How To Tell The Different Between Slow Worms And Snakes

Something long and thin wriggles past you in the countryside. The knee-jerk response may be that you’ve just seen a snake but how can you be certain that what you’ve seen isn’t a slow worm instead? Let’s take a closer look at slow worms and the different species of snake present in the UK to … Read more

How To Identify Stoats And Weasels

The mustelids are a group of mammals which in the UK include badgers, otters, polecats, stoats and weasels. Of these the greatest problems with identification seem to be how to tell a weasel from a stoat and so I thought a few pointers may come in useful. Fortunately once you know the differences between these … Read more

British Seals: How To Tell The Difference Between Common Seals And Grey Seals

Around our shore there are two commonly seen British seals – namely the Grey Seal and the Common Seal. While at first glance one seal may look very much like another when you know what you’re looking for these two species are actually surprisingly easy to tell apart. Whilst factors such as colouration, size and … Read more

Where To See Adders

Adders (or vipers) are the UK’s only venomous snake and whilst quite a degree of fear still surrounds them from people who picture deadly cobras hiding in their garden these snakes are generally shy and retiring. Indeed if adders were easy to find then we wouldn’t need an article like this – we’d all be … Read more

The Difference Between Grasshoppers And Crickets

One of the perennial problems of naturalists is how to tell the difference between crickets and grasshoppers. Whilst superficially these two groups of insects seem almost identical with their long back legs, ability to jump long distances and habitat preferences when you actually “get your eye in” these two groups can be surprisingly easy to … Read more

How To Tell A Primrose From A Cowslip

When primroses (Primula vulgaris) and cowslips (Primula veris) are in flower then telling the difference between these two spring flowers is the essence of simplicity. Whilst the primrose has classic open flowers, the clowslip has a number of smaller, bellshaped flowers attached to a stem held high above the plant. However when these two plants … Read more

How To Identify Swallows, Swifts And House Martins

One of the perennial problems at this time of year is figuring out whether that bird that just flew overhead at the speed of light was a swallow, a swift or a house martin. But fortunately while these birds are all superficially similar, there are a range of differences between them that can make telling … Read more