Keith Falconer is a local naturalist with many years experience of observing and photographing the wildlife of this region. He has an amazing knowledge of birds and bugs and all the creatures that live around us. Every few weeks he will be adding to this seasonal account of what to look for and listen to across our wonderful nature trail.
Keith Falconer, March 2017
A conservative MP has made news by saying something sensible! In the middle of the furore about Brexit, trade relations with the EU and even the future of the Union of Great Britain, Anne Main took time out to say what many of us think but dare not say - many dog owners are being very irrational and even dangerously stupid.
Keith Falconer, February 2017
Grey squirrels, muntjac deer, canada geese, pheasants and himalayan balsam are all introduced species from regions far from this land and are some of the most commonly seen wildlife around the nature trail today.
Often these thriving introduced species are feared and resented and so much effort is made to remove them or at least control their increase. Before this effort is made, it is worth remembering all living species and their eco-systems are only a minor component of very long geological and climatological cycles, which we as short-lived animals cannot see but science has revealed.
Keith Falconer, December 2016
So without the work of amateur naturalists in the UK, most of the data recording of what is happening to our wildlife would not exist. And also much research on the nature of the environmental threats we face and the monitoring of the effects on populations of our changing climate. If you don't already belong to one of the many charitable trusts dedicated to the conservation of wildlife, then this Christmas would be a good time to join up - after all you are probably interested in wild nature or you wouldn't be reading this?
Keith Falconer, October 2016
A couple of days ago along the railway trail I saw something that I had never seen in the past. Two groups of long tailed tits had clashed along one of the old hedges and I actually saw birds fighting and coming together and falling through the undergrowth.
Keith Falconer, September 2016
The sun is now rising around seven o’clock and setting around seven too if you haven't noticed. So the day length, when plants get nourishment has been reduced by about six hours from the early summer whilst the temperature is now dropping markedly. This means that both plant and animal activity is slowing down.
Keith Falconer, August 14 2016
Recent reports of an otter seen on Bransford Golf Course are reminders how little we actually know of what most animals do most of the time and what motivates them.
Keith Falconer, July 24 2016
It’s a time in the year when all sorts of fruit and berries are ripening fast. The squirrels can't wait and have started to devour the young green hazel nuts and ripening haws eager to find the few with a kernel worth eating.
Keith Falconer, July 1 2016
Away from Bransford for two weeks, I returned to a full rain gauge and overgrown garden. Even before the garden was under control, I walked the trail to find out what else was going on.
Keith Falconer, June 25 2016
A short sharp lesson readily learnt: if you go out searching for something, always be ready to see something else.
Keith Falconer, June 5 2016
As May becomes June, it seems as if the spring season of birth and renewal is replaced by something more like the normalities of family life.
Keith Falconer, May 22 2016
As the spring marches into summer and the young green leaves burst open and spread out, then nature watchers begin to find that they can no longer see the things that they may be looking for.