blossom-time and dawn choruses of April and May into the abundant noisiness of summer, where days start with hawker dragonflies and drowsy bumblebees and end with glow-worms and ghost moths; to autumn when in the early morning mist of London's Richmond Park male red deer lock horns in competition for a mate. Nature is always full of surprises - whether it's the strange behaviour of clothes moths or the gruesome larder of the strike. Distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, expert insight and enthusiasm, award-winning authors and passionate naturalists Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take us through the year, day by day, sharing the unexpected delights that we can experience in our skies, beaches, rivers, fields, forests and back gardens. There are all kinds of adventures waiting on your doorstep, any day of the year, all you need is Wonderland.

Mrs Moreau s Warbler

Author : Stephen Moss
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Swallow and starling, puffin and peregrine, blue tit and blackcap. We use these names so often that few of us ever pause to wonder about their origins. What do they mean? Where did they come from? And who created them? The words we use to name birds are some of the most lyrical and evocative in the English language. They also tell incredible stories: of epic expeditions, fierce battles between rival ornithologists, momentous historical events and touching romantic gestures. Through fascinating encounters with birds, and the rich cast of characters who came up with their names, in Mrs Moreau's Warbler Stephen Moss takes us on a remarkable journey through time. From when humans and birds first shared the earth to our fraught present-day coexistence, Moss shows how these names reveal as much about ourselves and our relationship with the natural world as about the creatures they describe.

Natural Histories

Author : Brett Westwood
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Prepare to dive to the depths of the sea with 100-foot-long giant squid, travel through space after the meteorites shooting into our atmosphere and join a dangerous expedition to Antarctica to find the Emperor Penguin egg. Discover fleas dressed by nuns, a defeated prince hiding from his enemies in an oak tree and the plant whose legendary screams could drive you mad . . . Accompanying Radio 4's acclaimed six-month series with the Natural History Museum, Natural Histories tells the riveting stories of how our relationships with twenty-five unexpected creatures have permanently changed the way we see the world. Packed full of fascinating science, history and folklore, this beautiful book brings you face to face with nature, in all its wonder, complexity and invention. Fresh from winning the Thomson Reuters prize for Tweet of the Day, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss have written another imaginative and inspiring book. Each chapter explores a different species or phenomena, often taking a fascinating object in the museum's collection as a starting point. From rock pools and blackberry picking to a shipwreck thousands of miles from land; and from David Attenborough on gorillas to Monty Python on dinosaurs, this is a book for anyone curious about the world we live in. You'll never take nature for granted again.

Urban Aviary

Author : Stephen Moss
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A unique guide to the unusual and often surprising birds that soar above our cities around the world. From frigatebirds wheeling over Rio de Janeiro to bowerbirds displaying in the suburbs of Canberra, penguins in Cape Town to pelicans in San Francisco, and huge flocks of starlings roosting around the Colosseum in Rome, the world’s cities are home to a remarkable array of feathered citizens. Through Stephen Moss’s expert knowledge and insight, Urban Aviary provides a beautiful guide to some of the most extraordinary species of city birds that have become native, including helpful spotting hints and fact boxes for each bird, all of which are brought to life by Marc Martin’s distinctive and beautiful watercolours.

Tweet of the Day

Author : Brett Westwood
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Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments - not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale . . . Wherever we are, there are birds. And wherever there are birds, there is birdsong. It's always a pleasure (and a relief) to hear sounds which prove the world's still spinning: whether it's the sighing of migrating redwings on a damp October night, the twitter of swallows fresh in from South Africa in April or the call of the cuckoo in May. Based on the scripts of BBC Radio 4's beloved year-long series, and distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, insight and enthusiasm into these pages, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take you month by month through the year, and the changing lives of our favourite birds. From peregrines swapping sea-cliffs for skyscrapers to swifts spending almost their entire lives on the wing; from charms of goldfinches to murmurations of starlings; from ptarmigans thriving in the Highland snow to the bright green parakeets thronging London's parks; this book is packed full of extraordinary insights and memorable facts. Tweet of the Day is a book for everyone who loves Britain's birds. (Illustrations © Carry Akroyd)

The Way of the Hare

Author : Marianne Taylor
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To the people of rural Britain, hares are deeply beloved, perhaps above all other animals. They thrive in abundance in imagery but can be maddeningly elusive in reality. In our stories – ancient and modern – they are magical, uncanny and illogical beings which commune with the moon, vanish at will, and lose their minds when spring arrives. Yet despite the breadth and depth of its legends, the brown hare of the lowlands is a relative newcomer to our islands, and our 'real' ancient hare is the mountain hare of the most unforgiving high mountainsides. Hares of myth have godly powers, but real, earthbound hares walk a dangerous line – they are small animals with many predators but have no burrow or tunnel to shelter them from danger. They survive by a combination of two skills honed to unimaginable extremes – hiding in plain sight, and running faster than anything and anyone. The need to excel as hiders and runners ultimately directs every aspect of hare biology and behaviour, as well as inspiring our own wild ideas about hare-kind. This book explores hares as they are and as we imagine them, and the long and often bloody history of our association with these enigmatic animals. Elegant studies of molecular biology and biomechanical physics help us understand how hares are put together, while centuries of game estate records reveal how humans have commodified and exploited them. But it is ultimately the moments spent in the company of wild hares that allow us to bring together myth and reality to celebrate the magic of the living animal.

A Bird in the Bush

Author : Stephen Moss
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‘A wonderful book… beautifully told. He packs his pages with fascinating, often hilarious anecdotes and information. A social history which is a surprise and a delight’ Val Hennessy, Daily Mail Critic’s Choice Scholarly, authoritative and above all supremely readable, Stephen Moss’s book is the first to trace the fascinating history of how and why people have watched birds for pleasure, from the beginnings with Gilbert White in the eighteenth century through World War Two POWs watching birds from inside their prison camp all the way to today’s ‘twitchers’ with their bleeping pagers, driving hundreds of miles for a rare tick. ‘Thoroughly researched and well-written’ Mark Crocker, Guardian ‘Moss knows his subject intimately and writes about it with just the right mixture of affection and occasional quizzicality’ Jonathan Bate, Sunday Telegraph ‘It would be difficult to imagine anyone producing a more comprehensive, thoughtful, intelligent and entertaining examination of how people have watched birds at each point in history. In fact, it is one of the few books which might prove such compulsive reading that even a dedicated twitcher might forego a day in the field to stay at home to finish it’ Bryan Bland, Birding World

Wild Kingdom

Author : Stephen Moss
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Can Britain make room for wildlife? Stephen Moss believes it can. The newspaper headlines tell us that Britain's wildlife is in trouble. Wild creatures that have lived here for thousands of years are disappearing, because of pollution and persecution, competition with alien species, changing farming and forestry practices, and climate change. It's not just rare creatures such as the Scottish wildcat or the red squirrel that are vanishing. Hares and hedgehogs, skylarks and water voles, even the humble house sparrow, are in freefall. But there is also good news. In Newcastle, otters have returned to the river Tyne and red kites are flying over the Metro centre; in Devon, there are beavers on the River Otter; and peregrines - the fastest living creature on the planet - have taken up residence in the heart of London. Elsewhere in the British countryside things are changing too. What were once nature-free zones are being 'rewilded'; giving our wild creatures the space they need - not just to survive, but also to thrive. Stephen Moss has travelled the length and breadth of the UK, from the remote archipelago of St Kilda to our inner cities, to witness at first hand how our wild creatures are faring, and offers us this complex, heartfelt and often unexpected response.

Curious About Nature

Author : Tim Burt
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Proclaims the enjoyment of teaching, studying and learning outdoors via the inspirational stories of some remarkable people.

Tweet of the Day

Author : Brett Westwood
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Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments - not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale . . . Wherever we are, there are birds. And wherever there are birds, there is birdsong. It's always a pleasure (and a relief) to hear sounds which prove the world's still spinning: whether it's the sighing of migrating redwings on a damp October night, the twitter of swallows fresh in from South Africa in April or the call of the cuckoo in May. Based on the scripts of BBC Radio 4's beloved year-long series, and distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, insight and enthusiasm into these pages, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take you month by month through the year, and the changing lives of our favourite birds. From peregrines swapping sea-cliffs for skyscrapers to swifts spending almost their entire lives on the wing; from charms of goldfinches to murmurations of starlings; from ptarmigans thriving in the Highland snow to the bright green parakeets thronging London's parks; this book is packed full of extraordinary insights and memorable facts. Tweet of the Day is a book for everyone who loves Britain's birds. (Illustrations © Carry Akroyd)

This Birding Life

Author : Stephen Moss
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Stephen Moss’s collection of Guardian ‘Birdwatch’ columns forms a fascinating picture of one man’s birding life: from early coot-watching as a young boy, through teenage cycle trips to Dungeness, to adult travels around the world as a TV producer working everywhere from the Gambia to Antarctica. Drawing on nearly twenty years of columns for the Guardian, Stephen covers local, national and foreign birding encounters. From the (varying) excitement and peace of his chosen pursuit, to the growing uncertainties posed by climate change, the author brings an enthusiasm and sincerity to the subject that will energise even the most fair-weather of birdwatchers. This elegant paperback edition features a truly beautiful cover linocut illustration by Robert Gillmor, the doyen of bird artists whose jackets grace all the illustrious Collins New Naturalist volumes.

The Wren

Author : Stephen Moss
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From the bestselling author of The Robin: A Biography The wren is a paradox of a bird. On the one hand wrens are ubiquitous. They are Britain’s most common bird, with 8.5 million breeding pairs and have by far the loudest song in proportion to their size. They also thrive up and down Britain and Ireland: from the smallest city garden to remote offshore islands, blustery moors to chilly mountains. Yet many people, particularly a younger generation, are not sure if they have ever seen a wren. Perhaps because the wren is so tiny, weighing just as much as two A4 sheets of paper, and so busy, always on the move, more mouse than bird. However if we cast our eyes back to recent history wrens were a mainstay of literary, cultural and popular history. The wren was on postage stamps and the farthing, it featured in nursery rhymes and greetings cards, poems and rural ‘wren hunts’, still a recent memory in Ireland particularly. With beautiful illustrations throughout, this captivating year-in-the-life biography reveals the hidden secrets of this fascinating bird that lives right on our doorstep.

Behind the Binoculars

Author : Dr. Mark Avery
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How and why did our most acclaimed birdwatchers take up birding? What were their early experiences of nature? How have their professional birding careers developed? What motivates them and drives their passion for wildlife? How many birds have they seen? Mark Avery and Keith Betton, passionate birdwatchers and conservationists, interview members of the birdwatching community to answer these and many other questions about the lives of famous birdwatchers. They take you behind the scenes, and behind the binoculars, of a diverse range of birding and wildlife personalities. Behind the Binoculars includes interviews with: Chris Packham, Phil Hollom, Stuart Winter, Lee Evans, Steve Gantlett, Mark Cocker, Ian Wallace, Andy Clements, Mike Clarke, Debbie Pain, Keith Betton, Roger Riddington, Ian Newton, Stephanie Tyler, Mark Avery, Stephen Moss, Alan Davies and Ruth Miller, Rebecca Nason and Robert Gillmor.

Tweet of the Day A Year of Britain s Birds from the Acclaimed Radio 4 Series

Author : Brett Westwood
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Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments - not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale . . . Wherever we are, there are birds. And wherever there are birds, there is birdsong. It's always a pleasure (and a relief) to hear sounds which prove the world's still spinning: whether it's the sighing of migrating redwings on a damp October night, the twitter of swallows fresh in from South Africa in April or the call of the cuckoo in May. Based on the scripts of BBC Radio 4's beloved year-long series, and distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, insight and enthusiasm into these pages, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take you month by month through the year, and the changing lives of our favorite birds. From peregrines swapping sea-cliffs for skyscrapers to swifts spending almost their entire lives on the wing; from charms of goldfinches to murmurations of starlings; from ptarmigans thriving in the Highland snow to the bright green parakeets thronging London's parks; this book is packed full of extraordinary insights and memorable facts. Tweet of the Day is a book for everyone who loves Britain's birds. (Illustrations © Carry Akroyd)

Wonderland

Author : Brett Westwood
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Expert birders start each January by drawing up their year list -- the birds they are determined to see in the next 365 days. Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss want to help us do the same thing for nature. Every day of the year -- summer or winter -- there are wonderful things that we can all see and experience if only we knew what to look for. And now we do. A chilly day in the dead of winter -- which bird would choose this time of year to raise its young? The buzzing of bumblebees, the humming of hoverflies or the croaking of crickets -- which is the true sound of summer? Distilling two lifetimes' knowledge, insight and enthusiasm, naturalists Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take you through the year, day by day, sharing the delights that you can experience in Britain's skies, seas, rivers, fields, forests and back gardens. From winter encounters with the curious black redstart, which chooses to spend its winters on our freezing, rocky coasts, and the first appearance of the snowdrop's tiny green shoots poking up through stone-hard soil, the first sign that winter might be reaching an end; through spring with its rush of migrant birds and the emergence from her chrysalis of the fragile orange-tip butterfly; into the sounds and smells summer with its abundance of flowers and insects, and when at night you might encounter summer's 'earthly stars', the glow-worm, or that most bizarre and bewitching of moths, the ghost moth. The Nature Table is a book for anyone who wants to experience the world and to observe how it changes throughout the year.

The Hedgerows Heaped with May

Author : Stephen Moss
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An exploration of everything the countryside means to us, from a hundred years of the Telegraph’s archive. The Telegraph is, as its former editor Max Hastings identified, more than any other national broadsheet the newspaper of the countryside, which over the years has been written about in its pages by such distinguished writers as J.H.B. Peel, John Betjeman and W.F. Deedes, alongside eminent modern naturalists like Richard Mabey and even unlikely proponents of the rural life like Boris Johnson. This anthology is no bland celebration of bucolic idyll, but rather an exploration of everything that the countryside represents to the British. For some it means the reintroduction of long-lost wildlife such as the red kite, or ancient crafts like thatching. For others it means jouncing along a green lane in a four-wheel-drive Range Rover. To the Prince of Wales, his new town of Poundbury is the countryside while subjects as diverse as crop circles, second homes, Mad Cow Disease and polytunnels are all flashpoints in the modern debate about what, and who, the countryside is for. Hugely varied, by turns funny and provocative, this is an essential exploration of a central aspect of our national identity.

Planet Earth II

Author : Stephen Moss
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From the terrifying snakes pursuing a newly hatched iguana to the sloth swimming in search of a mate, Planet Earth II brought unforgettable moments and a unique insight into the natural world. With incredible advances in technology and scientific discovery, it created the most exciting and immersive picture of our world's wildlife yet. With over 250 breathtaking photographs and stills from the BBC Natural History Unit's spectacular footage, this is an extraordinary new look at the complex life of some of the most amazing places on Planet Earth. Each chapter reveals an environment - some never-before-seen, some astonishingly familiar - defined by a unique set of rules required for survival. From the most desolate desert to the depths of the jungle, from blistering heat and freezing cold to perpetual darkness and deadly UV, discover how a whole host of creatures have adapted to life in the most extreme conditions. And how they compete with one another to become the largest, the fastest, the most poisonous, or most devious - all in a bid to survive. Planet Earth II includes the first in-depth look at the urban environment, and the surprising range of behaviours occurring right under our noses, as well as some previously untouched island worlds. Filmed with remarkable 5k and infra-red technology, these are the challenges, the confrontations, and the triumphs of some of the most extraordinary creatures in the natural world, told from their perspective. This is our planet, as you have never seen it before.