Icelandic colonists from Europe (no, not the Vikings!)

In my book “The Starling” (Oxford University Press), published in 1984 (doesn’t seem like 33 years ago!) I noted the then relatively recent colonisation of Iceland by breeding Starlings. They were first recorded breeding in the south-east of the island, at Hornafjörŏur in 1940 and then in Reykjavic in 1960. This was at a time … More Icelandic colonists from Europe (no, not the Vikings!)

Autumn gold and other countryside change – a day by the River Itchen

In the 1970s, when undertaking research on Starlings with the then Ministry of Agriculture, most of my winter fieldwork took place near Winchester in Hampshire. During this period of my life I became familiar with the stretch of the River Itchen between New Alresford and Kings Worthy and liked, in particular, the river as it … More Autumn gold and other countryside change – a day by the River Itchen

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) – not just on small islands

“Invasive alien species” (IAS) is the term used to describe animal and plant (and even bacteria, viruses) species that have been deliberately or accidentally introduced to new parts of the world, generally through human a gency, and having been introduced they have the capacity to thrive in their new environments. In so doing they can … More Invasive Alien Species (IAS) – not just on small islands

Littlehampton, (West Sussex) and Bird Island (Seychelles): surprising similarities

On 13 September we decided to visit one of southern England’s more pleasant coastal towns. The day was sunny and hot; in fact, it was said to have been the hottest September day for over a century! Littlehampton was crowded but tranquil – no shouting, no loud music, no litter. As we approached the sea … More Littlehampton, (West Sussex) and Bird Island (Seychelles): surprising similarities