WELCOME TO THE BNA WEBSITE
We hope you find it interesting and stimulating, and hope you will join the Association and swell the numbers of Britain’s Naturalists.
Join the BNA the national body for naturalists, founded in 1905, and extend your interest in the British countryside by taking part in a wide range of activities together with fellow enthusiasts of all ages. With the help of our experts, you will be able to learn more about our native flora and fauna and develop an in-depth understanding of how our natural world develops and changes increasingly important in view of the changes in our climate.
At national level, the BNA organises lectures and exhibitions, publishes Country-Side, British Naturalist, the BNA website and the BNA holds occasional conferences and Field Trips at a different location each year.
You can help to support the British Naturalists Association in our aim to promote the study of natural history.
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What to look for in December from the BNA
Photos: D. Farrar
Winter is a difficult time for wildlife, shorter days and icy weather conditions can make finding enough food to survive extremely hard. Although you are unlikely to see a partridge in a pear tree or geese laying eggs at this time of year, there are still some of these birds to see if you look in the right places.
Grey Partridge – Perdix perdix. Not as commonly seen as they used to be as numbers have declined over the last few years. An attractive, plump partridge with an orange face, plumage on the back is grey with brown stripes and the chest is grey. You might be lucky enough to see a small group of them in farmland as they forage for seeds, cereal shoots or grass.
Barnacle Goose – Branta leucopsis. Smaller than the more common Canada goose, these lovely geese have creamy coloured faces with short bills. They have black necks, white bellies and black & grey wings. These birds are mainly winter visitors to the UK arriving in large flocks to our coasts. They can sometimes be seen grazing on vegetation on farmland or wetland areas.
Mute Swan – Cygnus olor. One of our most recognisable and beautiful birds, all-white with orange bills which are black at the base. They can be seen throughout the year on lakes, rivers and canals, often with their head and neck under water feeding on vegetation.
Blackbird – Turdus merula. A common bird but still worth looking out for in winter as it feeds on berries and fallen fruit. It’s the male bird which is black, has a bright orange-yellow bill and a yellow ring around the eyes, females are brown.
(It is said that the “calling bird” in the song is a variation on the word “colly bird” or “collie bird”. The definition of colly is “black” and comes from the old word for coal, so a calling bird is simply a Blackbird).