News of the Woking Peregrines

As is often the case with nature, there is good news, but also sad news from the Woking Peregrines.  The good news –  all five eggs were hatched.  But sadly this morning one chick became estranged as the parent began to brood again after feeding. It sadly didn’t make it in the cold.

It’s worth remembering that five surviving to fledge, as they achieved last year, is uncommonly good.  Our hopes continue that the other four will survive to adulthood.

You can do your part, maybe not for the peregrines directly, but for the birds visiting your garden who will also be struggling in this cold and rainy spell.  Keeping your feeders full will help ensure avian parents have one less thing to worry about.

Watch the peregrines live at

Photos from Woking Peregrine Project / Woking Borough Council

British butterflies suffered seventh worst year on record

2017 was the seventh worst year for butterflies in Britain since records began more than 40 years ago.  Grayling and grizzled skippers had their worst year on record.

Habitat loss has caused the long-term falls in butterfly populations. However, scientists say the recent dramatic declines are due to climate change, pesticides such as neonicotinoids and nitrogen pollution.

Grizzled skipper numbers have more than halved since the 1970s while the grayling’s population has shrunk by 63% in the last decade. The large white – once so common it was a pest – fell by 19% in 2017.

Read The Guardian’s story for more information.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2018 Results

The 2018 results for the RPSB’s Big Garden Birdwatch have been released.  The headlines:

  • House sparrows were still top the sightings list.
  • Siskin and brambling numbers were up.
  • Small birds have overall increased.
  • Goldfinches were seen in over two-thirds of gardens.
  • Greenfinch sightings increased by 5% on last year.
  • Blackbird sightings were down by 18%.
  • Robin sightings were down by 12%.
  • Changes could be down to a milder winter meaning more food elsehere so birds weren’t so reliant on gardens, good/bad breeding seasons and other factors.

The rankings:-

  1. House sparrows
  2. Starling
  3. Blue tit
  4. Blackbird
  5. Woodpigeon
  6. Goldfinch
  7. Great tit
  8. Robin
  9. Long-tailed tit
  10. Chaffinch

Do look at the results from the RPSB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) for more detail and explanation.  And do consider participating next year.  An hour of observation provides valuable information for understanding trends and guiding conservation efforts.  And it’s a great excuse to just sit and enjoy your garden for an hour!

Avoid the bin! Repair and re-use!

It’s annoying when something breaks and you’re not sure how to fix it. No need to give up and throw it away.  Learn to repair your broken items for free at the Guildford Repair Café.  Volunteer experts are on hand to help you repair a whole variety of items.  Save money and the environment – save on waste and reduce the manufacturing of replacements.

Please visit the Guildford Repair Café website for more details.  At time of writing, the next session is the morning of Saturday 7th April, 10-12, at the Park Barn Community Centre, Cabell Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 8JH.