WELCOME TO WILDLIFE ONLINE
Content Updated: 3rd March
UPDATE: March 2017
These days it seems that I start a lot of homepage updates by saying
something along the lines of ‘it has been a very changeable month
weather-wise’, and last month was no different. February started on a
fairly bright note, but we experienced some very cold air early in the
month and even had a flurry of snow here in Southampton during the
second week, with significant falls in the midland and northern
England/Scotland. The cold spell was short-lived, however, and by the
middle of the month temperatures in the south were hovering around the
13C (55F) mark; about 5C (9F) above the seasonal average. Things got
warmer still when a south-westerly airflow brought Caribbean air to
Britain, causing temperatures in the mid-teens Celsius. Capel Curig in
Snowdonia, Wales, awoke to temperatures of 16C (61F) on 20th February,
the seasonal average for dawn being about 3C (37F), and London reached
18.5C (65F) on the same day. To round the month off, ‘Storm Doris’
brought strong winds and heavy rain to Britain, with winds reaching
50-60 mph in the south and 70-80mph in the north – a 94mph gust was
recorded in Capel Curig. February ended on a generally mild, wet and
windy note, with weather models suggesting March is set to start in the
same vein. There are, nonetheless, a couple of models suggesting we
could be in for a cold spell this month, bringing the chance of more
widespread snow. Watch this space.
If you want to get out and about this month, as usual, the Wildlife
Trusts have a series of nature-themed events up and down the
country, as do the RSPB.
If you feel like being proactive this month and live near the coast,
Surfers Against Sewage are looking for people to organise cleans of
their local beaches – details here.
The Forest Commission are running a series of events this month (full
including a ‘Keep
Your Forest Clean’ litter pick in the New Forest on the 3rd March
and a ‘Wilderness
Survival Skills’ course on 26th March in Hamsterley Forest in County
Durham. There are also a couple of wildlife surveys still open and
looking for people to submit their sightings, including
The Big Hedgehog Map and the
British Deer Survey.
Alternatively, if your plans only include a walk in your local woods or
park, let’s look at what you might expect to see this month.
March is the busiest month of the fox calendar, being the month in which
most cubs are born. Some foxes will have given birth at the end of last
month, but the zenith for births is mid-March here in Britain. For the
first couple of days after giving birth, the vixen will stay in the
earth with the cubs to keep them warm. Once the cubs are three or four
days old, she’ll leave for short periods to drink and collect food, but
the cubs are dependent on an adult for warmth for the first couple of
weeks, and the vixen will never be far away. As the vixen is effectively
tied to the den during this time, she is heavily reliant on food
provided by her mate and, in some situations, extended family members.
Indeed, March and April are good months to go fox-watching because the
adults (father and helpers) are often more active during the daytime as
they hunt for themselves and the vixen and cubs. Many badger sows will
also either have given birth recently or will do so this month, but
it’ll be a couple of months before we see any badger cubs above ground.
Badgers, unlike foxes, use bedding material (dried grass in particular)
in their sett and this allows the sow to leave her cubs sooner and for
longer periods than vixens, meaning she can be a more independent
I know some wildlife rescues that have had hedgehog babies handed in
already this year, earlier than they typically start to receive them.
Ordinarily, hedgehogs would be rousing from hibernation now, with the
males first out. Males enter hibernation earlier than females and we
think that coming out earlier allows them to feed up and put on weight
in preparation for the breeding season to commence when the female
emerge. The rapidly fluctuating winter temperatures of late appear to
have upset that rhythm, so we appear to be seeing earlier breeding
activity than normal. I also know of at least one rescue with a brown
hare leveret, although this is less unusual as the hare breeding season
is well underway.
When male hares detect a doe is coming into oestrus, they gather
around her and she may be shadowed by them for five days prior to coming
into season. The doe will often try to escape her suitors, leading them
on considerable chases around the fields. As the chases get underway,
the bucks jostle for position near the doe and a hierarchy appears to
develop. The dominant buck typically remains within about five metres
(16 ft) of the doe’s daytime form and will bite and chase other bucks
that get too close. As the female gets closer to oestrous she attracts
more bucks and, despite the dominant buck’s best endeavours, she may be
harassed. Periodically, during this chase, two hares can often be seen
rising up on to their back legs and jabbing at each other with their
forepaws: this is a behaviour referred to as “boxing”. Early naturalists
believed that boxing hares were competing males but, although bucks do
occasionally box with each other, in the majority of instances the
boxing is a doe rebuking the overzealous attentions of a buck. Now, the
observation that hares are mad in March, rather than any other month, is
largely a feature of circumstance. The hare’s breeding season runs from
January to October and by late February most does are either pregnant or
suckling their first litter, so these ‘mad’ mating chases and boxing
happen during the winter too. By March, however, two important things
happen: the nights have contracted such that more of this breeding
activity spills over into daylight; and there are more people about in
the countryside to witness the behaviour. So, despite hare boxing and
chasing during both January and February, it was not until March that
many early naturalists observed the behaviour, hence these endearing
mammals became known as ‘mad March hares’.
roe deer are completing their antler growth (above)
now and red, fallow and sika will begin to cast theirs. Water voles are
resuming activity now, having spent much of the winter confined to their
underground burrow systems, and March sees the first squirrel kitten
births of the year.
Birds: When we get a bit of sunshine and warmth, the
songs of blackbirds and robins in the garden make the late afternoon
feel almost summery, while the calls of wrens, dunnocks, blue-tits and
chaffinches filled the Cornish countryside last weekend. March is the
month when I avidly listen for my first skylark of the year, and the
local woodland is now starting to ring with the drumming of greater
spotted woodpeckers and the maniacal yaffles of the green woodpecker.
The first migrant birds, such as wheatears and chiffchaff, are arriving,
along with some of the ‘leggier’ waders including curlew. Long-tailed
tits are busy nest-building, and there are even a few blackbirds that
appear to be collecting nesting material at the moment. Some of our
winter visitors here in the south are still around, including hen
harriers, marsh harriers and a few great grey shrikes, and there are
still some sizable flocks of redwing and fieldfare to be found. Here in
the New Forest, the resident goshawks are starting to show signs of
breeding, and the buzzards are starting their calling and territorial
displaying. Many tawny owls will be on eggs at the moment and March
represents the peak of the grey heron breeding season. If you’re down at
your local pond or lakes this month, keep an eye out for courtship
displays in the swans and geese.
Ponds and lakes are good spots to look out for the breeding display
of the great crested grebe this month. This ritual is enthralling to
watch. The birds will face each other on the water and shake heads,
before rubbing them over their back feathers. In many instances, the
display goes no further and the pair separate. As the season progresses,
however, we start to see some successful pairing and the display is
completed. The crescendo of the ritual involves the birds separating
before each dives and resurfaces with a beak full of weed – they then
charge at one another, standing up in the water to face each other at
the last minute (splashing water everywhere as they kick to stay afloat)
and turning their heads in opposite directions, shaking the weed (right).
Much further north, March heralds the peak of the breeding season of the
black grouse in north Wales, northern England and the Highlands of
Scotland, with spectacular displays and fights among the male birds as
they vie for the attentions of the females.
Reptiles and amphibians: The very mild end to winter
has triggered a surge in spawning frogs, with ditches across the New
Forest full of spawn in the latter part of last month – we had two lots
of spawn in our tiny garden pond at the end of last month. Toads will
begin to spawn this month, having returned to their ancestral breeding
ponds from their hibernation sites, and newts will follow later in the
spring. Please report frog and toad activity to the FrogLife charity via
the DragonFinder app (http://www.froglife.org/dragonfinder/app/).
I have seen several photos of adders and grass snakes out and about
in the last couple of weeks. Males are usually the first to emerge from
hibernation and, as spring wears on, they will disperse far and wide in
the search of females with which to mate. Once emerged, both sexes will
hang around in the vicinity of the hibernaculum but neither will feed
until they have sloughed (shed their skin), after which normal service
Peacock, small tortoiseshell, comma and brimstone butterflies
can be found during calm and sunny spells, and the aptly-named March
moth is about this month. I have seen a few buff-tailed bumblebees
around, too. Keep an eye out for the furry ‘ginger bee’ darting over
flowers in sunlit woodlands, parks and gardens – these are greater
bee-flies and, in our garden, they are particularly fond of
forget-me-nots. I have also seen a few caterpillars around, and some to
keep an eye out for this month are: the stick-like swallow-tailed moth
on hawthorn, ivy, privet and other shrubs; the striking yellow and black
spotted six-spot burnet moth in open grassland, wide verges and waste
ground feeding on bird’s foot-trefoil; and the blue-grey and orange
caterpillars of the lackey moth, which are widespread in the south of
England and hang out in webs spun in hedgerows towards the end of this
month. The spiders in and around the house and garden have resumed
normal service and we should see some wolf spiders out and about this
month. Hoverflies are also a more common sight now as are shield bugs
Plants and fungi: There are a variety of wild
flowers (not to mention some cultivated escapees) to be found in
roadside banks and verges this month. Daffodils are in full bloom and I
have seen several sizeable patches of snow drops. There are some
primroses around too, as well as campion and some crocuses to add a
splash of colour. Streams and ditches are good places to look for newly
emerged butterbur flowers, with their striking purple blossoms arranged
in pyramidal fashion.
Old stone walls offer a great opportunity to look for delicate ferns
and mosses, while the first sweet violet and lesser celandine are now
starting to flower, adding a dash of purple and shining yellow,
respectively, to our woodlands. Sallow catkins are a draw for many
insects and the foul-smelling arum lily (also known as lords and ladies
- left) is evident this month. These
unpleasantly-scented plants comprise a purple/yellow-coloured rod-like
structure (called a spadix) partially enclosed by a pale sheath
(spathe), and are reliant on insects (particularly flies and midges) for
pollination. They have a rather unique way of making sure their targets
leave with pollen, too - the rancid smell, generated by the tip of the
spadix as it gets warm, lures flies that slide down the shiny walls of
the spathe into a ‘holding cell’ at the base of the sheath from which
they’re prevented from climbing out by a fringe of fine hair-like
projections at the top of the chamber. The stamens open and dust the
flies with a shower of pollen; the flies then move around in the
chamber, carrying pollen from the male cluster at the top to the larger
female flowers at the bottom. Shortly afterwards, the hairs begin to
wither and die and the flies can eventually escape their prison. Once
fertilised, the female flowers become an intriguing cluster of bright
orange and scarlet berries which can be seen later in the summer.
Fungi-wise, the bright yellow brain fungus, the delicate parasolic
porcelain fungus and the dark brown convolution that is the Jews’ ear
fungus are waiting to be found this month.
Discovery of the Month: Bird feeders may increase local nest
is generally considered to be a nation of animal lovers, and many of us
extend this beyond our family pets to the wildlife that inhabits our
gardens. According to the British Trust for Ornithology, three-quarters
of British households feed their garden birds at some point during the
year and, in 2006, the bird feeding industry was worth an estimated £200
million per year – it’s likely to be worth much more now, although there
are no official figures. An estimate, published in 2015, suggested that
enough food was put out every year to feed some 30 million birds.
Putting out food can be a life-saver for many species, particularly
during the autumn and winter months when food can be hard to find. We
know that feeding the birds can improve the survival of adults, alter
their movements, and increase the number of chicks fledged successfully.
Indeed, a 2008 study found that birds provided with supplementary food
only during the winter (stopping six weeks before the breeding season
began) fledged 15% more chicks than those that weren’t given extra food.
Many of us that regularly feed the birds know that doing so can incur
unwanted attention. Mice, rats, squirrels and predators such as
sparrowhawks are common visitors to garden bird feeders. Recent research
from the UK suggests that the attraction of some of these non-target
species to feeders may affect the rates of nearby nest predation,
resulting in overall fewer clutches fledging. During May and June 2014,
a team of researchers led by Mark Fellowes studied how the presence of
guarded (squirrel-proof), unguarded and empty bird feeders affected the
number of nests raided by predators near the University of Reading’s
Whiteknights Campus. The biologists successfully monitored 102
experimental nests, 74 (72%) of which were predated by magpies, jays and
squirrels. Nests near filled feeders (guarded and unguarded) were
significantly more likely to be predated than those near empty feeders.
In terms of feeder use, grey squirrels were the nest predators most
likely to use feeders. Interestingly, though, despite being attracted to
and seen using the unguarded feeders, grey squirrels predated the fewest
nests – only eight (11%). Magpies visited the feeders in low numbers but
were identified in half of all nest predations. Jays were the most
surprising nest predator association – they hardly ever visited the
feeders, but accounted for almost 40% of the nest predations. Overall,
survivorship of nests placed adjacent to filled feeders was less than
20% that of nests adjacent to empty feeders and, writing in their paper
to the journal Ibis last year, the researchers concluded:
“Taken together, these results suggest that feeder usage by nest
predators is associated with increased predation on our experimental
nests, but this effect is not simply a result of nest predators being
attracted to a point source but perhaps also being attracted by other
feeder users to the vicinity of the food source.”
The authors recommend people use guarded feeders so as not to support
local predator populations and consider whether feeding during the
breeding season is necessary, or if providing food can only be done
during the autumn and winter.
Reference: Hanmer, H.J. et al.
(2016). Provision of supplementary food for wild birds may increase the
risk of local nest predation. Ibis. 159:
Profile of the Month: Wendy Cooper (Wildlife Photographer)
us a little about yourself.
I’m Wendy Cooper and hail from Great Dunmow in North Essex. I work full
time as a Finance Manager for a Chartered Landscape Architect’s
practice, but at any given opportunity I am out and about
nature-watching on my local patch, or further afield when time allows.
When did you first realise that you had a talent for
When I was in my twenties (about thirty years ago!) we lived near North
Weald airfield and regularly attended the airshows there and just up the
road at Duxford. My Dad gave me his Pentax ME Super and also a 30-70mm
lens, so I filled many a photo album with (quite frankly pretty awful)
snapshots of aircraft mid-display, always trying to do better, but
didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing… That was back in the days of
film, so it was an expensive exercise!
Time passed, during which the camera was put away. Then, after buying
a digital bridge camera, I decided to try and learn how to take better
photographs. By now we had moved into a more rural location with a
swathe of wood and farmland right on our doorstep; recalling a love of
birdwatching from my childhood, I decided that the most available
subjects to practice on were the local birds and wildlife.
After a while, the bridge camera did not suffice, so I bought a
digital SLR and a book and set about seriously working at it –
controlling the camera, as little automatic input as possible,
composition and so forth; as I did this and continued observing my
subjects, I became more and more curious about them and started to learn
about their lives and habits. Slowly, the photography improved to where
I was not embarrassed to share the images as well.
My first real learning curve with the camera was about five years
ago, when I spent a lot of time hiding in a tangle of brambles, watching
and photographing my first ever pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers as
they raised their young. Out of the hundreds of shots that I took of
them and their neighbours, I realised that possibly I might be able to
get quite good with the camera…..
Nowadays, I think I can take some acceptably decent photographs, but I
am my own harshest critic and look up to many other Nature
photographers. I am always trying to improve on the quality of what I
What drives and/or inspires you to photograph?
Whilst I watched the woodpeckers, I also got to watch a pair of Greens
in the neighbouring tree, curious squirrels and any number of smaller
birds. Curiosity got the better of me and a serious interest in natural
history was ignited.
Now, I’m not one for note books and I cannot draw for toffee, so the
camera came too, to wherever we went where there was wildlife; it became
the notebook and still is. From any one of my photographs, I can most
likely tell you where, when, how I felt, what the weather was doing, and
what else I saw that day – the photos are almost a memory I can share. I
have followed nature falling asleep in the autumn and waking up again in
the spring; all the birds and plants and then the emergence of the
insect world through the summer, so I now have a few years’ worth of a
pictorial nature diary for various locations as well as my local patch –
there is so much beauty out there and a notebook for me would not do it
justice, so now I keep trying to do just that with the camera.
‘photo-diary’ has gone a step further and I now keep a blog with trip
and seasonal updates describing what I have seen, a bit about some of
the species, as well as plenty of photographs!
I don’t just photograph it all though, I try and learn about what I
am photographing, whether plant, insect, bird or animal. Each of them
has a place and I love seeing how it all fits together.
What subjects do you enjoy working with most and why?
Through the winter months I love photographing birds and any mammals I
can find. In the summer, whilst the birds are all busy raising young or
going through a moult, my attention turns to the miniature world of
butterflies, dragonflies, bees; in fact any of the insects. Everything I
photograph is in the wild, going about its natural business. I’m just an
observer. The closest I come to ‘baited’ poses is when I photograph the
birds visiting my back garden, enticed there by the feeders.
I like the challenge of birds in flight – particularly for raptors
(the Marsh Harriers and Short Eared Owls, or a Kestrel on the hover)
although Egrets and Herons are beautiful to watch as well.
I also like playing a little with whatever natural light there is and
focussing on little details, whether it is flowers, fungi, foliage,
frost, spiders’ webs.
In other words, all things nature related and the whole spectrum,
whether it is our ‘everyday’ species or the few opportunities I may get
to photograph and watch some of the less ‘everyday’.
If you had to pick one of your pictures that was your
favourite, which one would it be and why?
Every time I go out my favourite photograph changes because of the
moment I have captured. Last year I managed to observe and photograph a
Kingfisher at close quarters for the first time, those images bring to
mind a quiet day wandering in late summer around a favourite nature
reserve; also from the same day, a close encounter or two with Chinese
Water Deer (below, left).
Earlier in the year we went to Mull for the first time. No eagles to
be found, but I saw my first Hen Harrier; the photo is awful, but it
brings to mind me trying not to dance on the spot as I watched it
briefly quarter then fly off. The best photographs are not always the
best quality; sometimes they represent a special moment.
I also have a soft spot for Wild Boar (top),
in the wild… so whenever we visit the Forest of Dean we try to see some.
This photograph represents quite a few hours lurking quietly at this
location and utter delight at being only a few metres away from this
beautiful, powerful and intelligent animal. A real privilege.
two of my favourites are from the North Norfolk Coast. One is a group of
Oystercatchers in flight along the shoreline (above,
right) – shortly afterwards they landed and proceeded to squabble
and chatter amongst themselves, as only they can. The other one is a
Bar-tailed Godwit probing the sand at the water’s edge, with two more
scooting past in the background.
If you could photograph anything in the world, what would it
be and why?
It’s more a case of what I have on my wish list, species wise, to watch
than photograph… I have a hankering to watch White Tailed Eagles,
Otters, Badgers, a family of Foxes, Hares, our native reptiles, a
Hoopoe, the list could go on! For me, a photograph is a bonus and
captures a moment.
As my husband will not fly, it is unlikely I will ever get to, say,
Africa, Costa Rica or Asia to watch their wildlife, however, the United
Kingdom has its own riches, so to watch and record and learn what we
have here suffices for me.
If you had one piece of advice for budding photographers,
what would it be?
I would have two pieces of advice for any budding photographer!
One thing I learned early on with my subject matter was that I needed
to observe and learn their habits and movements so that I could get the
best chance of photographing them; so be quiet and patient, learn your
subject and field craft – the animal’s welfare comes first and photo’s
The other piece of advice would be to know your equipment and how it
works to get the best out of it – it’s not the camera that takes the
picture, it is you, so you need to know how to get the camera to take
the picture you want. (i.e. it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do
with it – the most expensive camera and lens in the world will not help
you take a good photograph if you do not know how to use it!)
You can see more of Wendy’s superb photos on her
photostream and she also has a
website showcasing some of her work as well as
including a blog of her trips.
As always, I love hearing from readers; any queries or
comments regarding the information on the site can be sent in using the
addresses on the Contact
page. (Note: So: Some website questions are answered on
while many animal-related questions are covered in the Q/A).
Photos can be e-mailed to a dedicated e-mail address - please keep them
coming and don't forget to check out my Photos
Needed page. I'm also interested in hearing any reports of unusual
behaviour in any of the animals featured on this site, or interactions
between humans and wildlife. Thanks as always for your continued
patience and support. Thanks this month to
for his stunning snowdrop (banner) and arum lily photos.
Okay, for those of you that are new to the site, let's take it from
What is Wildlife Online?
Essentially, WLOL is an educational website
about British wildlife. The site contains profiles of various British
animal species, with new articles in preparation all the time. The site
also has articles looking at wildlife-related subjects, including
hunting and animal emotions. This site is purely a hobby of mine; it
does not generate any money or contain any advertising and, for the time
being at least, I am happy
for it to stay that way.
What does Wildlife Online aim to achieve?The ultimate goal of the
website is to be useful. My intention has always been to provide
un-biased, accurate information that’s accessible to anyone with an
Internet connection. Increasingly people are coming into contact with
their local wildlife and whether such interactions are positive or
negative, they generally inspire a desire to learn more about the
species. Moreover, there are still a great many misconceptions
surrounding our wildlife (fox behaviour springs immediately to mind) and
these are brought up time and time again during discussions in the
media. Each article aims to provide a reasonably comprehensive overview
of the species in question by drawing on information from the media,
books, TV programmes and the scientific literature. I feel that this
combination of sources, along with my own observations and those of my
friends/colleagues/readers provides a unique online resource of British
wildlife information. My hope is that the information provided here will
go some way to changing people's perceptions of the creatures with which
they share their parks and gardens.
Why create a website when there are books and TV programmes about
Books can be a fantastic resource and I can't imagine being
without my library. Not all libraries are, however, equally well
stocked, and not everyone has the funds to splash out on what are often
very expensive wildlife books (especially those written by scientists).
More importantly, much of the scientific research never makes it out of
the journals into books and TV shows. Similarly, many of the early books
-- which contain some of the pioneering work on the species -- are now
long out of print and can be difficult or expensive to track down. Books
have the 'luxury' of being able to devote their entire contents to a
particular species, covering all aspects of its life history.
Television, by contrast, is a much more limited and variable medium: the programme editor(s) has to create a show that is likely to hold the
viewers' attention and appeal to a very wide audience. The result is
that, although some reach this compromise very well, many documentaries focus heavily on the 'wow factor'
(multitudinous slow motion shots of Great whites leaping out of the
water in pursuit of seals, for example) and this often comes at the
inevitable expense of the information about the animal. Finally, both
books and TV programmes go out of date quite quickly; new research is
being conducted all the time. Consequently, a website is an ideal and
- it offers the opportunity to provide a decent amount of information
about the subject that can be updated at the metaphorical drop-of-a-hat
as any new research is published.
Why include so much information?
I honestly believe that if a job is
worth doing, it's worth doing well. There are hundreds of websites with
brief species profiles and if that's all WLOL offered there would be
little point to it. I understand and appreciate that some people find
being confronted with large volumes of text very daunting while others are of
the 'too long; didn't read' mind-set and will thus be turned off by the
amount of text facing them. I have tried to remedy this as far as
possible via two avenues: there is a Speed Read section with a brief profile of each
species featured in a main article; and each article has been 'virtually
split', with the aid of hyperlinks, into sections that allow people to
easily jump to the information they're looking for. Ultimately, I want to provide as
much information as is feasible in order to provide the reader with the
clearest appraisal of each species or topic; I hope that most readers approve of
Why haven't you included a complete bibliography?
My intention with
WLOL is to provide the information in an accessible format, which means
that anyone should be able to read an article and understand the
information in it. Consequently, I didn't want to format it as a
scientific paper because the current format allows for a much more
informal approach and writing style which, I hope, will appeal to a
wider audience. Most people should find enough information in the
article (I typically provide the name or one or more of the authors and
the journal and year) to track down the original scientific paper. When
I take information from books, I always give the name of the author(s)
and the full title of the book for easy reference. I am also happy to
provide full details of any of the references upon request.
Are you really qualified to do this?
I'm certainly not an expert on
any of the subjects presented on this site. The articles stem from my
varied interests in natural history and biological sciences. In terms of
qualifications, I trained as a scientist (studying natural sciences at
degree and postgraduate level) and all I really do is interpret
information, blend it with associated research and personal observation,
and present it in what I hope is an accessible format. Unless
specifically stated, I do not claim any of the information on this site
to be my own research. I have built relationships with some of the many
diligent researchers who have
produced the data that I use, and I am happy either to recommend an
expert or provide my own opinions on a subject.
As a final note, I want to make a quick reference to the quality of
the material on the site. The great French philosopher and
mathematician, Rene Descartes, once said: "If you would be a real seeker
of truth, you first must be willing to doubt as far as possible all
things." This is very sage advice, especially when it comes to believing
what you read on the Internet. Most Internet sites (indeed, some books and TV
shows too), including this one, have no form of peer-review (i.e. nobody
with experience of the topic checks the site for accuracy); consequently
pretty much anyone can have their own little corner of cyberspace and
information can make it onto websites that is either misguided, or
downright false! When creating material for this site I take every care
to ensure that the information I present is accurate. Invariably errors
will creep in; typos are almost inevitable (although each article goes
through several levels of proof reading before it appears online) and
research is always underway on the species featured here, so the data
can go out of date almost overnight. Each page has regular (ish!)
reviews, however, during which I update the information, adding details of new
findings and taking out that which is now thought highly unlikely. You
can see most of the books I have used in the preparation of this site on
the Recommended Reading page and I have provided links to some of the
most interesting sites I came across during my research – these can be
found under the appropriate sub-heading on the Links page.
Anyway, I digress.... I hope you enjoy looking around the site and I
hope equally that you get something worthwhile out of it. Any comments,
suggestions or (constructive) criticisms are welcome via e-mail -
appropriate addresses can be found on the Contact page.
All the photographs and artwork on this site are either my own work or
have been donated by readers. All images remain property of their
authors and, if you wish to reproduce any of the pictures, consent must
be granted by the appropriate person - requests can be directed via
myself or see FAQ. For more details on the
content of this site, please see the full WLOL
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